Epic Health starts building national pediatric presence

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DALLAS – Fast-moving Epic Health Services further embraced the pediatric HME market in October when it acquired Medco in October.

The deal allows Epic Health, which offers private duty nursing, to add a diverse array of home medical supplies, including incontinence, diabetes, urological, ostomy and wound care supplies, and further expand its enteral nutrition offerings. The Houston-based Medco, which serves Texas and Louisiana, also has a specialty pharmacy division and offers complex respiratory services.

“This will define us as a provider of pediatric continuum services and we think there’s a competitive advantage to us to deliver that,” said Epic Health CEO Chris Roussos.

It is the second buy in as many months for Epic Health, which in September acquired Chandler, Ariz.-based Option 1 Healthcare Solutions, an enteral nutrition provider that also specializes in pediatrics. With the addition of Medco, the combined companies now serve 34,000 patients in 17 states across the western U.S.

Currently, all three companies are examining their respective best practices as they being the integration process. 

One such practice: Medco’s trademarked service, P.E.E.P., the Pediatric Parenteral Education Program, which starts with family education prior to hospitalization and follows the patient through the hospital stay and beyond with home visits and telephone follow ups for the first 90 days post-discharge.

“We were able to bend the readmission curve from 20% to less than 2%, “ said John Calhoun, Medco CEO. “We see this program as an opportunity to leverage in other markets and be a differentiator.”

Epic Health will keep the Medco and Option 1 names—both are strong brands—under the Epic umbrella, eventually phasing them out as its name becomes more widely known. The company is already looking at additional acquisitions to expand its presence into other states, says Option 1 CEO Rick Winterich.

“I would say the intent is to grow and grow rapidly,” he said. “We are not going to shrink the back rooms. We need to expand them to increase the level of our intake capacity so we can get these patients on a quickly as we can.”