CareGroup sells infusion biz to key on pediatrics

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

HOUSTON, Texas - The Care Group of Texas moved to streamline its service offerings in July when it sold its infusion and specialty pharmacy business to Option Care. The Houston-based company decided it could best serve its patients by focusing on its core geriatric and pediatric specialty services, according to Elizabeth Osher, company president.

“When we made a decision that we would not offer IV infusion services any more, we chose an excellent partner to have as a preferred vendor of those services,” said Osher. “Through this alliance, we are able to offer a continuum of care to our patients.”

Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Robert Monahan, Option Care’s vice president of mergers and acquisitions, said the transaction is “certain to expand the company’s presence in Houston.”

The infusion division will be folded into Option Care’s existing Houston branch, which first opened in 1985 and now employs nearly 60 people. The national provider will also work closely with The Care Group in providing patients with the full gamut of services they require.

“[The Care Group] basically has a different patient base than we had in Houston, so this acquisition was complimentary in that respect,” said Monahan. “They have a more pediatric-based focus. As well, they also had different discharge planners and people they worked with than we do.”

Nationally, Options Care is actively seeking acquisition opportunities as the company continues to surge in the health care market, said Monahan. Last year, Option Care reported $355 million in revenue and was named the 48th fastest-growing company on Fortune Magazine’s 2003 list of fastest-growing companies. In June, the company’s second quarter earnings update projected $98 million in revenue, a bigger jump than was expected, according to a company release.

The Care Group will continue to grow its home medical business, which includes rehabilitation, PT and OT for adults and children and sleep and respiratory programs. The company currently has nearly 300 office and clinical employees at its two locations, and it offers specialized services at several other sites.

“We want to specialize in the areas we are uniquely qualified to for,” said Osher, “just as Option Care is uniquely qualified to do infusion.”