Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Lincare eyes big N.E. acquisition

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. - Lincare stood poised to strengthen its presence in the Northeast last month by acquiring Merriam-Graves, which operates 15-20 locations in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The companies expected to complete due diligence by the end of June, according to a Merriam-Graves official who refused further comment. Merriam-Graves is a subsidiary of an industrial gas company by the same name. The HME derives 60% to 70% of its revenue from home respiratory services and, according to a competitor, supplies “a ton” of liquid oxygen. Concerns regarding impending Medicare DME cuts and billing problems apparently played a role in the owners’ decision to sell, said one source.
Air Products Healthcare opens two N.J. locations

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. - Air Products Healthcare opened two new locations in New Jersey last month, and now operates 10 branches and three satellite locations in the Tri-State area. The new satellite locations are located in Cape May Court House and Cedar Grove. They are extensions of COPD Services in Bellmawr, N.J., Air Products Healthcare’s New Jersey company.  The new facilities provide respiratory care services, such as oxygen, CPAP, bi-Level, NPPV and other therapies, as well as durable medical equipment, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, ambulatory aids and accessories. Air Products now operates 60+ branches that service 200,000 patients throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Feds charge two men in $3.7 million fraud scheme

SAN ANTONIO - Federal investigators arrested two men here in May for allegedly conspiring to fraudulently bill Medicare for $3.7 million in durable medical equipment. In a 33-count indictment, Francisco Giron Flores Jr., 48, and Dr. Delio Garcia Romeu, 63, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, 30 counts of making false claims for payment to Medicare and two counts of illegal renumerations. The indictment alleges that Flores created fraudulent CMNs for DME and that Dr. Romeu signed them without seeing the patients.