Alliance seeks to preserve presence of indie complex rehab providers

Friday, April 11, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – How do indie complex rehab providers successfully compete against growing national companies? By banding together.

Five regional providers have formed an alliance, called One Point Partners, to help them gain an edge they might not have on their own.

“It seemed to me that, as an independent provider, it’s a very challenging reimbursement environment,” said David Hartley, CEO of Home Health Depot, an alliance partner. “We all need to have the volume purchasing power that the nationals have.”

Partners hope to use the alliance not only to leverage group purchasing power but also to learn from each other. They plan to use open-book information sharing and to pool their resources to develop unified technology.

What pushed the partners over the edge to act: the creation of Numotion. Since forming in 2013 as the result of a merger between ATG Rehab and United Seating and Mobility, Numotion has had a steady appetite for acquisitions, consolidating the complex rehab market like never before.

“It sent shockwaves through the independent provider community,” said Hartley.

The alliance will help indie providers not only stay independent but also grow, partners say.

“The independent provider is on the extinction list with the consolidation in the industry,” said Hartley. “I think this is one of the ways large independent providers can band together and weather the storm for the preservation of the large independent.”

Right now the alliance is informal, but a corporation is in the works and members hope to have a legal entity in place by year’s end, partners say. 

“We’re definitely joining forces, but in an independent way,” said Peter Norman, president of Bellevue Healthcare, an alliance partner.

The alliance’s long-term goal is to grow its ranks, partners say. Right now, the partners are Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot; Bellevue, Wash.-based Bellevue Healthcare; Springfield, Mo.-based Therapy Support; Minneapolis-based Reliable Medical; and Latham, N.Y.-based Monroe Wheelchair. 

“I could see in five years having 10 or 15 providers banded together, covering 75% of the U.S,” Hartley said.