Spooked by NCB

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Hospital sells $14 million HME to Lincare
ST. LOUIS — A non-profit hospital system, apparently scared by the specter of competitive bidding, sold its seven-location, $14 million HME to Lincare last month.

"Core competencies are a very big thing for us and Lincare is a well respected provider in the field," said Tom Edelstein, vice president of Unity Health Services. "It worked out well."

Provide Medical, the company Lincare acquired was part of Unity, a division of St. John's Mercy Health Care.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But in explaining it, Edelstein called it a "mixture of looking to the future and what the opportunities are and who is best positioned to thrive with the changes that are coming." Rather than deal with the uncertainties facing the HME market, St. John's decided to focus on its acute care and other ambulatory care services, Edelstein said.

Lincare has now acquired 23 businesses in 2002 with aggregate annual revenues of approximately $60 million, the company stated in a release. HME