Southern Home Medical approaches sixth roll-up

Sunday, March 11, 2007

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Southern Home Medical Equipment signed a letter of intent last week to buy the Augusta, Ga.-based Wheelchairs Plus Mobility Solutions, a Web-based provider that generated $917,000 in revenues last year.

Wheelchairs Plus was an attractive addition to Southern Home Medical's portfolio due to its independence from Medicare, company officials said.

"They're virtually all private pay," said Dennis Nowak, Southern Home Medical's vice president. "We want to continue to diversify our services and business without having to totally rely on Medicare."

Southern Home Medical began rolling up HME providers late last year. Previously, it has announced plans to buy three companies in South Carolina: Mobile Healthcare in Greenville, Adaptive Medical in Spartanburg and ApneaRx in Clemson.

Wheelchairs Plus offers a wide-variety of mobility equipment, including a wheelchair-in-a-bag. In addition to its Web site,, it has a store on ebay. Wheelchairs Plus is headed up by Michael Osborn, president; Jay Jernigan, CEO; and James Sherrill, CFO.

In addition to HME providers, Southern Home Medical has also continued to roll up health clubs. The company kicked off its efforts in January, when it bought the Ladies Health & Fitness franchise (See HME News March issue). Last month, it bought a second club, Fast Track Fitness, which it plans to rename Ladies Health & Fitness.

Southern Home Medical plans to franchise 50 clubs in the Mobile/Pensacola, Fla., market and 40 clubs in the Charleston, S.C., market, respectively.