In brief: Linde is close, AAH talks tax, ATG makes buy

Friday, August 10, 2012

MUNICH, Germany – The Linde Group announced Aug. 8 that it completed its tender offer for Clearwater, Fla.-based Lincare. As of midnight on Aug. 7, when the tender offer expired, 73,441,467 shares of Lincare common stock were tendered and not withdrawn, representing 83.87% of shares then outstanding. There are commitments to tender 9,393,638 additional shares, representing 10.73% of shares then outstanding. Linde has accepted for payment, at $41.50 per share, the shares tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer, according to a press release. “Linde intends to complete the acquisition of Lincare through a short-from merger without a vote or meeting of Lincare’s shareholders,” the release states. “Upon completion of the merger, Lincare will become a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Linde. Lincare’s common stock will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.” Linde, which has 51,000 employees in more than 100 countries, generated revenue of EUR 13.79 billion in fiscal year 2011.

AAH, IRS meet on device tax
WASHINGTON – AAHomecare met with the U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS staff last week to discuss its concerns that a 2.3% medical device tax will apply to respiratory devices and other HME and supplies. AAHomecare asked the administration to expand the exemption outlined in its proposed rule to include all HME and supplies. The exemption applies to medical devices generally purchased by the general public at retail for individual use. “The meeting was positive and the administration staff seemed open to AAHomecare’s suggestions,” the association stated in a bulletin. The administration is scheduled to release a final rule on the tax this fall. The tax is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Kohll’s hosts meeting to discuss bidding
OMAHA, Neb. – Kohll’s Pharmacy and Homecare will host a meeting of congressmen, Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals and an economist to talk about competitive bidding Aug. 22. Omaha is a Round 2 competitive bidding area. Invited guests include Ken Brown, an economics professor at the University of Northern Iowa who completed a study documenting the impact of the program on Iowa. The VGM Group and the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) are co-sponsors of the meeting.

ATG Rehab gains four locations in most recent buy
ROCKYHILL, Conn. – ATG Rehab has acquired the complex rehab segment of Texas-based United Rehab Specialists (URS), the provider announced last week. URS's Dallas, Austin, Waco and Houston locations will join ATG Rehab's South Central Region, adding nine ATPs and 42 employees to the ATG Rehab team. This is the third complex rehab segment purchase for ATG Rehab in the past month. ATG Rehab has been on the acquisition trail since January 2011, when Audax Private Equity became a majority investor.

Politicians talk up PMD templates
WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. is working to convince CMS to allow a clinical medical necessity template to be part of a physician's medical record for power mobility devices.  He circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter through Aug. 8 stating that the PMD demonstration project, set to start Sept. 1, will prevent Medicare recipients from getting wheelchairs without a template in place to help physicians with documentation. He pointed out that state Medicaid programs and private payers use templates, and that adding a template to Medicare's process would not delay the demo. View the letter at

Home Health International: New name, new target
VERO BEACH, Fla. – Home Health International will significantly expand the DME side of its business, it announced last week. The company, a home health agency and DME provider, will broaden its offerings in the following product categories, according to a release: mobility aids, diabetic supplies, resident monitoring/fall alarms, diagnostics and therapy aids. “Building upon the current product offerings in these key areas allows Home Health International to meet the needs of its own home health agency patients while lowering costs and maximizing revenues,” the release states. “Furthermore, the expanded product catalog will allow the company to attract a broader industry audience.” Home Health International was incorporated in 2006. It was known as Micro Mammoth Solutions until 2010, when its board of directors approved a stock purchase agreement by Atlas Capital Partners and it changed its name to Atlas Capital Holdings. It then received shareholder and board approval to change its name to Home Health International in 2012.

Short takes: HDI, McKesson, Medline
George Holley, former CEO and chairman of Home Diagnostics Inc., has pled guilty to insider-trading charges, according to news reports. Holley, 72, admitted that he tipped off his cousin and a friend that Japan-based Nipro Corp. would acquire his company. Shares of HDI rose 89% after the acquisition was announced…From Aug. 1 to Nov. 30, 10% of the proceeds from the purchase of McKesson’s instant hand sanitizer will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation…Medline has expanded its urological product offering with a strategic agreement to distribute Teleflex’s Rusch brand of specialty urological products.

People: Tom Cesar
Tom Cesar, formerly of ACHC, has created a new company, Tom Cesar Management Solutions, to help small businesses implement management strategies to improve business productivity. Cesar will present at Medtrade on “The Balanced Scorecard—What Gets Measured Gets Done.”