Medicare cuts decrease earnings for Apria, Lincare

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Medicare reimbursement cuts for respiratory meds and other DME items that began Jan. 1 took a bite out of first quarter net income for Apria (down $2.6 million) and Lincare (down $8.3 million) compared to the same period last year. Nevertheless, officials at both nationals expressed confidence in their companies' ability to grow and operate effectively despite the reductions.
Both nationals released their first-quarter earnings in April.
"We are well positioned to absorb the significant reductions in Medicare pricing for our services in 2005," said Lincare CEO John Byrnes. "Our operating centers experienced strong customer growth in the first quarter and our acquisition program is off to a good start in 2005."
Commented Apria CEO Lawrence Higby:
"We are very pleased by the strong sales growth in the first quarter despite the Medicare reductions. We are also encouraged by positive trends in our revenue metrics, such as patient census and starts."