HME News

NOV 2018

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 ■ Respiratory Services of WNY takes home second place. See story this page. Great Elm Capital fuels Valley's growth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Hurricane Florence tests HME providers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Q&A with John Ehlinger on investment opportunity . . . . 12 Rick's Medical buys DMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 BRIEFS Reliable Respiratory 'welcomes' new ventilator patients NORWOOD, Mass. – Reliable Respiratory has acquired the ventilation business of New Bedford, Mass.–based Enos Home Medi- cal. "Ventilator care is one of the most in- tensive and highest acuity lines of home care for patients," said Eric Mongeau, vice president of sales and marketing at Reliable Respiratory in a press release. The deal is the latest in a growth spurt for Reliable Respiratory. In June, it acquired Mount Auburn Hospital DME in Cam- bridge, Mass., and in August, it launched Integrate Vent Solutions to serve as the exclusive New England distributor of the VOCSN, a portable device that combines a ventilator, oxygen concentrator, cough as- sist, suction and nebulizer into one unified system. The deal will allow Enos to focus on its core services, including hospice and nursing services. "Our patients' best interests are always a driving factor in our business decisions," said CEO Jon Enos, in a press release. "And, it is with great confidence and assurance that we have selected Reliable Re- spiratory to care for our ventilation patients moving forward. We know they will receive the latest technology and the highest qual- ity care. It also feels good to know our vent patients are going from one-family owned company to another." AvaCare donates to Florence relief efforts LAKEWOOD, N.J. – AvaCare Medical recently donated $1 from each order placed during a five-day period in September to Friends of Disabled Adults and Children disaster relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Flor- ence. "With the onset of Hurricane Florence, we understood the need for DME and other products to be sent to emergency shelters, and we were thankful to have the opportu- nity to give back to our consumers by work- ing with FODAC to promote their cause and partially fund their efforts," said CEO Steven Zeldes, in an email to HME News. Short take: CareCentrix CareCentrix, a post- acute care management provider, announced that several of its technology platforms used in con- junction with electronic personal health informa- tion have earned certified status for information security by HITRUST. "The HITRUST CSF is the gold-standard, and we are pleased to demonstrate our commitment to patient data privacy and safety by achieving this certification," said John Driscoll, CEO of CareCentrix. 12 HME NEWS / NOVEMBER 2018 / WWW.HMENEWS.COM BY THERESA FLAHERTY, Managing Editor W HILE MANY investors are afraid of what CMS has done to reimburse- ment, Great Elm Capital sees it as an opportunity, says John Ehlinger, managing director. GCE is a publicly trad- ed holding company that made its first homecare deal in September when it partnered with Mesa, Ariz.- based Valley Healthcare Group to acquire Portland, Ore.-based Northwest Medical and combine the two companies. "CMS has catalyzed an interesting position where they cooled the sector to investment from financial buyers," he said. "It also made it difficult for a company to be profitable, but those companies that were good operators showed their mettle." Ehlinger spoke with HME News recently about why GCE is bullish on HME. HME NEWS: What attracted GCE to the HME market? John Ehlinger: We are in an environment where there's a lot of investment dollars chas- ing high gross opportunities that are new and innovative and easily sell a story. An industry where CMS has cut prices doesn't sell well to BY THERESA FLAHERTY, Managing Editor WILMINGTON, N.C. – In the aftermath of Hurri- cane Florence in September, HME provid- ers struggled to get back to business as usual and scrambled to make contact with a large population of displaced patients. Even as the water started to recede, they feared the worst wasn't over. "There are rivers that still haven't crested," said Brad Heath, vice president of operations and marketing for Dunn, N.C.-based Family Medical Supply. Carolinians are no strangers to hurricanes, but the slow-moving Florence, which made landfall in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept. 14, drenched the region in upward of 50 inches of rain in some areas, causing widespread flooding and power outages. Major highways and more than a thousand other roads closed, and 42 deaths, 31 in North Carolina and nine in South Carolina, have been reported. Nearly a week later, Family Medical Sup- ply still had some locations without phones or power, including its locations in the hard- est-hit towns of New Bern and Wilmington, but they're all staffed, Heath said. "We've had more patients than usual evac- BY JOHN ANDREWS, Contributing Editor CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Take care of the patient and the rest takes care of itself. While it may not be that simple, Respi- ratory Services of Western New York does focus on the clinical component first, knowing that it is what drives the finan- cial end of the business. As owner Michael McCartney insists: "Don't ever lose sight of the importance of patient care." The HME Excellence Award runner-up won favor from the judging panel for its clinical focus, COPD management pro- gram and all-around solidness. That kind of performance doesn't happen by accident, McCartney said. "It's not an easy task," he said. "Because I'm a therapist and owner of the company, I have set the standards and expectations to my clinical staff. Each has their own proj- ects and I hold them accountable. I'm very involved in the day-to-day operations." Operating a top-flight respiratory com- pany is impossible without a staff of trained clinicians dedicated to going the extra mile BY TRACY ORZEL, Contributing Writer ROSEBURG, Ore. – Rick's Medical Supply has acquired Douglas Medical Equipment Sup- ply, adding two new locations and expand- ing its reach to the coast and southern Oregon. "One thing that's attractive to us right now is they had a hospice business, deliver- ing equipment on the Oregon coast which is two hours to the west," said Brad Wat- kins, president. "It's another source of rev- enue stream for us." DMES's location in Roseburg will con- tinue to operate as an HME and will also be home to The Scrubs and More Store, a branch of Rick's, while the North Bend location will be a retail store. DMES's six employees will stay on board, bringing Rick's total to 29 employees. "The scrubs have been excellent," said Watkins. "We've been doing it for about two years. It slides in well with DME because we're a small town. We're deal- ing with referrals on a daily basis that are also our customers for scrubs. Everybody knows everybody." Hurricane Florence tests HME providers uated," he said. "Getting in touch with them is harder than it's been with past storms." With many roads washed out, travel was difficult—and dangerous, say providers. "We couldn't go north, south or east," said Joe Hooks, one of the owners of Whiteville, N.C.-based Liberty Medical. "You don't know if the roads are safe. We tell our guys if you can't do it safely, come back and we'll make another plan." With phone cov- erage at his office off, then on, then off again, Hooks was working from his cell phone. The No. 1 priority: checking on oxygen and home infusion patients. "We provided medications to all our patients the Tuesday before the storm for at least a week," he said. "We started calling these patients on Monday to find out where they are, if they are home or anywhere that we can get to. We did have to turn over a couple in areas we couldn't get to—maybe a hospital could provide some meds to them until we can get back to them." Apria Healthcare has been operating its distribution centers around the clock to get enough backup oxygen cylinders to patients. "In places where they have to evacuate, 'Getting in touch with patients is harder than it's been with past storms,' says one provider Outcomes generate income at Respiratory Services Cuts create opportunity for patients, McCartney said. Also essential is having an open line of communication with referral sources to get clear, accurate Rick's Medical buys DMES RESPIRATORY SERVICES owner Michael McCartney celebrates its acquisition of Home Care Medical Supply. E H L I N G E R S E E N E X T PA G E E X C E L L E N C E S E E N E X T PA G E F L O R E N C E S E E N E X T PA G E R I C K ' S M E D I C A L S E E PA G E 2 1 HME EXCELLENCE: 2ND PLACE John Ehlinger Industry, CMS need 'conver- sation' about disaster relief. See story page 4 Eric Mongeau John Driscoll

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