In brief: Drive buys ActiveCare, Invacare reports lower earnings, NCART urges participation

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive Medical announced last week that it has acquired ActiveCare Medical, a manufacturer and distributor of power wheelchairs and scooters. Drive Medical says ActiveCare Medical’s products will complement its existing portfolio. ActiveCare Medical says Drive Medical's distribution capabilities and resources will allow it to expand its business across North America. ActiveCare Medical will operate as a division of Drive Medical and its president, Steve Neese, will be responsible for the power mobility product category for Drive Medical. Drive Medical announced earlier this month that it acquired Inovo/Chad Therapeutics.

Invacare reports lower earnings, adjusts guidance

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare last week reported $12.8 million in net earnings for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2011, compared to $15.6 million for the same period last year. It reported net sales of $456.5 million vs. $437.5 million. Invacare reported $30.9 million in net earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2011, compared to $18.1 million for the same period last year. It reported net sales of $1.35 billion vs. $1.27 billion. With “continuing pressure on gross margin,” Invacare narrowed its guidance: to between $2.05 and $2.10 from $2.05 to $2.15 for adjusted earnings per share; to between 2.5% to 3% from 3.5% to 4.5% for organic net sales growth; and to between $80 million and $90 million from $85 million to $95 million for free cash flow. Items of note in the earnings report: Invacare is on track to close two facilities, one in the European segment and one in the North America/HME segment, for an expected savings of $3.5 million; it has acquired Dynamic Medical Systems, which will geographically expand its current rental capabilities for long-term care providers; and it acquired the technology and assets of a negative pressure wound therapy system currently in development.

NCART: Register for Medicaid Summit

ST. LOUIS – NCART reminds rehab suppliers, manufacturers, states association directors and other interested parties to register for its National Medicaid Summit, Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in St. Louis at the Marriott Airport Hotel. “With all the Medicaid challenges, you need to be informed and active within your state,” NCART Executive Director Don Clayback stated. "By attending the Summit, you’ll leave armed with the knowledge and tools to better defend against coverage and payment cuts that hurt your customers and your business." There are a limited number of seats and hotel rooms. Register online at

Want home infusion benchmarks? NHIA has them

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) last week released a study of the alternate site infusion industry. The 2010 NHIA Provider Survey Comprehensive Analysis Report gathered data from single site, multi-site and national infusion providers on information like patient demographics, revenue by therapy and payer type, and full-time equivalent staffing for key positions. The study is part of a multi-year effort to establish financial, operations, human resource and clinical benchmarks for the industry. It's available at

Part B premiums, deductibles decrease

WASHINGTON – The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $99.90 in 2010, a decrease of $15.50 from 2011, CMS announced last week. The Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011. The majority of people with Medicare have paid $96.40 per month for Part B since 2008, due to a law that freezes Part B premiums in years where beneficiaries do not receive cost-of-living adjustment increases in their Social Security checks. In 2012, these people will pay the standard Part B premium of $99.90, amounting to a monthly change of $3.50. This increase will be offset for almost all seniors and people with disabilities by the additional income they will receive thanks to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

Medtrade show shorts

A seven-week online sales course with Michael Sperduti, president and CEO of Emerge Sales is now being offered by the VGM Group. The "Seven Step Sales Process" course, designed specifically for HME companies, offers a step-by-step approach to improve sales performance...Invacare Supply Group has entered into a mutual marketing agreement with Agape Medical Management to offer providers a "bid to billing" solution for Round 2 of competitive bidding...Brightree launched an interactive voice solution at the show. The company says the solution integrates patient interaction and revenue management into a single platform...Drive Medical launched a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) at the show: the Oxus Reliability Plus.