MP TotalCare diversifies in face of debilitating cuts

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

TAMPA, Fla. - MP TotalCare in July expanded its service mix with the acquisition of Englewood, Colo.-based Gericare Providers, one of the largest direct-to-patient suppliers of wound care products nationally.

For some, the acquisition illustrates a larger trend of diversifying product lines to combat the effects of sharp cuts expected in 2005 - namely for respiratory medications.

“I know that a lot of companies are now mining their patient bases for other products and services,” said Marcus Kruk, vice president of HME Services in Orange, Fla. “[MP TotalCare] might look at wound care as an option to mine.”

The wound care market may prove to be a natural for the specialty distributor, which generates about $125 million in revenue on respiratory medications, urologicals and diabetic supplies.

“With MP TotalCare, one of the segments of their business is diabetic supplies and part of that disease is that the patients often have wounds, so you have significant cross sell opportunities between the two business lines, “said Bob Ciardi, managing partner at Boston-based Provident Healthcare Partners, which represented Gericare in the transaction.

Gericare, which will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MP TotalCare, set out looking for a partner where it could take advantage of synergistic opportunities that exist between disease states. Marketing for either company can easily be delivered to patients along with their supplies, luring them with the one-stop-shop appeal of this partnership, said Ciardi.

“Most people are treated for their wounds for three months on average, so there is a very large database for the years of being in the business that can be mined and a good percentage of those people with wounds also are diabetic,” said Michael Patton, Provident Healthcare’s senior director of mergers and acquisitions

MP TotalCare was unavailable to comment for this story.