In brief: NSM sells to Cinven, Drive closes on $35M in capital

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Friday, October 4, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has agreed to be acquired by Cinven, an international equity firm.

Since 2016, NSM has been owned by Court Square Capital Partners. Prior to that, it was owned by Wellspring Capital Management, which bought the company in 2012.

“This acquisition aligns with our company's continued trajectory of growth, future business goals and, most importantly, our mission,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “Our partnership with Court Square these past three years has led to outstanding growth and significant technological and operational advancements. We look forward to exploring a future of possibilities for those we serve with Cinven and their team of global healthcare investment experts.”

Cinven is an international private equity firm focused on building world-class European and global companies with investments in key sectors, including business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, technology, media and telecommunications.

“This is an attractive opportunity for Cinven to invest in NSM, a leading player in the complex rehab technology market in North America,” said Alex Leslie, a partner at Cinven.  “NSM operates in an industry we have been evaluating deeply for several years through our work in the healthcare sector team in both Europe and the U.S.”

The transaction is expected to close in 45 days.

NSM was founded in 1992 and has grown from five locations to a national network of mobility solutions experts.

Twenty-seven groups support bid bill

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has released a sign-on letter with 27 HME stakeholder groups officially endorsing H.R. 2771, a bill that would provide relief from Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

The association developed the letter to support the bill’s lead sponsors Reps. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Wash., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, as they circulate a “Dear Colleague” letter sking for co-sponsors for H.R. 2771 and work to move the bill forward.

“Over the last few years, Congress and CMS have made significant changes to the DME benefit in Medicare to address serious access issues derived from the DMEPOS competitive bidding program,” states the stakeholder letter. “Your legislation will continue this effort and protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to the DME they need.”

The letter is signed by NCART, NRRTS, AARC, CQRC, several state HME associations and others.

H.R. 2771, which would make permanent a 50-50 blended reimbursement rate in rural areas and would introduce a 75-25 rate for non-rural, non-bid areas, currently has 43 co-sponsors.

AAHomecare recently issued a challenge to the HME industry, asking them to contact House members who co-sponsored H.R. 4229 in the last congressional session and ask them to sign onto H.R. 2771.

The association is encouraging providers to use the stakeholder letter in their outreach to lawmakers.

Drive closes on $35M in capital

PORT WASHINGTON – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has successfully closed on a deal that will give it $35 million in new capital. The transaction, first announced Sept. 20, also reduces its cash debt service obligations from its current lenders of approximately $100 million over the next two and a half years. “This transaction provides the improved capital structure and new funding required to fuel the execution of Drive’s business plan,” said Bob Gilligan, CEO. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 4 that Medical Depot, which operates Drive DeVilbiss, had begun restructuring talks with its senior lenders on $600 million in debt. Drive DeVilbiss has been owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a New York-based private equity firm, for the past three years.

Sleep Data takes BetterNight national with investment

SAN DIEGO – Sleep Data and BetterNight, providers of sleep therapy services, and HCAP Partners, an investor, have announced a $6 million round of growth funding.

BetterNight will use the funding to expand the use of its virtual care platform, which includes telehealth and remote patient monitoring for people who suffer from sleep apnea, and cognitive behavioral therapy for people who suffer from insomnia.

“Today's announcement—and the incredible support of our partners at HCAP—will accelerate the commercialization of our virtual platform which helps participants quickly receive the care they deserve,” said Dave French, CEO of Sleep Data, which launched BetterNight last year. “Our solutions increase access to much-needed care and are delivered at lower unit costs, while achieving superior outcomes.”

So far, Sleep Data, which serves more than 22,000 patients annually, has successfully deployed the BetterNight platform in California, Arkansas, Illinois and Nebraska.

HCAP is a provider of mezzanine debt and private equity for underserved, lower-middle market companies throughout California and the western U.S. The firm invests $2 million to $15 million in established businesses generating between $10 million and $100 million in revenues.

“BetterNight has become a category defining company in sleep care,” said Tim Bubnack, managing partner at HCAP. “The BetterNight team’s vision, rigorous clinical focus and intelligent application of scalable technology across multiple platforms has raised the bar for what healthcare buyers, providers and individuals should expect from modern sleep health solutions.”

Providers get reprieve from deep cuts in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – HME stakeholders have persuaded Indiana Medicaid officials to hold off on deep reimbursement cuts for 2,000 HCPCS codes that were scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1. The proposed cuts, first announced in early September, would have cut rates to match the lowest Medicare allowable. On Sept. 27, however, officials from the state’s Family and Social Services Administration notified Kam Yuricich, executive director of the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association, that the agency would not implement the cuts, pending further review. “This was a full team effort from the day the announcement was made to when I received the positive call from the Indiana Medicaid Director,” said Yuricich. “We are very grateful for the delay and look forward to working collaboratively with the agency to address our concerns.” Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association, along with AAHomecare, VGM and NCART, mobilized efforts to push back on the cuts. Their actions included requesting the CMS regional office delay approving the state’s plan; exploring a public relations campaign with media outlets; meeting with FSSA’s provider relations staff; and repeatedly reaching out and requesting meetings with to the agency’s director and assistant director.   

People news: UPitt, Orchid Medical

Rory Cooper of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Spinal Cord Research Advisory Committee. As a member of the committee, Cooper will have an integral role in making recommendations to the Department of Health regarding research priorities, evaluation and accountability procedures, and related issues. “I am certain with your commitment, expertise and experience, your contribution to the committee will be invaluable,” wrote Secretary of Health Rachel Levine in a letter to Cooper. “Congratulations on your appointment”…Orchid Medical has announced that Brian Carwile, president and CEO, has transitioned to chairman of the board. Paul Taylor, the company’s COO, has been appointed president and CEO. David Anderson, vice president of operations, has been promoted to COO. Orchid Medical works with claims professionals and medical providers to cost-effectively manage and deliver care and services, including DME and supplies, and orthotics and prosthetics.

ATLAS-RPM hires Maxine Paul

LAS VEGAS – ATLAS-RPM, a professional services group, has added Maxine Paul, ATP, to its coaching team. Paul previously operated her own business, Academy Medical Equipment, with seven locations in the Southwest. She brings extensive knowledge of billing and regulatory changes to the role. “We are extremely excited to have Maxine join the ATLAS-RPM team,” said Bill Paul, co-founder and CEO. “Her background and hands-on approach has been instrumental in educating providers on regulations/compliance in the process of getting pre-approval, getting paid and staying paid.” ATLAS-RPM was founded by Bill Paul, Ty Bello and Jonathan Walters, and made its industry debut at Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas.

CRT bill introduced in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Rep. Beau LaFave has introduced a bill in Michigan’s House of Representatives that would establish focused policies and rules for complex rehab technology products and services, NCART reports. House Bill No. 4948, the “Complex Needs Patient Act,” would designate CRT as DME that is individually configured for an individual to meet his or her specific and unique medical, physical and functional needs. The bill would also set guidelines for qualified CRT suppliers, including having at least one qualified CRT professional for each location, and require managed care Medicaid plans to adopt its policies and rules. NCART credited the University of Michigan Wheelchair Seating Service, the Michigan Homecare and Hospice Association and others for helping get LaFave, a Republican, to introduce the bill. NCART and the Michigan Homecare and Hospice Association have formed an advocacy work group to provide strategic and tactical assistance as stakeholders work to get the bill passed.

Medtrade nears: Advance rates, CEUs, workshops

ATLANTA – Advance Rates are now in effect for Medtrade, Oct. 21-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center. These rates, good through Oct. 15, mean you can get an Expo Pass for $100 and a Conference Pass for $299. The Advance Rates also offer savings on the following registration add-ons: Audit Happy Hour, Power Lunch, and Rise & Retail Breakfast Roundtables…Medtrade has partnered with Quantum Rehab and Pride Mobility Products to offer four CEU courses at no charge. To attend any of the courses, attendees must register for an Expo Pass or a Conference Pass then add the CEU courses they’d like to attend. The courses being offered are: “Hierarchy of Power Wheelchair Drive Controls: Maximizing Access and Independence, Part: 1: Proportional Control Options and Part 2: Switched Control Options; Stay Off the Floor Troubleshooting: A Look at Traditional and New Troubleshooting Techniques; and Improving Function, Comfort and Mobility: The Partnership Between the Seating Tech and ATP…Slots are still available for a number of workshops that will take place on the first day of Medtrade, Oct. 21. The workshops are: An Introduction to the Certified Durable Medical Equipment Specialist, presented by BOC; Don't Gamble with Reimbursement, presented by VGM; Master Mindfulness, presented by Sun or Storm; Best Practice Checklist for Productivity and Management, presented by Brightree; and HME Master Sales Training, presented by Emerge.

NRRTS unveils new website

LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has officially launched its new website at www.nrrts.org. The website allows users to search for registrant by name, organization and state; and access case studies, testimonials and other useful information. Additionally, the website gives users a new way to access education: NRRTS Continuing Education (NRRTSCE) is now hosted in a Learning Management System or Learning Portal, making browsing and keeping record easy. NRRTS developed the website with Gruffy Goat, a small web design company based in Greenville, S.C.

Medline plans new distribution center in NC

MEBANE, N.C. – Medline Industries will invest $65 million to build a new distribution center in Mebane, N.C., that will create 250 new jobs in Orange County, Gov. Roy Cooper has announced. The distribution center will be 1.2 million square feet and will be LEED certified. “As we expand our footprint to help reach more healthcare providers in the Southeast, Mebane is an ideal location for a distribution facility,” said Bill Abington, executive vice president of global operations for Medline. At full capacity, Medline expects to employ about 600 at the distribution center. The company will receive a performance-based grant of $500,000 from the One North Carolina Fund to build the distribution center. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to quality for payment.

Rep. Gallego calls on VA to speed up payments

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., has sent a letter to the Veterans Benefits Administrator expressing his concerns about delayed payments to providers that perform VA-authorized installations, repairs and maintenance of automobile adaptive equipment (AAE). Gallego expressed concerns over reports of thousands of past-due reimbursement invoices totaling more than $34 million between 2010-15. “This is causing serious operational and payroll issues at businesses that cannot afford to be unpaid for almost a year and also meet their other obligations,” he wrote. “I am extremely concerned that the VA’s failure to efficiently administer these programs is impacting the ability of dealers to continue providing life-changing products and services to disabled veterans.” Gallego has requested that the VBA provide a comprehensive list of outstanding invoices, including the amount owed and the length of time each one has been pending. He’s also asked the agency to detail efforts to reduce the backlog and come into compliance with the law.