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In brief: Hillrom to buy Breathe Technologies; Option Care, BioScrip complete merger

In brief: Hillrom to buy Breathe Technologies; Option Care, BioScrip complete merger

CHICAGO - Hillrom has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Breathe Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based manufacturer of patented, wearable non-invasive ventilators, for $130 million.

“The acquisition provides an exciting growth platform that utilizes our direct Respiratory Care commercial channel and business model,” said John Groetelaars, president and CEO of Hillrom. “This transaction represents another example of our plan to strategically deploy capital with a disciplined approach toward higher-growth and higher-margin businesses by expanding into the disruptive new category of non-invasive ventilation.”

Breathe Technologies, which manufactures the Life2000 Ventilation System, has annual revenue of about $10 million. The company's system includes a wearable vent that unlocks from a stationary compressor for freedom of range inside the home or with an alternative pressure source outside the home.

Hillrom's Respiratory Care products, part of the company's Front Line Care business, include The Best, Monarch Airway Clearance System, the MetaNeb System and VitalCough.

Hillrom expects the deal to close during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2019.

Viemed posts gains in revenue, patient growth

LAFAYETTE, La. - Viemed Healthcare reported revenue of $22.5 million for the second quarter of 2019, a 45% increase compared to the same period last year. It reported net income of $1.8 million, a 23% decrease.

Viemed reported revenue of $43 million for the first six months of 2019 compared to $29.6 million for the same period last year. It reported net income of $3.97 million vs. $4.7 million.

The company says it grew its vent patient count by about 40% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year and about 12% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

“I am extremely pleased with another record breaking quarter in revenue and patient growth,” said Casey Hoyt, Viemed CEO. “We are making tremendous strides in our future growth initiatives in the technology, marketing and new referral sources areas, including the VA system as well as the pediatric division. Additionally, we continue to roll out oxygen therapy around the country as well as a new compression therapy product line. These investments, along with our completed building purchase and Nasdaq listing have us on an exciting path to more future success.”

Viemed expects to generate revenue of about $23.7 million to $24.5 million for the third quarter of 2019.

The company also reported that it has completed the purchase of a 77,000-square-foot building that will serve as its corporate headquarters later this year.

PlayMaker Health integrates with Axxess

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - PlayMaker Health has a new partner: Axxess, a Dallas-based provider of software solutions for home health, homecare and hospice providers. The partnership allows Axxess to provide current market data and referral intelligence to its more than 2,000 clients. “The integration with PlayMaker Health's data and growth intelligence complements Axxess' easy-to-use suite of solutions, giving our home health and hospice agencies the sales and marketing data visibility they need to grow their business and increase market share,” said John Olajide, Axxess founder and CEO. “This partnership will enable Axxess clients to better track referral sources and diversify their patient mix using PlayMaker Health's valuable data.”

Option Care, BioScrip complete merger

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., and DENVER - Option Care Enterprises and BioScrip have completed their merger, forming a newly combined company named Option Care Health. The deal has met closing conditions, including approval by BioScrip shareholders and the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. “Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter as we unite two strong organizations with proud histories as market leaders,” said John Rademacher, CEO of Option Care Health. Option Care Health's common stock will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol BIOS. The company will be headquartered in Bannockburn, Ill., and led by Rademacher as CEO and Mike Shapiro as CFO. Harry Kraemer, former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, will serve as chairman of the board. Option Care and BioScrip announced their merger in March.

ACU-Serve adds intake services

AKRON, Ohio - ACU-Serve, which provides billing and collection services, has added intake services to its offerings and hired Linda Czekanski as director of intake and training. “ACU-Serve plans to rapidly grow the intake side of the business,” the company stated. “Linda is an accomplished healthcare professional who is know for a tireless work ethic and energetic approach to a variety of initiatives.” Czekanski has worked with multiple organizations across a wide range of responsibilities, including infusion intake and reimbursement. She successfully implemented an “order to cash” process in 25-plus locations when she worked at Walgreens Sleep and Respiratory Services. She has also worked at Air Products Healthcare and MedCare Equipment Company.

Williard named to OAMES board

WORTHINGTON, Ohio - The Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services has appointed Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations for AAHomecare, to its board of directors as AAHomecare liaison. She will provide guidance to association leaders on payer issues on the state and national level with managed care plans, Medicare Advantage, commercial payers and state Medicaid programs. “Laura is a very influential addition to our advocacy team on payer policy,” said Kam Yuricich, executive director. Williard has worked with OAMES over the past two years on two major Medicaid issues: implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, which requires CMS to cap its contribution to Medicaid reimbursement for certain DME at Medicare reimbursement; and policy and payment challenges with Ohio's Medicaid managed care plans. The association's board voted in Williard at its quarterly meeting on July 17.

Continuum expands, hires

PITTSBURGH - Continuum, a CHC Solutions, Inc. company, will more than double its headquarters here, according to The Times. The medical equipment supplier plans to expand operations by the end of August and expects to hire an additional 50 employees in the next two to three years, the newspaper reported. The headquarters, which will increase to 28,479 square feet, will feature a larger warehouse and additional offices, according to The Times. Continuum was formerly called Interphase Medical Equipment.

Medela, author partner on 'Breastfeeding: Uncovered'

MCHENRY, Ill. - Medela has partnered with Kimberly Seals-Allers, author of the best-selling “The Big Letdown,” on a digital narrative series that shares stories from breastfeeding moms. The stories that make up “Breastfeeding: Uncovered” focus on moms who need to overcome a range of obstacles to breastfeed, like those who are incarcerated or going through substance abuse withdrawal. “We know that social support is a big factor when it comes to meeting your breastfeeding goals,” said Melissa Gonzalez, executive vice president of the Americas for Medela. “We're stepping up efforts to celebrate all moms.” Allers, a breastfeeding advocate and health communication expert, worked with filmmaker Emma Reid on the series. Medela has also donated 650 personal-use breast pumps to the Good+Foundation, a nonprofit that works “to dismantle multi-generational poverty by pairing tangible goods with innovative services for low-income fathers, mothers and caregivers, creating an upward trajectory for the whole family,” according to its website. Since 2015, Medela has supported more than 135 organizations committed to maternal and infant health, giving more than $1 million in funding and products.


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