In brief: Liberty files for bankruptcy, lawmakers push for MPP score

Friday, February 22, 2013

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Just months after a group of company execs bought Liberty Medical from its parent company, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 15, according to news reports. In its filing, Liberty Medical cites between $100 million and $500 million in both assets and liabilities, and between 1,000 and 5,000 employees. It lists several unsecured creditors with disputed claims, including CGS Administrators, a Medicare claims processor, for $137.2 million; and its former owner Medco Health Solutions, a unit of Express Scripts Holding Co., for $14.2 million. President and CEO Frank Harvey told local news station WPTV that several unexpected events led to the filing, including a dispute with Express Scripts over tax liabilities and a significant recoupment by Medicare. “When you look at the recoupment, the federal government is pulling back $3.2 million a month from us, and they will not even give us a court date,” he told WPTV. “They could continue to do that for a long time.” Medco Health Solutions acquired Liberty Medical’s parent company, Polymedica Corp., which has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in 2007. Express Scripts Holding Co. purchased Medco in April but then announced plans to divest the business. Express Scripts sold the business to the execs in December. Liberty Medical provides diabetes supplies to more than 1 million Americans, according to its web site.

Ohio lawmakers to CBO: Score MPP

WASHINGTON – In letters this month, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and a group of 11 congressmen from the state urged the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score the market-pricing program (MPP). In the letters, lawmakers expressed concern about the Round 2 expansion of competitive bidding. “Without considerable changes to the program, we have reservations about the ability of CMS to expand the program while maintaining beneficiary access and quality,” the congressmen stated in their letter. The congressmen also stated that they believe MPP could rectify some of the problems with the current program: “We believe the MPP presents a sustainable, budget-neutral alternative based upon sound economic principles embraced by auction experts nationwide.”

Invacare shifts production

ELYRIA, Ohio – Employees in some departments at Invacare’s Taylor Street facility will soon work three-day instead of five-day shifts, according to an article from The Morning Journal, a newspaper based in Lorain, Ohio. The changes are a result of an agreement between Invacare and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Spokeswoman Lara Mahoney told the newspaper the plan is evolving and that schedule specifics are not yet available. She said that there would be no additional layoffs at the facility, according to the newspaper.

ATG, USM announce new name

ROCKY HILL, Conn. and ST. LOUIS – Nearly two months after ATG Rehab and United Seating & Mobility (USM) merged, they have announced its new name: Numotion. The new company is led by both USM President Bob Gouy as Numotion’s executive chairman of the board and ATG Rehab President Paul Bergantino as Numotion’s president. Numotion has 124 locations in 39 states.

ResMed promotes Michael Farrell to CEO

POWAY, Calif. – Michael “Mick” Farrell, president of ResMed’s Americas division since 2011, will replace his father, Peter Farrell, as CEO and be appointed to the company’s board effective March 1, according to a press release. Peter Farrell will remain executive chairman through the end of the year, then non-executive chairman. “It was easily determined that members of the very talented and experienced team that have driven much of the company’s great success over the past decade would be the best suited to lead the company to its next stage of growth and development,” stated Gary Pace,ResMed’s lead director and chairman of the board’s succession committee.Rob Douglas, COO, will become president.

Longhorn Health Solutions lands new investor

AUSTIN, Texas – Satori Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has agreed to invest in Longhorn Health Solutions, an Austin-based distributor of medical supplies for conditions like incontinence and diabetes, according to a press release. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Satori Managing Partner Sunny Vanderbeck says the firm generally invests in companies with enterprise values of between $25 million and $75 million. Britt Peterson, Longhorn’s founder and CEO, will remain at the company’s helm. Longhorn delivers supplies to the homes of consumers who are customers of various managed care organizations.

Vendor short takes

Fastrack has teamed up with Authentidate to develop an interface for online referral and order management. The new interface links Authentidate’s referral and order management solution with Fastrack’s Enterprise System, automating electronic record transfers between the two systems, the release stated… Michigan Home Health Association (MHHA) members now have access to discounts on accreditation and other products thanks to a new partnership with the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC)ZirMed, a provider of revenue cycle management and information solutions for healthcare companies, has appointed Kimberly Labow vice president of marketing.