In brief: NSM up for sale, provider blames cuts for closures

Friday, May 20, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wellspring Capital Management is shopping for a buyer for National Seating & Mobility, according to news reports last week.

The private equity firm has hired Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm offering M&A services, to find a buyer for the complex rehab provider, which it says could be worth $400 million, according to an item on citing The Wall Street Journal.

Wellspring Capital acquired NSM in early 2013. At the time, the provider had 68 branches located across 30 states.

Since then, NSM has rolled up dozens of mobility providers, including, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in Reading and Allentown, Pa., in February, and Home Medical Equipment in Garden City, N.Y., last November.

NSM has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October. AccessNSM offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers through seven locations from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

Bill Mixon took over the reins as CEO of NSM from founder Mike Ballard in July 2015.

Home Health United closes four retail stores

MADISON, Wis. – Home Health United-Home Medical Equipment blames recent changes in Medicare reimbursement rates for its decision to close retail stores in Johnson Creek, Platteville, Portage and St. Mary’s Hospital. The provider will continue to provide these communities with HME, as well as home health, hospice and palliative care, but it will no longer have retail storefronts as of May 20. “Suppliers of home medical equipment across the country are dealing with the challenge of how to provide high quality products and services at severely reduced reimbursement rates,” the company says on its website. “These reductions have necessitated many changes in the way in which Home Health United provides equipment to patients and referral sources. Unfortunately, to manage these cuts, we have been forced to make some difficult decisions.” The company still has retail locations in Baraboo, Janesville, Madison West, Prairie du Sac and Reedsburg.

Caire launches program to help with cash flow

BALL GROUND, Ga. – Caire, a Chart Industries company, has launched a new program to help HME providers in today’s challenging reimbursement environment. As part of the Caire Cash Flow Management Program, providers can purchase a complete oxygen setup for $54 per month for 36 months with free shipping. “We understand the challenges that the industry faces and we have created a program that helps our provider partners address some of the challenges stemming from national competitive bidding,” said George Coppola, director of marketing at Caire. The package includes the AirSep, FreeStyle and Caire Companion 5 oxygen concentrators, all with a three-year warranty. A FreeStyle and Companion bundle gives providers a complete setup for a monthly cost well below the declining reimbursement rates for E1390 and E1392, Coppola says. “Providers can switch to a non-delivery modality to eliminate expensive cylinder deliveries, or upgrade their existing non-delivery fleet with new inventory,” he said.

VGM broadens financing options

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM and Associates and Whitebridge Financial have forged a partnership to provide VGM members with better access to financing options. Per the partnership, Whitebridge will offer VGM’s more than 3,000 members nationwide a variety of flexible financing options to meet their diverse needs, with the goal of becoming their “one-stop shop.” “We are constantly looking for better ways to help our members provide easier access to the products their customers need to improve their quality of life,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM and Associates. Whitebridge Financial, in business since 2010, approves a wider range of credit profiles by going “deeper into the credit spectrum,” generating higher acceptance rates, according to a press release. Its customers do business in a variety of markets, including health care, outdoor living, vacation and bedding.

GF hits refresh on Basic American

ATLANTA – GF Health Products has launched a new brand identity for its Basic American Products. The rebrand includes a new logo, and updated marketing materials and educational resources. “The new brand identity reflects our commitment to ongoing innovation, and re-stamps the hallmark of our legacy in quality and leadership in the extended care industry,” said David Walton, senior vice president. Basic American products are manufactured in U.S.-based manufacturing plants. The company also has a 10,000-square-foot showroom and educational center in Atlanta.

Study: Not all oximeters are equal

MINNEAPOLIS – Nonin Medical this week announced the results of an independent study that demonstrates its PureSAT pulse ox technology captures and reports deteriorating patient conditions better than other brands. Boulder, Colo.-based Clinimark Laboratories tested three oximeters: one from Nonin and two from other, large manufacturers. Two of them did not provide the clinical accuracy required to track desaturations in patients with low blood circulation and labored breathing, according to a press release. “Over the years, a number of inexpensive, imported FDA-cleared oximeters have flooded the market, all claiming to be accurate,” said Jim Russell, vice president of quaIity, regulatory and clinical affairs for Nonin Medical. “This study dispels the myth that all pulse oximeters perform alike, especially on challenging patients such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings were published in a white paper at the American Thoracic Society and American Telemedicine Conferences this week.

Short takes: Hollister, NCAMES

Hollisterhas hired medical device veteran Carolin Archibald as vice president, U.S. and Canada, to lead the company’s ostomy, continence care and critical care businesses. In this newly created position, Archibald will also oversee the company’s Secure Start services and key accounts organizations in the U.S. and Canada. She was most recently president of Medela in the U.S., where she led more than 700 employees in sales, marketing, business development, R&D, operations, quality management, regulatory affairs, finance, IT and HR…NCAMES has launched a new website. It’s the same URL,, with a new look. The website is powered by ARI Network Services, a gold sponsor of the association for 2016.