HME News

JAN 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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Mobility h M e N ew S / j AN u AR y 2019 / www.h M e N ew S . C o M 15 By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor SAN DIEGO – Mobility Solutions has opened a new office in Los a ngeles after snagging a contract with the Rancho Los a migos n ational Rehabilitation c enter. i t's a welcome development for Mobil- ity Solutions, which, like other providers, physicians and hospitals in c alifornia, has been squeezed by a 5% across-the-board reimbursement cut from Medi- c al, the state's Medicaid program, for the past Mobility Solutions spreads out in Calif. few years. " i t would be nice if the state would restore some of the (payments) they've taken from us, but we're actually doing pretty well, as far as our business is con- cerned," said Marty Helsing, owner and president of Mobility Solutions. Rancho Los a migos n ational Rehabili- tation c enter in d owney is one of the larg- est rehabilitation hospitals in the country, caring for about 4,000 inpatients and ser- vicing about 71,000 outpatients each year. a nother possible target for expansion for Mobility Solutions, which also has offices in San d iego and c olton: Orange c ounty. "Out here, it's contracts, contracts, con- tracts," Helsing said. " e veryone is going after the same business." e veryone including the national com- plex rehab providers, especially n ational Seating & Mobility. "We've been here so long—we've been in San d iego for 25 years—that if you keep doing it right and if you're aggressive, you'll (get the contracts)," Helsing said. a new governor, Gavin n ewsom, is set to assume office on Jan. 7, but Helsing doesn't expect the change in leadership to have much of an impact on Medi- c al reimbursement. "We expect him to do a lot of the things that (Gov. Jerry Brown) did—it all comes down to the budget," he said. "Medi- c al rates are OK, but you have to pay attention." hme 'Out here, it's contracts, contracts, contracts. Everyone is going after the same business,' says Owner and President Marty Helsing S u SAN BLANTON c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e RELIABLE ON THE M&A TRAIL c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e like-minded, but smaller, company. "We want to find a mom-and-pop that has the same values, the same culture, the same mission statement as we do of putting the patient first," Kalk said. a fter working through the growing pains of adding a Rochester, Minn., branch a few years ago, Reliable Medical Supply believes it now has the systems and processes in place to expand in as seamless a way as possible. "When we opened in Rochester, it was a struggle," Kalk said. "We're just now seeing normal referral patterns there. But i think we have it down now." Reliable Medical Supply also has the benefit of specializing in two product cat- egories that have, so far, not been included in Medicare's competitive bidding program, which has significantly reduced reimburse- ment for other product categories. i t also does business with a mix of Medicare and non-Medicare payers. "They're very well diversified," said hme News: Why should OTs and PTs have exposure to liberal arts and human- ities? Sarah Blanton: Most students come into our program with a background in exercise science, so they have no back- ground in liberal arts and humanities. The liberal arts and humanities provide a lens for us to view our work that fos- ters a sense of reflexivity to be better able to look at different perspectives and use creative problem solving. hme : How does that view have an impact day-to-day? Blanton: When thinking about a new wheelchair, for example, if i understand the concepts of visual design, then i can think on a deeper level about technol- ogy and the perspectives of the person using it. Without that, we're losing sight of why we're here: truly helping other people, as cliché as that sounds. hme : How does the journal help inform the liberal arts and humanities side of rehabilitation? Blanton: What's unique about rehab is it's very interdisciplinary. i t's about OTs and PTs working with medical equip- ment companies and a TPs and others. So it brings them all together and gets them to hear each others' voices. hme : Have you been getting an ade- quate number of submissions to sustain the journal? Blanton: That part has been coming along nicely. i t's a steady flow. We're more restricted in that we don't have enough staff to publish more frequent- ly. Right now, we're biyearly and we'd like to at least get up to quarterly. hme : How are you looking into publish- ling more frequently? Blanton: Our sole sponsor since we started publishing in 2015 has been e mory and they have been great. We're experimenting with a corporate spon- sor page, but we want to make sure that their intentions are aligned with ours. We're in unchartered territory. hme Bradley Smith, a managing director and partner at Vertess, which facilitated the transaction. "Their product mix is diver- sified, with about half in complex rehab and half in other tranches, and their payer mix is diversified. They're pretty insulated from risk." Reliable Medical Sup- ply interviewed a num- ber of both outside and strategic investors, but chose Seven Hills because of its focus on health care and its respect for its mission. The firm now participates on the provider's board of directors. "There were a number of companies that were interested, including national provid- ers," Kalk said. "But we didn't want that. We want to stay localized and not get so crazy big that we lose sight of what we're doing." hme EXPE c T NEW BOARD MAKE u P AT N u MOTION c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e Rogers of a udax; Timothy Burf- ield, who co-founded a TG; and Mark Vachon of bluebird bio, a biotech company, and formerly of G e , where Swinford worked previously. While n umotion's inorganic growth has dominated much of the headlines, the company has also grown organically, something it expects to accelerate under aea , Swinford points out. "We've done different market research studies and we much more clearly understand all the different segments of the industry," he said. "There's opportunity to grow everywhere." e xpect inorganic growth to also continue under aea , despite con- siderable consolidation already. "Whether they add a new geography or a new capability in terms of how we're serving the market—there are still hun- dreds and hundreds of complex rehab providers out there," Swin- ford said. " i t's still a fragmented market." i ncreasingly, n umotion is focus- ing on acquisition targets that add another layer to the company's business model, Swinford says. "We want to learn from them and apply those learnings to the rest of the company," he said. "We tend to be clinic-focused, but a company like Medsource focus- es on family practice physicians because their patients are in more rural areas and might not have access to clinics." i t's still early days under aea , but n umotion is "energized," Swinford says. hme HO u SE PASSES RELIE f f OR A cc ESSORIES c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 d ec. 6. a t press time, the bill was set for a vote in the Senate. The bill also provides a perma- nent exemption from the competi- tive bidding program for complex rehab manual wheelchair bases. c MS hasn't included these bases in the program or applied pricing from the program to them, but this would make that official. " i t's not prohibited by legislation, so this really closes the loop and prevents any misunderstanding," said d on c layback, executive direc- tor of nca RT. "This is particularly important now, with c MS making modifications to the bid program." This latest development comes after years of hard work that began to pay off in d ecember of 2015, when industry champions were able to stave off bid pricing for accessories for complex rehab power wheelchairs for a year. They were able to do that again in d ecem- ber 2016 for another six months. c MS then decided not to apply the pricing for accessories for com- plex power wheelchairs starting July 1, 2017. Bid pricing for com- plex rehab manual wheelchairs, however, has been in place since Jan. 1, 2016. hme Bradley Smith

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