In brief: AHP revenues drop, Walgreens reorganizes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - American HomePatient last week (AHP) reported revenues of $61.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to $67.8 million for the same period in 2008, a 9.6% drop. Revenues were $236.3 million for all of 2009 compared to $266.9 million for 2008, a 11.5% drop. Net losses were $1.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to a net income of $1.5 million for the same period in 2008. Net losses were $13.1 million for all of 2009 compared to a net income of $500,000 for 2008. AHP blames Medicare reimbursement cuts that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009, for its lackluster performance: They shaved revenues by about $6.5 million in the fourth quarter and $27.4 million for the year. Also hanging over AHP's head: $226.4 million in debt. Its current forbearance agreement expires March 16, 2010.

Walgreens reorganizes healthcare divisions

DEERFIELD, Ill. - Walgreens Health Services Division's specialty pharmacy, infusion pharmacy, mail service pharmacy, medical campus pharmacies, long-term care pharmacy and home care services will move to Walgreens' core Pharmacy Division as part of a restructuring effort, the company announced March 1. The move will enable the company to offer integrated "Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Solutions" to employers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and government clients, the company stated in a release. "Simply put, we are integrating Walgreens 70,000 health care providers, on the front lines of health care across the organization, with a unified sales team offering pharmacy, health and wellness solutions for the benefit of our payer clients and their patients," stated Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson.

Sunrise gains 'some bragging rights'

LONGMONT, Co. - Sunrise Medical is keeping some pretty lofty company these days. Quality Magazine in January ranked the company 60th on its 2010 Quality Leadership 100 List. The publication generated the list from more than 800 manufacturer survey submissions. The annual list recognizes companies that put quality programs in place, provide employee quality training and take other steps designed to produce high-quality products. "We don't try to get this kind of public affirmation for the efforts that we make, but it does give us some bragging rights," said Gary Johnson, Sunrise's vice president of quality. "The end game is a satisfied customer.

AgaMatrix reaches millionth sale

SALEM, N.H. - AgaMatrix passed a major milestone recently, selling its millionth blood glucose meter, the company announced Feb. 23. AgaMatrix makes the WaveSense line of blood glucose monitoring products. The company shipped its first meter in April 2006. "We're excited that patients and healthcare professionals have adopted our products so quickly," Dave Conn, chief commercial officer, stated in a release. "We are looking ahead to selling our two millionth meter soon." Currently, there are 285 million people with diabetes in the world; 27 million of those are in the United States."

Pride helps out with relief efforts in Haiti

EXETER, Pa. -- Pride Mobility Products has pitched in to help earthquake victims in Haiti by donating new wheelchairs and seat cushions to Gleaning for the World, a non-profit humanitarian organization. Falling buildings have injured many legs in Haiti, making wheelchairs one of the most requested items by relief organizations, according to Gleaning for the World. "When we saw the devastation in Haiti, and the countless life-changing injuries that would require wheelchairs, we knew that we had to get involved with mobility solutions fast," Mark E. Smith, Pride mobility's consumer research manager, stated in a release.

Medline expands operations

PLAINFIELD, Ind. - Medline Industries has opened an 180,000-square-foot distribution center here, it was announced last week. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Medline up to $210,000 in performance-based tax credits and $6,000 in training grants. The company hired 50 workers for the new center and employs nearly 6,000 people at 10 manufacturing facilities in North America.

Lymphedema bill introduced

WASHINGTON - A bill that seeks to improve Medicare coverage for lymphedema diagnosis and treatment was introduced Feb. 23 by Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C. The Lymphedema Diagnosis and Cost Saving Act of 2010 would, among other things, establish therapist qualification requirements and require Medicare to pay for compression garments, compression bandage systems and other devices used in the treatment of lymphedema.