2012-05-25 / Business

Home medical wellness store keeps up with change in healthcare

By Anita Baker

Sion and Zoe Owen participate with a booth at the Forest Acres Festival. Sion and Zoe Owen participate with a booth at the Forest Acres Festival. Sion Owen, owner of MedPoints Home Medical/ WellPoints Wellness, Columbia’s newest durable medical equipment retail store, says the changes in our nation’s health care system have had a significant impact on retail pharmacies and their customers over the past decade. Many medical products and services traditionally covered by Medicare and Medicaid are being cut from these programs, and more people are turning to the internet and major non-pharmacy retail stores to purchase these products.

Owen, who has 20 years of experience in retail pharmacy sales and management, was raised in his family’s pharmacy business, Middleburg Pharmacy, founded in Columbia in 1978. Owen says his father, John Owen Sr., involved all three of his children in the management of Middleburg Pharmacy, and Sion served as the business manager for Middleburg Pharmacy for many years.

When Middleburg Pharmacy merged with Long’s Drugs in 2004, Owen was employed as the director of retail services for Durable Medical Equipment for all Long’s Drugs store locations. In March 2011, Long’s Drugs stores closed this division, and Owen was faced with the choice to stay in retail pharmacy sales or change careers.

In September 2011, he decided to open his own store named Med- Points Home Medical/ WellPoints Wellness in Landmark Square on Garners Ferry Road.

In keeping with his experience participating in a family run pharmacy business, Owen and his wife Zoe work fulltime in MedPoints Home Medical/ WellPoints Wellness and his two children, Zoe and Evan, spend much of their free time helping in the store.

Owen designed Med- Points Home Medical/ Wellpoints Wellness with two departments. Med- Points is the durable medical equipment section offering products such as wheelchairs, braces, diabetic shoes, and Owen’s specialty orthotics and therapeutic shoes.

WellPoints is the section of the store featuring nutritional supplements, pain management tools, and features the Life Strength products. Owen says the nutritional supplements focus on the needs of those with heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Owen also divides the products in both departments between those items considered general retail and those considered medical supplies or durable medical equipment, which are usually prescribed by a physician. He says the retail market is taking over the sales of many medical supplies such as ergonomic shoes, nutritional supplements and vitamins. He wants his customers to have access to these products at a competitive price.

Owen is a certified fitter of orthotics and a certified fitter for therapeutic shoes. He also is recognized by the Special Needs and Disability Board as a certified provider and is a certified Community Long Term Care provider.

Over 100,000 products can be ordered and shipped to the store from major medical and retail suppliers. Owen says that many people are seeking the internet to find needed medical supplies at better prices. He cautions that this occurs without the benefit of the customer service, and proper fitting or suitability of a product cannot be well determined for the customer. Owen offers to assist individuals in their purchasing decisions and provide competitive prices to those found on the internet for his customers.

MedPoints Home Medical/ WellPoints Wellness accepts Medicare and Medicaid and most major insurance providers.

MedPoints Home Medical/ WellPoints Wellness is located at 6830 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209. The store phone number is 803-726- 0122 or 866-771-6123. The store website is www.medpointsmedical.com.

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