A pharmacy company that helped lead the charge to automate medicine dispensing collapsed at the end of last month, leaving some nursing homes with less than a month to find a replacement, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported on Friday.
Wellfount Corp., based in Indianapolis, put “Redbox-style vending machines” in SNFs that dispensed medicines, with an automated system that made medications accessible at all hours and kept track of what medicines had been taken, the publication noted. The company would also use software to monitor its vending machines and send out new inventory before SNFs would need it.
But the medicine dispensers Wellfount used were soon available from many vendors, Zachary Cattell, president of the Indiana Health Care Association, told the Indianapolis Business Journal.
“They automated dispensing to a huge degree,” he told the publication. “But since then, almost every pharmacy company now offers that service.”
The company gave one nursing home chain, TLC Management of Marion, which runs 17 skilled nursing facilities in Indiana, notice of its wind-down on March 6, with a pullout date of March 31, TLC chief operating officer Cullen Gibson told the Indianapolis Business Journal.
“We had to quickly pull ourselves together and pull in another pharmacy to serve our residents’ needs,” he told the publication.
Wellfount was founded in 2006 by Paul Leamon, with the goal of giving SNFs a more efficient way of managing medications. He left the company in 2013. The company had raised $49.5 million since 2010 by selling debt, equity and other securities, the publication said, citing FormDs.com, but it’s not clear whether lenders or investors have recouped their money.
In 2014, when the New York-based Deerfield Management Co. invested $15 million, Wellfount had 150 employees, revenue of $20 million, and nursing home customers in eight states. It planned to expand into other states and related customers, including home health and hospice care, with the goal of doubling its revenue within a few years, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.