HME News

JUL 2017

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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Providers Providers are on top of web security. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Retail booms for two providers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Q&A: George Kucka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Miller's rallies after fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ■ Analyst Rick Glass thinks Teijin may have bitten off more than it could chew. See story page 1. QMES secures more financing NEW YORK – HME platform company QMES has obtained a second round of financing from CIT Group. QMES, a DME provider in the Northeast, will use the $65 million secured senior credit facility to refinance legacy debt and support growth, accord- ing to a press release. QMES is a portfolio company of Quadrant Management, a New York-based private equity and restructur- ing firm that bought Landauer Metropolitan in 2013. "QMES's active M&A growth strat- egy has led to the successful completion and integration of more than 15 acquisi- tions and they currently serve over 100,000 patients annually," said William Douglass, managing director and group head of CIT's Healthcare Finance business. "As a result, the firm has grown to become the largest DME provider in the Northeast." An affiliate of Quadrant in May bought Braden Part- ners—better known as Pacific Pulmonary Services—and Associated Healthcare Sys- tems from Teijin Limited. QMES received* a $50 million senior secured credit facility from CIT in 2014. Praxair, Linde deal back on DANBURY, Conn., and MUNICH – Praxair has agreed to buy Linde for about $35.2 billion, creating the largest supplier of industrial gases, according to Bloomberg. The news comes three months after a previous at- tempt failed due to concerns over job loss- es in Germany. Praxair won over Linde's board by agreeing to keep operations in Munich and preserve jobs, according to the news agency. By combining the two companies, Praxair and Linde expect to save about $1 billion, Bloomberg reported. Survey: Home oxygen therapy, equipment inadequate, say patients BOSTON – Home oxygen patients say they are unable to access equipment to meet their needs, according to a new survey unveiled at ATS 2017 in May. The ATS Nursing Assembly Working Group sur- veyed 1,926 people and unearthed equip- ment issues like heaviness of tanks and portable oxygen concentrators that don't meet their needs; and access issues like not being able to change suppliers, ac- cording to an article in RT Magazine. As a result, patients say they have lower qual- ity of life. The American Thoracic Society has formed a workgroup to define optimal home oxygen therapy; identify barriers to therapy; and identify gaps and propose areas for future investigation and device development. Short take: D.W. McMillan D.W. McMillan Home Medical Equip- ment has a new location at 1108 Doug- las Avenue in Brewton, Ala., right be- side Regions Bank. "Our goal is to help people keep life on track and being more visible in our new location will hopefully help," Larry Rambach, manager, told the Brewton Standard. D.W. McMillan is a full-service HME provider. WWW . HME n EWS .co M / ju L y 2017 / HME n EWS 11 R E TA I l s a l e s s e e pa g e 1 2 By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor SCHERERVI ll E, Ind. – Provider George Kucka launched his first HME company in 1985. By 1990 or so, it was obvious that if he wanted to depend on the entitlement program model as a source of revenue he would have to stay on top of things. So he got active in his state association, and started attending Medtrade shows and congressional fly-ins. Kucka, president of Fairmeadows Home Health Center received this year's AAHomecare/Mal Mixon Legislative Advo- cate Award during the association's recent Washington Legisla- tive Conference. HME News spoke with Kucka about why he continues to press for change and what's wrong with Washing- ton, D.C., these days. By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor YARMOUTH, Maine – A recent ran- somware attack on healthcare organizations in more than a dozen countries served as reminder to HME providers of the importance of investing in cyber security. Unlike a typical computer attack, in which hackers steal data, a ransomware attack involves using malicious soft- ware to encrypt documents, images and other files, essen- tially holding them hostage until the victim pays to have them unlocked. "I like to think we've been vigilant all along," said Chris Rice, CEO of Diamond Respi- ratory in Riverside, Calif. "We're pretty adamant here about things that get plugged into computers and anything else we can do with regard to keeping anything malicious out." W h i l e t h e r a n s o m w a re attack in May affected main- ly large healthcare systems, everyone—big or small—is at risk, warn experts. "The only value of the data is to the owner—they go after it because they know it's cru- cial to run your business," said Rob Duryea, president, VGM By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor B USINESS IS booming for two HME providers who focus on retail. "Year to year, we are run- ning 15% over last year," says Wayne Slavitt, founder & CEO of Mobül in Long Beach, Calif. "Relying on the insurance model is yesterday's news." Slavitt says his top sellers include big-ticket items like beds, lift chairs and scooters, as well as more unique items like a new line of zero gravity chairs. "The chairs are gorgeous and we have them on our floor, and that gives us a chance to sell products to By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor l ONG BEACH, Calif. – Along with sales growth, there's a n o t h e r i m p o rt a n t retail metric Wayne Slavitt also tracks: repeat business. " T h e r e a r e t w o ways to grow," says Slavitt, founder and CEO of Mobül. "You can sell existing products to new people or sell new products Cyber attacks? Providers say they're armed Forbin. "The thing about an HME, is they are a soft tar- get, especially when they are smaller. But the hackers are not going to say, give me $1 million. They are going to make it affordable so they can get the money." P r o v i d e r Glenn Steinke says he is one of those "small fish"—it seems l i k e a h a c k - e r w o u l d n 't bother wasting time extorting m o n e y f r o m him. "Still, we received updates after the ransomware attack f ro m o u r b i l l i n g v e n d o r reminding us of the precau- tions we need to take and we are already taking all of them," said Steinke, owner of Airway Medical in Bishop, Calif. Precautions include ensur- ing you have adequate anti- virus protection, cautioning employees not to open attach- ments if they aren't sure of the source, and conducting regular backups of data. "I do daily backups to a cloud-based system and then also weekly back ups to a hard 'You've got to build muscle going into a fight' Wise words from George Kucka, winner of AAH/Mal Mixon Legislative Advocate Award Keep 'em coming back for success Retail sales up K U C K A s e e pa g e 1 2 the sons and daughters of our end-user customers," he said. "We're trying to reach a broader demographic." Provider Mike Kuller says his sales were up 10% dur- ing the first quarter of 2017. " W e ' r e g r o w i n g like wildfire right now," says Kuller, o w n e r o f Allstar Med- ical Supply in Walnut Creek, Calif. "The first quarter of this year, we are up 10%." Kuller attributes much of that growth to the competi- tive bidding program, which he says eliminated most local providers in his area, enabling him to fill a widening void. to existing customers." Not only is repeat business easier, it's a good barometer of how happy a cus- tomer is with your store, said Slavitt, who said his repeat business represents about 67%, or two- thirds, of his overall business. "We've done something right," he said. "We get a lot R E p E AT b i z s e e pa g e 2 2 'Relying on the insurance model is yesterday's news' Rob Duryea R A N S O M WA R E s e e pa g e 1 2 Wayne Slavitt Stay S ecure Geor G e Kuc K a, president of Fairmeadows Home Health Center in Schererville, Ind., was recognized during AAHomecare's Washington Legislative Conference in May.

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