In brief: PE firm buys NSM, another firm close to buying Drive

Friday, August 12, 2016

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Court Square Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

Court Square Capital Partners will buy NSM from Wellspring Capital Management, also a New York-based private equity firm, which bought the company in December 2012.

“This is an exciting time for NSM and we’re very pleased that Court Square is investing in our company,” said CEO Bill Mixon in a press release. “Court Square has a track record of growing businesses and is eager to help NSM strengthen its commitment to the lives of people who need mobility.”

Court Square Capital Partners has made more than 200 investments since 1979.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next 60 days, were not disclosed, but NSM is rumored to be worth $400 million.

Under Wellspring’s ownership, NSM has rolled up dozens of providers, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in February. It has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October 2015.

NSM is one of two national providers left in the complex rehab market. The other, Numotion, was formed in 2013 when ATG Rehab and United Seating & Mobility joined forces.

Firm close to buying Drive, sources say

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is in talks to buy Drive DeVilbiss for about $750 million, according to Reuters. CD&R, whose previous investments have included AssuraMed, which it sold to Cardinal Health for $2.1 billion in 2013, prevailed in an auction and could strike a deal in the coming days, Reuters reported on Aug. 10. As part of the deal, top execs at Drive would join CD&R as minority investors. Drive, which is partly owned by private equity firm Ferrer, Freeman & Co., has bulked up by making more than half a dozen acquisitions since 2011, most notably DeVilbiss Healthcare last year. Other healthcare-related properties owned by CD&R include VWR International, which supplies products and services to medical laboratories; Envision Healthcare, which provides outsourced medical devices; and PharMEDium, which provides sterile compounding services.

MediWare releases CareTend for specialty Rx market, announces user conference

LENEXA, Kan. – The newest release of CareTend is now available for the specialty pharmacy market, Mediware has announced. The new platform allows providers to manage their workflow operations in a single dashboard that tracks output, spots delays, and analyzes employee productivity in real time, the company stated in a release. Current customers can see a live demo of CareTend at Mediware’s annual user conference, Sept. 14-16 in Orlando, Fla. In addition to software training, the conference will offer multiplesessions on reimbursement and regulation changes and other topics presented by more than 30 industry-recognized speakers. For early bird rates, register by Aug. 15.

German ruling paves way for access to ReWalk

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – The ReWalk exoskeleton system has been declared medically necessary by the Social Welfare Court of Speyer in Germany, according ReWalk Robotics, the developer and manufacturer of the ReWalk. The ruling, delivered in July, states that the system should be covered by insurance for an individual with spinal cord injury, overturning the original denial of the claim by the payer, a statutory health insurance entity. "This ruling is a milestone for insurance coverage of exoskeleton technology, both in Germany and around the world," said Larry Jasinski, CEO, in a release. "With each decision approving coverage of the ReWalk, we make key advances in the effort to ensure every eligible ReWalk user has access to and coverage of their system." ReWalk is a robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright and walk, and is the first exoskeleton system to receive Food & Drug Administration clearance for use in the home and the rehabilitation setting. Founded in 2001, ReWalk has headquarters in the U.S., Israel and Germany.

BMW builds wheelchairs for Paralympic team

NEWBURY PARL, Calif. – BMW Designworks, the creative consultant for BMW, has collaborated with U.S. Paralympics Track and Field to design the team’s custom-fit racing chairs. By making 3D scans of the athletes in their wheelchairs and 3D computer models that could simulate changes in aerodynamics, Designworks was able to reduce drag by 15%, making small, subtle changes to the wheelchairs’ frames. The goal isn’t to give the U.S. team fancy new performance-enhancing technology, but to keep the equipment from getting in the way of the athletes’ natural skill, says Brad Cracchiola, DesignworksUSA associate director, in an interview with Fast Company. In 2014, Designworks’ bobsled design helped the U.S. team win three medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Convaid partners with UCP to raise awareness

TORRENCE, Calif.–Convaid is offering Convaid and R82 dealers who participate in United Cerebral Palsy’s STEPtember contest a chance to win $1,000 in product credit. Participants are being asked to walk, run, and bike a total of 10,000 steps per day. Convaid will award $1,000 to the dealer team with the most number of steps walked and the team that raises the greatest amount of money for United Cerebral Palsy. A screening of “Roll with Me,” which documents Gabe Cordell’s journey from San Francisco to New York in a push wheelchair, will be live streamed to all participating partners in honor of the month-long event.

AAFP hears back from CMS on diabetes supplies

WASHINGTON – The American Academy of Family Physicians has sent CMS a steady stream of letters outlining its concerns with the prescribing process for diabetic testing supplies. Finally, CMS has written back. The academy, which represents nearly 121,000 physicians, says the agency has asked for additional background information and requested further collaboration. The AAFP believes that physicians should be allowed to write prescriptions for diabetic supplies—including syringes, needles, test strips, lancets and glucose testing machines—that are good for the patient’s lifetime. While CMS pointed out in the letter that syringes and needles are not covered by the DME benefit and that itemized information is needed to support payment, it agreed to meet with the AAFP to discuss ways to “minimize documentation requirements, while maintaining the integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund.” CMS also addressed the AAFP’s concerns about unsolicited calls to beneficiaries by DME providers, and the efficacy of “unbranded” testing supplies being used by some providers. The agency asked the AAFP to report information about such calls and any products being used that don’t meet regulations.

Alliqua turns income around in Q2

YARDLEY, Pa. – Wound care provider Alliqua BioMedical reported total revenue of $5.5 million for the second quarter of 2016, up 75% year-over-year, compared to revenue of $3.1 million for the same period last year. Income from operations was $2.1 million for the quarter this year, compared to a loss of $8.4 million for the quarter last year. Alliqua reported total revenue of $8.4 million for the first six months of 2016, up 108%, compared to revenue of $4 million for the same period last year. Net loss was $2.5 million. The company expects total revenue of $20 million to $22 million for all of 2016, representing growth of 50% to 67% over 2015.

VA adds MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicles to fleet

LIVONIA, Mich. – Mobility Ventures has announced that the Veterans Affairs has purchased five of its MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicles for use at medical centers in Colorado, Florida and Tennessee. The MV-1 was added to the General Services Administration Schedule last year. “While there are nearly 1,600 MV-1s in city and county transit fleets across the country, the VA purchase marks the entry of the MV-1 to the federal fleet,” the company stated in a press release. The American-made MV-1comes standard with a built-in side-entry ramp, ample headroom and seating for up to five.

Short takes: ECS Billing, PharMerica, HaysMed

ECS Billing & Consulting North now offers home health and hospice billing and consulting services. It offers complete revenue cycle management for all payers, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers. ECS also works with companies to enhance operational efficiencies…PharMerica Corp., a national provider of institutional pharmacy, specialty infusion and hospital pharmacy management services, has announced that David Froesel, executive vice president, CFO and treasurer, intends to retire. He will continue as CFO through the end of September to ensure a seamless transition. PharMerica has engaged a nationally recognized executive search firm to help identify a successor for Froesel…HaysMed Orthopedic Institute has been reaccredited as an accredited DME facility by the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation.