HME News

OCT 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 clean up after Hurricane Harvey . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Lucy Sodre learns from experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Mercy Home Care does right by patients . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Reliable Medical Supplies goes celestial . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 ■ Aeroflow is committed to its customers, employees and community says Casey Hite. See story this page. Briefs SuperCare Health acquires LifeCare DOWNEY, Calif. – SuperCare Health has ac- quired the respiratory assets of LifeCare Solutions. "Our acquisition of LifeCare So- lutions California respiratory assets ensures that none of their patients will have any interruption in their respiratory care," said John Cassar, CEO, SuperCare Health. "Our driving mission is to improve the lives of patients with chronic diseases and we are excited to bring our innovative care solu- tions to an ever-expanding high risk patient population." The Phoenix-based LifeCare in July announced it would exit the California market, blaming reimbursement cuts re- lated to the competitive bidding program. The provider had 30,000 patients and 13 locations in California. The deal does not include beneficiaries covered under the competitive bidding program. SuperCare Health, which has 19 locations throughout California and Nevada, provides a broad range of respiratory services, including ven- tilation, CPAP/BiPAP nebulizer and inhala- tion medication and oxygen. AeroCare makes two buys in Illinois ORLANDO, Fla. – AeroCare has acquired First Choice Medical Supply and Kelly's Medical Equipment & Supply, two DME companies in Illinois, according to the Galesburg Reg- ister-Mail. Both companies have a pres- ence in Galesburg, and First Choice also has offices in Peoria and Monmouth. First Choice and Kelly's Medical serve about 300 oxygen patients in the area, according to the newspaper. First Choice's office in Monmouth will close Sept. 21, with Aero- Care serving those patients from its office in Galesburg, the newspaper reported. First Choice's office in Galesburg has been consolidated into Kelly's Medical's office in the same town, it reported. Kimberly Angotti, a sales rep for AeroCare, told the newspaper that the acquisition has been a "good deal for everybody," with no one losing jobs. Howard's Medical Supply to acquire Keeler's Medical Supply YAKIMA, Wash. – Howard's Medical Sup- ply will purchase the inventory of Kee- ler's Medical Supply under a pending sale approved Aug. 28 by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to the Yakima Herald. Keeler's Medical Supply filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, citing drastic re- ductions in Medicare and Medicaid reim- bursement, the newspaper reported. Com- pany officials at Howard Medical Supply told the newspaper they have handled the same cuts by being debt free and by improving operational efficiency. They will pay $600,000 in cash for Keeler's Medical Supply's inventory, the newspaper report- ed. Keeler's Medical Supply's co-owner Chuck Vetsch and employee Brad Vetsch will have a five-year non-compete agree- ment, it reported. 14 HM e new S / o C tober 2017 / www. HM enew S . C o M Aeroflow stands for customers, co-workers and community By John Andrews, Contributing e ditor ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow's com- mitment to what it calls "The 3Cs" says it all about the 2017 HME Excellence Award first- place winner. The Asheville, N.C.-based provider uses a focused com- mitment to "customers, co- workers and community" to make the right strategic decisions. "Every strategic decision we make is checked against the 3Cs," said President and CEO Casey Hite. "Does it align with all three? If we can say 'yes' to HME Exc E ll E nc E Aeroflow: Minding the 3Cs that, we know it's the right deci- sion." By using the 3Cs as a frame- work, Aeroflow serves the HME marketplace confidently, with- out regard to current conven- tions, taking risks and forging new approaches to patient care. "One of our core values is to be dynamic," Hite said. "It is bred into everything that we do, starting with the employees we hire, all the way through to the products and services we provide, and how we go to market. We're not afraid to think differently and take chances, and we have an excep- tional team of people constantly working together to make us the best." By Theres A Fl A her T y, Managing e ditor WINDSOR, Colo. – As an 18-year- old HME patient, Lucy Sodre learned how critical the right equipment is to the recov- ery process. At 21, she began working for a Miami-based provider. As Medicare guide- lines started tightening up and patients began finding it harder to obtain coverage for needed equipment, she found herself no longer able to stomach it. "I was not happy calling a patient in the hospital and telling them their insurance doesn't consider them cov- ered," said Sodre, owner of I Love Lucy's Home Medical Supply in Windsor, Colo. "That was heartbreaking for me." Sodre switched gears for several years, but when she and her husband relocated to Colorado, she was encouraged to try again, this time launch- ing her own retail location in August. She spoke with HME News recently about HME News about her business phi- losophy and why she has to refrain from stopping strang- ers on the street. HME N E ws: What attracted you to the HME industry? Lucy Sodre: I fell in love with everything that has to do with New biz: I Love Lucy's launches L A K E F O R E S T, C a l i f . – Apria Healthcare has launched a new program for patients on non-invasive ventilation that it says significantly reduces hospital admissions. As part of the Apria Clini- cal Evidence (ACE) program, respiratory therapists perform regularly scheduled home vis- its to help patients maintain compliance with therapy and intervene as needed to get patients back on track. Dur- ing the visits, RTs monitor each patient's progress and record their responses to a number of quality of life indicators, as well as docu- ment emergency department visits and unplanned hospital admissions. New Apria program reduces readmissions By Theres A Fl A her T y, Managing e ditor BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Provider Jona- than Greenstein may be one of the last of a dying breed: an independently owned HME that offers the gamut of home medi- cal equipment and supplies. "We are one of the last of the one-stop shops," said Green- stein, CEO of Mercy Home Care and Medical Supply. "There are very few things we don't do, except for advanced respiratory." Greenstein founded the com- pany in 1994. Mercy Home Care specializes in advanced wound care and medical disposables. Other product offerings include oxygen, walkers, wheelchairs, commodes and Bi-pap machines. The last of the one-stop shops? A E R O F L O W s e e n e x t pa g e helping people who are going through a daily struggle, from the simplest things like putting on your shoes to walking again. Giving someone a product that really helps makes a huge dif- ference. HME: What was your personal experience with HME? Sodre: When I was 18, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my throat, and then we realized the thyroid was involved, as well. I was discharged with four drainage bags on my neck and would get reflux. I had to rely on lift chairs and I couldn't sleep flat. No one could help me or give me the education I needed. The first company that delivered the lift chair never asked me my height and weight, so the first chair was for someone who weighed 400 pounds. HME: How does that impact how you serve customers today? Sodre: I feel like stopping every person I see and saying "Your walker is not adjusted prop- erly." I see it every day. In our store, if you come in and you want a cane, I ask you what side is your weakest. I measure it for you. We are not here just to sell you something—we are here to give you what you need to get you through your day. HME "Apria is uniquely posi- tioned to help these patients reduce hos- pital admis- s i o n s b y p r o v i d i n g them with t h e t o o l s and support t h e y n e e d for success," s a i d D a n Starck, CEO of Apria Health- care. "Through the ACE pro- gram, we have seen tremen- dous success in reducing hos- pital admissions when com- paring the six months prior to initiating therapy with the six months post therapy, partic- ularly for patients diagnosed with COPD." HME Despite low reimbursement from Medicaid and other payers for disposables, the company tries to do right by its patients, says Greenstein. "It becomes financially chal- lenging—we try to do our best within the confines of their insurance," he said. "Most of these are very low value, low markup, but there's volume." To stay viable, providers need to constantly look for new ave- nues of revenue. Mercy Home Care, for example, has an online retail presence, including on Amazon. "I think Amazon is going to take over the world," said Green- stein. "Before this, I worked for g R E E N S T E I N s e e n e x t pa g e A E roFlow's Asheville, N . C . , headquarters . Dan Starck

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