MURRAY HILL, N.J. – C.R. Bard, a manufacturer of medical devices for vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty fields, announced today that it has acquired Liberator Medical for $181 million.
Liberator is a director-consumer-provider of home medical supplies, including catheters, ostomy, diabetes and mastectomy.
“As the population ages and more healthcare is expected to occur outside of the hospital setting, we believe that having direct access to the patient in the home is strategically important,” said Timothy Ring, Bard CEO and chairman. “We look forward to adding a strong distribution platform with potential for future growth to our product and technology platforms.”
Liberator was founded by Mark Libratore, a former Liberty Medical exec, more than a decade ago and has enjoyed steady growth since. In August, the provider reported net revenues of $20.4 million for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2015, a 9.7% increase compared to the same period last year. Liberator began trading on the New York Stock exchange in 2013 under LBMH.
The transaction is structured as a merger and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill to “smooth the transition” to competitive bid pricing in rural areas dropped today in the Senate.
Introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., the DME Access and Stabilization Act seeks to ensure HME providers can still serve Medicare beneficiaries, according to a press release.
“It is important that people receive quality health care, no matter where they live,” said Thune. “Not only does this legislation ensure that suppliers in rural areas can provide services they need to people in all parts of South Dakota, but it may enable people to return home faster after hospitalization.”
The text of the bill is not yet available, but AAHomecare has previously said that language for an anticipated bill in the House of Representatives would add 30% to pricing, and phase in the cuts over four years instead of the six months currently planned.
“Our bipartisan bill would smooth the transition to a new payment formula for businesses supplying and servicing these products, and make sure seniors, particularly those in rural communities, can continue to live independently and with dignity,” said Heitkamp.
Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Angus King, I-Maine, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho are co-sponsoring the bill.
The national roll out of competitive bid pricing will be implemented Jan. 1, 2016.
WASHINGTON – National Community Pharmacists Association President Bradley Arthur testified at a Nov. 17 hearing on the “disproportionate market power” of pharmacy benefit management corporations.
Arthur told members of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law that PBMs have “undue influence” on patients, health plans sponsor and pharmacies.
Arthur, a pharmacist, is co-owner of Black Rock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y.
“I can tell you that as a small business owner and health care provider, the current situation and overall business climate that exists in which market power is increasingly concentrated in an ever-shrinking number of corporations makes me apprehensive about what is around the bend,” he testified.
Among Arthur's key points:
• Three corporations, express scripts, CVS health and OptumRx, cover approximately 78% of patients managed by PBMs.
The criteria PBMs use to determine multi-source generic drug MAC (or “maximum allowable cost”) reimbursements are unknown, which means that for approximately 86% of the prescriptions dispensed by small community pharmacies, pharmacists are unable to make informed business decisions on fundamental matters such as expected cash flow and drug inventory;
• Small community pharmacies lack leverage and are saddled with “take it or leave it” contracts with PBM corporations that include onerous terms that can threaten their financial viability;
• PBM corporations have conflicts of interest through ownership of mail order and specialty pharmacies, often incentivizing or requiring patients to use such pharmacies when many patients prefer to use a community pharmacy.
BALTIMORE – CMS has released requests for proposals for the next round of the recovery auditor contracts.
Until new contracts are awarded, CMS has indicated that the RACs may resume auditing activities, including sending additional documentation requests or ADRs, upon signing a contract modification. The modification allows the RACs to conduct these activities through July 31, 2016.
If a RAC chooses not to sign the modification, providers should note that Oct. 16, 2015, was the last day the RAC could send ADRs, and Dec. 31, 2015, will be the last day the RAC can send an improper payment file to the Medicare Administrative Contractor or MAC for adjustment.
The new RFPs are posted at the Federal Business Opportunity website, www.fbo.gov.
The disputes could also lead to a new contractor being named as the national RAC for HME, home health and hospice. Connolly was named that contractor in late 2014.