Meet the best of the best

Thursday, October 31, 2002

ATLANTA — A national, a regional and an independent provider of home healthcare each took home first place honors in the HME Excellence Awards, sponsored by HME News, AAHomecare and Medtrade.
Apria Healthcare, a 480-branch provider based in Costa Mesa, Calif., won Best Home Respiratory Provider. Lifeplus, a regional provider from Raymond, N.H., was named the Best Home Medical Equipment Provider. And Hudson Home Health, an independent from Newington, Conn., was selected as the Best Rehab Technology Supplier.

The companies were selected by a panel of six judges that included a former HME CEO, an accreditation surveyor, a healthcare attorney, a mergers and acquisition broker, a consultant in educational services and an accountant with an MBA.

The panel's assessment of each company ranged over consideration of financial performance, community outreach, clinical association activity, accreditation and testimonials from patients and other sources.

The judging panel cited Apria's "corporate culture of involvement at the national, state and community level" and lauded the company for its "outstanding financial performance."

In the HME category, the panel said the consistency demonstrated across all evaluation criteria by Lifeplus was grounds for the company's award.

"If a company scores high in all of those areas, it is reflected in the financial performance," one judge said. "Financials are an unbiased report card and Lifeplus has earned good marks. They are an excellent company."

The judges deemed Hudson Home Health a "poster-child" for the home healthcare company, the kind of company you'd want to showcase on Capitol Hill to show what the industry was not only doing right but with excellence.

This is a company that gives back to its community, it doesn't just take out," said the judge. "They're a real part of their community."

For more on the HME Excellence Awards, including interviews with winners and judges, see the white paper in next month's issue of HME News. HME
Best Rehab Technology Supplier

Hudson Home Health — Winner
Newington, Conn.

Monroe Wheelchair — First runner-up
Rochester, N.Y.

Wheelchairs Plus — Second runner-up, Jacksonville, Fla.

Best Home Medical Equipment Provider

Lifeplus — Winner, Raymond, N.H.

Rice Home Medical — First runner-up
Willmar, Minn.

Mitchell Home Medical — Second runner-up, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Best Home Respiratory Provider

Apria Healthcare — Winner
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Associated Healthcare — First runner-up, Amherst, N.Y.

DependiCare — Second runner-up
Broadview, Ill.