Friday, April 30, 2004

Rotech’s credit rating comes under scrutiny

NEW YORK - Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which evaluates a company’s credit worthiness, has placed Rotech Healthcare on CreditWatch, reflecting the company’s vulnerability to reimbursement cuts for DME included in the Medicare Modernization Act. President Bush signed the MMA in to law in December. Rotech generates more than 50% of its revenues through Medicare-related business. Before reducing or taking any other rating action, Standard & Poor’s stated last month that it expects to review with Rotech management the company’s strategy for coping with these developments.
Respiratory researchers give vitamin C an A

OAKLAND, Calif. - Vitamin C plays an important role in normal airway function, may prevent symptoms associated with airway diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, and may even help alleviate the dry cough suffered by smokers, according to researchers at Children’s Hospital & Research Center. The findings are a first step toward evaluation of vitamin C as a drug candidate and therapeutic agent in the complementary treatment of asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive lung disease. Lead researcher Beate Illek, Ph.D. and her team discovered that vitamin C supports the normal hydration of airway surfaces, while vitamin C deficiency may lead to dry, sticky mucus membranes lining the airway. When the airway is not sufficiently hydrated, it becomes susceptible to infections, which may eventually cause asthma attacks in asthmatics, Illek said.
Short cuts

Total Home Health of Elgin, Ohio, held a grand opening ceremony Feb. 26 for its new facility. The 19,000-square-foot location is part of a two-building, 28,000-square-foot retail complex built by Total Home Care and some silent investors... To accommodate 85-100 new CPAP patient set-ups per month, Mitchell Home Medical in February opened its fourth Michigan location, this one in Ann Arbor... On March 1, LifePlus, one of New England’s most success independent HMEs, purchased the home care division of Mercy Pulmonary Associates in Portland, Maine.