Companies in the News

Americare receives preliminary accreditation

Americare Health Care Services (Miami), an affiliate of Americare Health Scan, has received preliminary accreditation for its home care program from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The commission will make its final decision after one more review and a one-month follow-up report. Americare received a preliminary score of 95 out of 100.

Byram acquires Canada’s Healthcare Products

Byram Healthcare Centers (Greenwich, CT) has acquired Canada’s Healthcare Products (Indianapolis). Terms of the transaction, completed April 30, were not disclosed. Byram provides outsourcing and logistics services to home healthcare providers and patients, with a focus on diabetes, ostomy, urology or incontinence, and wound care. Canada’s Healthcare is a privately held medical supply provider.

Patient Care buys Medical Personnel

Chemed’s (Cincinnati) Patient Care (West Orange, NJ) subsidiary acquired the assets of Medical Personnel Services (Washington), which generated revenues of more than $3.8 million in FY98. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Columbia trial continues

A federal judge has denied defense lawyers in the fraud case against four Columbia/HCA Healthcare (Nashville, TN) executives a motion to dismiss the case. After the motion was denied, John Schilling, a former reimbursements supervisor, returned to the stand last week to testify that Jay Jarrell, one of the Columbia executives on trial, suggested that the company hire a Medicare auditor to keep her from discovering overpayments to one of its facilities, reported the Associated Press. Schilling previously testified that Jarrell and the other three executives on trial plotted during a meeting on how to keep government auditors from discovering Medicare payments and would have offered an auditor a job to keep her distracted. Another executive apparently thought the suggestion was a joke, Schilling said, but he testified last week that it was not.

JCAHO accredits Coram branch office

Coram Healthcare’s (Denver) Plymouth, MI, branch has been accredited with commendation by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Oakbrook Terrace, IL).

In other news, Coram has selected Intershop (San Francisco), a provider of sell-side electronic commerce software, to provide the technology for Coram’s on-line pharmacy. Coram previously announced it would take Coram Prescription Services, its nearly $80 million mail order and pharmacy benefit management division, on line in 3Q99.

Horizon to buy pharmacy chain

Horizon Pharmacies (Denison, TX) signed a letter of intent to acquire an independent chain of two retail pharmacies in Washington state, a new market for Horizon. Combined annual sales for the two pharmacies in 1998 were $7.2 million, which includes $1.4 million in sales of home medical equipment. Upon completion of the transaction, Horizon will have acquired eight retail pharmacies with total revenues of $26 million since January.

Court overturns decision against Mallinckrodt

A Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a decision that Mallinckrodt Medical (St. Louis) and Gaymar Industries (Orchard Park, NY) infringed three patents covering Augustine Medical’s (Minneapolis) Bair Hugger brand convective warming blankets. The blankets offer forced air warming during surgery, reducing postoperative complications. In August 1997, a federal court jury in Minneapolis found that Mallinckrodt and Gaymar infringed the patents, but the decision was overturned June 8. Dr. Scott Augustine, chairman and founder of Augustine, said the decision was only the start of a long fight. "As the pioneer of forced air temperature management, we have the responsibility to aggressively protect our technology," Augustine said. "Despite the outcome of this appeal, we will continue to defend our intellectual property against imitation."