Companies in the News

GF replaces its chairman

Graham-Field Health Products (GF; Bayshore, NY) named Thomas Opladen chairman, replacing Rupert Morley, the company said last week. Morley resigned from the board following his resignation from Brierley Investments, GF’s largest shareholder. Opladen is president of River Group, a New York consulting firm.

HHCA asks for another extension in reorganization

Home Health Corp. of America (King of Prussia, PA) has filed another request seeking a 60-day extension of the exclusive periods to file and solicit acceptances of a reorganization plan. This time, the company seeks extensions to Jan. 31 and March 31. The current expiration dates to file and solicit acceptances of a reorganization plan are Dec. 3 and Feb. 1, respectively. The company notes that the size and complexity of its case is a precipitating factor for the most recent extension request. HHCA also said its progress in the case included rejecting a number of leases and contracts that were no longer of value to the estate, resolving a dispute with the Department of Health and Human Services over Medicare payments and filing regular schedules of financial affairs and assets and liabilities.

HHCA has also presented its lenders with a business plan that they hope will form the basis for a restructuring plan. The company and lenders have already begun to draft the restructuring plan. The company and lenders have already begun to draft their plan, HHCA said.

IHHI President/CEO resigns

In Home Health (IHHI; Minnetonka, MN) President/CEO Wolfgang von Maack has resigned, effective Feb. 15. He will, however, remain chairman of IHHI, the company said.

The IHHI board has formed a search committee to find a replacement for the positions of president and CEO.

Mallinckrodt gets award for new device

Mallinckrodt (St. Louis) recently introduced its newest pediatric asthma product, WhistleWatch Asmalert, a monitor that measures the maximum rate at which a child can exhale air. The new device avoids many of the erroneous meter readings that prevent children from getting the respiratory care they need, Mallinckrodt said. The WhistleWatch device works when a child blows into the colorful device and listens. A whistle sounds if the asthma attack is under control, while prolonged silence signals the need for medical attention, said Mallinckrodt.

The Health Industry Distributors Association (Alexandria, VA) recently awarded Mallinckrodt the 1999 Most Innovative New Product of the Year prize for the new WhistleWatch device, the company said.

Mallinckrodt also introduced its new Puritan-Bennett Achieva portable volume ventilator. The new product, with pressure support, offers new dimensions in versatility that make it practical for children and for adults in multiple care settings, the company said.

NHHC sees earnings increase in 1Q00

National Home Health Care Corp. (NHHC; Scarsdale, NY) reported a 1Q00 ended Oct. 31 net income of $1.1 million, 21 cents per share, compared to a 1Q99 net income of $186,000, 4 cents per share. The company recorded 1Q00 revenues of $9.5 million, a 3.1% increase over 1Q99 revenues of $9.2 million.

The latest quarter, the company said, included a net gain on sale of subsidiary stock of $682,000, 13 cents per share, and no other impact from its interest in SunStar Healthcare, while 1Q99 reflected no sales of subsidiary stock, but included a net loss from its interest in SunStar of $350,000, 7 cents per share.

NHHC also said Steven Fialkow has been appointed CEO and will also continue as president. He has served the company as president/COO since October 1997. Frederick Fialkow, who has served as chairman/CEO since 1988, will remain chairman.

PSAI to hold annual shareholders meeting

Pediatric Services of America (PSAI; Norcross, GA) said its 2000 annual meeting of stockholders will be March 8 in Atlanta. PSAI shareholders of record as of Jan. 10 will eligible to vote at the meeting, the company said.

Praxair launches new oxygen delivery system

Praxair (Danbury, CT) has launched in the United States and in Canada the Grab ’n Go portable medical oxygen system, an all-in-one portable unit for the healthcare industry. The new system streamlines oxygen delivery by eliminating the need for a separate regulator, flow meter, cylinder wrench, and special valve seal, Praxair said. The company also said the system is safer than conventional oxygen delivery methods.

Rehabilicare holds shareholder meeting

Rehabilicare’s (New Brighton, MN) annual shareholder meeting was last week. At the meeting, Rehabilicare management discussed highlights of FY99 ended June 30, including record year-end financial performance, the company said.

Sparta signs letter of intent to buy HomeTech

Sparta Surgical Corp. (Concord, CA) signed a non-binding letter of intent to purchase all of the outstanding common stock of HomeTech Medical Services. Sparta said it is working toward the execution of a binding stock purchase agreement, which will be subject to several conditions, including approval by Sparta’s board, completion of financing and the determination by Sparta that the results of its due diligence investigation of HomeTech’s business and assets are satisfactory.