Bidding hits FL company hard

By Mike Wells
7/7/2010 © Health News Florida

Medicare’s new competitive bidding system, which offers taxpayers and beneficiaries better deals on home medical equiment, has already dealt a blow to at least one Florida firm even before the bid-winners are announced.

Clearwater-based Lincare Holdings (Nasdaq: LNCR) is among the public companies that analysts have placed on a watch list of fast-falling stocks that are trading with unusual volume. Lincare is one of the nation’s largest providers of home oxygen equipment, with more than 750,000 customers.

Florida is a major player in the initial phase of bidding, with one of the selected metro areas including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Another includes Orange, Lake, Osceola and Seminole counties.

Last Thursday, as Health News Florida reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the bidding program will save taxpayers and beneficiaries 32 percent next year, on average, and even more than that in the Florida counties that are participating.

The announcement provoked a market response because the cuts were much steeper than analysts expected.

Read the rest of the story here.


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