Monday, March 31, 2003

Rising fuel priceswhack providers
IRVINE, Calif. - The surge in oil prices hasn’t helped any HME provider, but companies with large truck fleets are most vulnerable. Take Apria, which operates 2,100 trucks nationwide. Every 20 cents a gallon increase in the price of diesel fuel costs Apria an additional $1 million year, COO Larry Mastrovich told the Orange County Register last month. For now, Apria’s trying to save fuel costs by efficient routing. Mastrovich and his team are evaluating several software packages that would automate the route-design process. Whatever system Apria chooses will not be operational until the fall.
Independent giant adds two locations
BEAUMONT, Texas - Home Care Supply acquired First Medical of Texas, a $1 million HME with locations in Bryan and Navasota, Texas. The March acquisition complements HCS’s position in Texas, where it now operates 22 locations. HCS operates an additional 57 branches in 12 other states. HCS is one of, if not the largest, independent home medical equipment provider in the country with annual revenues of about $170 million. The First Medical deal fills a geographic void and will allow HCS to better serve its area managed care contracts, said CEO Todd Christopher.
Rotech hires Apria execs to fill key positions
ORLANDO, Fla. - Rotech’s new CEO Philip Carter has dipped into the talent pool at his old employer, Apria, to fill key executive positions. They are: Mike Dobbs as chief operating officer, responsible for all operating activities within Rotech; Don Guerette as chief purchasing officer, responsible for all vendor negotiations and inventory management; John Sullivan as director of operations, responsible for fleet management, driver scheduling, transfill operations, real estate efficiency, FDA/DOT compliance.
Sparrow Regional Medical Supply, Lansing Mi., was recertified in ISO-9001 in February. The company is also JCAHO accredited…Former Rotech Healthcare CEO Steve Linehan has been named president and CEO of Radiologix, a national provider of diagnostic imaging services. He replaces Mark S. Martin, who resigned to pursue other opportunities… MEDIchair opened its 58th store in Markham, Ontario in March. MEDChair is North America’s largest HME franchise with 58 stores from coast-to-coast in Canada… Lincare’s Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to $100 million of its outstanding common stock…Apria’s board has authorized the company to repurchase up to $35 million in outstanding common stock. Company’s typically repurchase stock to show faith in the operation…Clark Robichaux, president of Oxy-Care Equipment, Wilmington, N.C., has been elected president of the North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services (NCAMES).