MED Group rolls with the punches

Monday, February 28, 2005

LUBBOCK, Texas -  The MED Group lost some fire power recently when Apria and Lincare swooped in and acquired three prominent members, but as Vice President of Membership Dan Smith tells it, that’s “just one of the things you fight through.”

“MED has some pretty plum providers, and we know we are targets and we need to take that into account and strategically grow,” Smith said.

The member-service organization includes only independent HMEs and does not work with national medical equipment providers.

In Late January, Apria acquired Knoll Patient Supply in Topeka, Kansas. In addition to being a MED member, President Steve Knoll played a prominent role at AAHomecare, serving as the group's chairman in 2002. In September, Apria acquired LifePlus in Raymond, N.H. In 2002, Lifeplus won the HME Excellence Awards “Best Home Medical Equipment Company.” The nine-location company was a second runner-up in 2003 for “Best Home Respiratory Provider.” In December, Lincare acquired Merriam-Graves, a Charlestown, N.H.-based MED member with 14 locations throughout New England.

Despite the industry’s active mergers and acquisitions market, MED still managed to grow 15% last year and expects the same increase this year, Smith said.

In January, MED announced three new members. They are:

- Home Care Specialists in Haverhill, Mass.

- Kubat Pharmacy in Omaha, Neb.

- Michael’s Medical in Lincoln, Neb.

MED currently counts about 195 members with nearly 700 locations.