In brief: AAH says HME is 'essential,' The Scooter Store gets $25M infusion, ATG Rehab adds WestMed Rehab

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ARLINGTON, Va. – AAHomecare on June 6 sent a letter to CMS asking the agency to identify home medical equipment providers as “essential components” of accountable care organizations (ACOs). The association told CMS Administrator Donald Berwick: “DMEPOS providers—working in close collaboration with primary care practitioners and specialists—can reduce or delay repeat hospitalizations or more costly skilled nursing care.” The comments were submitted in response to a CMS proposed rule published April 7. A provision in the Affordable Care Act encourages groups of providers to work together to manage and coordinate care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries through ACOs. Read AAHomecare’s full letter here.

The Scooter Store gets $25M infusion

BOSTON – Crystal Financial announced June 9 that it has closed a $25 million round of financing for The Scooter Store. The Scooter Store, an affiliated portfolio company of the private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, will use the funds for refinancing existing credit facility and for recapitalization, according to a press release. Crystal Financial originates, underwrites and manages secured loans to middle market companies in all industries. Its team of debt-structuring experts have made more than $20 billion in loans, according to the release. Mike Pfister, The Scooter Store’s executive vice president of government relations and external affairs, told HME News in February that the company needed help transitioning to a 13-month capped rental model for standard power wheelchairs, a change that went into effect Jan. 1. To read more of our interview with Pfister, go here.

ATG Rehab adds WestMed Rehab

Company now has 28 offices in 20 states

ROCKY HILL, Conn. – ATG Rehab has acquired the mobility and complex rehab division of Rapid City, S.D.-based WestMed Rehab, it announced June 9. WestMed Rehab serves more than 800 clients per year through the region’s hospitals, rehab clinics and long-term care facilities, according to a press release. WestMed Rehab will become part of ATG Rehab’s Mountain Region, which is led by Regional President Michele Longo. Patients will continue to receive support from WestMed Rehab ATPs Tony Holso and Joe Luciano, and technician Kary Fahrner. ATG Rehab now has 28 offices in 20 states, according to the release. Tim Pederson, who founded WestMed Rehab with Deb Holso and John Nesland, now leads The National Orthotics & Prosthetics Network at The MED Group. (Click here for a story on Pederson’s new role.)

NAIMES surveys providers on competitive bidding

WASHINGTON – Sixty-six percent of respondents to a NAIMES survey believe industry stakeholders should fight for a repeal of competitive bidding and take all possible action to stop Round 2 of the program. NAIMES launched the survey recently to find out what providers think is the best way to deal with competitive bidding. So far, the survey has been completed by 29 respondents representing 52 locations. Complete the survey here.

Consumer groups: Don’t tax HME

WASHINGTON – Eighteen consumer and disability related organizations sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on June 7 to request that home medical equipment be exempted from the device tax provision in the Affordable Care Act. AAHomecare reported in a bulletin last week that the letter was signed by, among others, the ALS Association, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and the United Spinal Association.

Countdown to Medtrade begins

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Registration is now open for Medtrade, Oct. 24-27 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Show producers Nielsen Expositions are offering an “early-bird” pricing program that includes a $255 rate for the pre-show seminars, Medtrade educational conference and Medtrade Expo; a $99 rate for the Medtrade Educational Conference and Medtrade Expo; and a $25 rate for the Medtrade Expo. For more information, visit

Short takes: MedForce, Roscoe and Posey

MedForce Technologies announced June 8 that it has renewed its partnership with VGM & Associates. Per the partnership, VGM members will qualify for discounts on MedForce’s software…Roscoe Medical announced June 8 that it has appointed Paul Guth president and CEO. He will be responsible for providing overall strategic direction, with an immediate focus on the expansion of the company’s distribution footprint. Previously, Guth was CEO of Artromick International, a provider of medication management and mobile computer cart solutions for the long term care and acute care markets…The Posey Company announced June 7 that it has been awarded a 36-month sole source national agreement for restraints and fall prevention products with Premier Purchasing Partners, the group purchasing unit of the Premier healthcare alliance. The agreement is effective Aug. 1.