In brief: More sign on for MPP, Hanger has banner year

Friday, November 2, 2012

WASHINGTON – Despite the all-encompassing elections, H.R. 6490, a bill that would replace competitive bidding with an industry-backed market-pricing program (MPP), picked up eight new co-sponsors last week, bringing the total to 27. The newest co-sponsors: Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio; Rob Wittman, R-Va.; Mike Coffman, R-Colo.; William Keating, D-Mass.; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; Peter King, R-N.Y.; Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.; and Terri Sewell, D-Ala. To keep tabs on the official tally of co-sponsors for the bill, go to the Thomas websiteand search for H.R. 6490.

Hanger logs ‘best year’ for acquisitions

AUSTIN, Texas – Hanger, Inc. announced Oct. 29 that it has acquired a total of 16 patient care companies in 15 states this year. These patient care companies employ 150 clinicians and staff, and have total revenues of $35.6 million year to date, according to a press release. “We have exceeded our goal to acquire sales of approximately $20 million in 2012,” stated President and CEO Vinit Asar. “In fact, 2012 is our best year in over 10 years in terms of the number of O&P acquisitions and sales acquired.” It’s possible that Hanger may still make one or more additional acquisitions before year's end, according to the release. “Our pipeline of transactions remains healthy,” Asar stated. For a list of the acquired patient care companies, go here: Hanger provides orthotic and prosthetic patient care services, distributes O&P devices and components, and provides therapeutic solutions for the broader post-acute market.

Provider acquisitions: MedCare, Alpine, ATG Rehab

MedCare Equipment Company, a Greensburg, Pa.-based provider of medical equipment and respiratory therapy services, has purchased Great Lakes Home Healthcare Services’ home medical equipment division, according to a press release. The new partnership expands MedCare’s service area to include the northwest corner of western Pennsylvania, as well as portions of southern New York…Salt Lake City-based Alpine Home Medical has acquired ReMed Medical, according to a press release. The acquisition of ReMed, located in Richfield, Utah, marks the opening of the company’s tenth branch in the state, including remote locations and its service center…ATG Rehab buys Marshall Mobility…ATG Rehab has acquired McAllen, Texas-based Marshall Mobility Plus. Marshall Mobility serves more than 300 clients across the Rio Grande Valley and works with 30 clinical facilities in that area. The company will now be part of ATG Rehab's South Central Region. Marshall Mobility's two ATPs, two rehab technicians and seven support staff workers will join ATG Rehab.

Studies: OSA treatment, healthcare spending

A new study suggests that treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could reduce blood pressure in men with hypertension. The study, which recently appeared in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, examined the effectiveness of CPAP treatment on high blood pressure and diabetes control in 221 men with preexisting hypertension or Type 2 diabetes and a new diagnosis of OSA. Results showed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly with CPAP treatment at both the first follow-up (three to six months after initiation) and the second follow-up (nine to 13 months later)…Since 1980, Medicare spending in the U.S. has grown almost three times faster than spending on a similar population group in Canada, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in October. Spending per Medicare enrollee rose from $1,215 in 1980 to $9,446 in 2009 in the U.S. vs. $2,141 to $9,292, respectively, in Canada, according to the study, which was conducted by David Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, at the School of Urban Public Health at City University of New York. Adjusted for inflation, those figures translate to a 198.7% growth rate in the U.S. compared with 73% in Canada.

Short takes: Orchid, Sunset, UroMed, Advanced

Las Vegas–based Orchid Medical has partnered with Walgreens to provide home medical equipment and supplies to injured workers, it was announced Oct. 31. Under the program, customers can obtain needed equipment from Walgreen's 7,900 locations. The 10-year-old Orchid Medical specializes in workers' compensation…Chicago-based Sunset Healthcare Solutions has launched a nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. As part of its annual “Tubes for Tots” campaign, the company will donate a portion of the sales from every six-foot CPAP tube sold in November and December to the foundation…UroMed, a provider of incontinence supplies, has teamed up with PatientPoint and Cure Medical to provide educational materials on incontinence and catheterization in urology exam rooms. The educational resources provide patients with health information and discussion starters to support conversations with physicians…Advanced Affordable Diabetics has added a wholesale division to provide lower cost products to certain HMO members, it announced Oct. 25. Advanced, which is currently contracted with two HMOs, will provide glucose meters at no cost to members, it stated in a press release. The provider will also offer technical support and customer service.

People news

AG Industries has added Jo Anna Dvorak as national sales manager and clinical director, Homecare Division. Dvorak, formerly of Tiara Medical Systems/CareFusion will be working closely with providers to develop new products and programs…MK Battery has named Dennis Sharpe global director, HME Business, and Bret Tracy associate director, HME Business.