Providers make moves

Friday, July 31, 2009

Health First bought its main competitor, Bon Secours Home Medical, in June, doubling its size.

“This acquisition deepens our market penetration in central Virginia,” said Wayne Sale, CEO of Richmond, Va.-based Health First.

Health First has retained all of Bon Secours’ employees and its phone number. Making that possible: Both providers have strong service missions, with community support as their central pillar, Sale said.

The hospital-affiliated Bon Secours, already beleaguered by a 9.5% cut and a 36-month oxygen cap, considered CMS’s resurrection of national competitive bidding earlier this year as the straw that broke the camel’s back, Sale said.

“I showed them the future and they said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of that,’” he said. “I hope that’s an indication to CMS and Congress that the industry environment and forecast is discouraging to sophisticated business people. They’re cutting too deep.”

First-time buyer

After more than 25 years in business, Charlotte, N.C.-based Griffin Home Health Care made its first acquisition in May, buying Gastonia-based Med Equip.

“The stars were in place,” said Bill Griffin, president/CEO of Griffin Home Health care. “The timing was right; the location was right.”

Med Equip and its employees now operate under the Griffin banner. The acquisition allowed Griffin Home Health Care to grow its reach: It now serves patients in 16 counties.

Provider advances territory

Advanced Home Care on July 1 added a third Tennessee location when it acquired Takoma Regional Health Services.

“It’s an expansion of our existing service area in eastern Tennessee,” said Jim Hogan, CFO of the High Point, N.C.-based Advanced Home Care.

The provider also has locations in Kingsport and Bristol, Tenn.

Takoma Regional Home Health Services is a division of Takoma Regional Hospital. It provides skilled nursing, rehab therapy, social work and home health aides.

Home health services are nothing new to Advanced, which derives about 40% of its revenues from home health, said Hogan. The provider also offers a full line of durable medical equipment, and respiratory and home infusion services.

Advanced now has 27 locations throughout North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.