In brief: AAH boosts lobbying efforts, Upstate buys, Graymark sells

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare has retained "top" Washington, D.C., government relations firm Mehlman Vogel Casatagnetti (MVC), the association announced recently. AAHomecare is working with the firm on repealing competitive bidding, delaying the elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs and other issues. "To meet the many legislative and regulatory challenges the HME sector faces, the association has expanded its government affairs staff in recent years," stated AAHomecare President Tyler Wilson. "While the in-house expertise and experience available to work on issues has grown considerably, the board of directors and staff believe that it would help to have a top Washington lobbying firm working with us."

Upstate HomeCare buys Mowhawk Valley Home Care

CLINTON, N.Y. - Upstate HomeCare has acquired Mohawk Valley Home Care and, as a result, it will increase its workforce by about 10% and expand its headquarters, the company announced last week. Currently, Upstate HomeCare has 120 employees. The provider has purchased two buildings adjacent to its headquarters that it will renovate, doubling its current space. Mohawk Valley Home Care is a subsidiary of Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare. As a result of the acquisition, Upstate HomeCare will supply IV therapies, oxygen and DME through Faxton. Mohawk will maintain its nursing license and continue to provide those services.

Graymark refocuses on sleep

OKLAHOMA CITY - Graymark Healthcare plans to sell its independent pharmacy division, ApothecaryRx, to Walgreens, it was announced last week. Graymark plans to focus on its sleep business. "Rapid growth in the sleep segment, strong margins, and the lack of a definitive market leader in the sleep apnea space make this a very desirable area for our focus and investment," stated Stanton Nelson, chairman and CEO of Graymark Healthcare, in a release. The move is in line with its plans to continue its growth, both organically and through acquisitions. The deal, which would include all 18 ApothecaryRx stores located in five states, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Competitive bidding fact sheet available

BALTIMORE - CMS has made available a competitive bidding fact sheet for referral sources. The fact sheet, "The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program: Fact Sheet for Referral Agents," can be found at It's also available in hardcopy form, free of charge, from the MLN. FMI: Visit (click on "MLN Product Ordering Page" in the "Related Links Inside CMS" section).