Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) has been investing heavily into its very own home-based solutions business – Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions – for some time now.
On Thursday, the company announced that it was taking another step in the expansion of that business. It is opening up a new distribution warehouse in Central Ohio as it finds geographies where it can make the most impact on the country’s shift to home-based care.
The new distribution center, the company said, will exclusively benefit the at-Home solutions business.
“This is our 10th distribution center,” Rob Schlissberg, the president of Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions, told Home Health Care News. “And I think one thing that’s unique about our network, and that we think is great about our network, is that these buildings are only for at-Home Solutions.”
The Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health serves nearly 90% of U.S. hospitals, as well as over 60,000 U.S. pharmacies and 10,000 specialty physician offices and clinics. It also provides more than 3.4 million patients with over 46,000 home health care products.
Its at-Home Solutions business, while a major distributor of durable medical equipment directly to consumers, also works on a business-to-business basis. On its own, it services more than 3 million patients per year.
“Broadly, it’s this type of care that will happen outside of a hospital – you are seeing higher-acuity type of care happening in different settings,” Schlissberg said. “I continually tell my team, ‘How lucky are we that we’re in this industry where the consumer wants it, and it’s more comfortable to them, it is less costly for the provider, and it’s good for all stakeholders, including the hospitals?’ How many industries can say that?”
As for the details of the distribution center, it is a 208,144 square-foot building that will integrate “state-of-the-art logistics technology,” according to the company. It is placed in Central Ohio due to home-based care demand, but also due to travel logistics.
“The Ohio Valley is one of the most densely populated areas of the country and a centrally located region with access to a major interstate highway system – critical to our fast transit needs,” Steve Mason, the CEO of the Cardinal Health’s Medical Segment, said in a press release. “These investments are part of Cardinal Health’s commitment to growing our already significant and strategic distribution footprint in Central Ohio and delivering end-to-end products and solutions that advance healthcare and improve lives every day.”
The company will be opening another facility in Columbus, Ohio, later this year as well.
Broadly, the company believes it’s both helping drive the shift to home-based care and also benefiting from it at the same time.
“It’s probably both; I think it’ll certainly benefit us if more and more patients are getting care in the home, because we are a provider of care in the home,” Schlissberg said. “And we enable others to provide care in the home. We think not only the services in which we provide today, but our ability to expand in the future into other settings of care or types of care, can help enable that. We believe more will happen in the home, and we want to do all we can to help people be comfortable and healthy in the home.”
Either way, the at-Home Solutions business is a major part of one of the biggest companies in the entire country.