Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 20 | 21 | (Page 22) | 23 | 24 | .... | 61 | newer

    0 0

    02/27/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., introduced a bill on Monday that would increase access to disposable medical technologies for Medicare beneficiaries. Co-sponsored by Rep. George Butterfield, D-N.C., the Patient Access to Disposable Technology Act of 2015, H.R. 1018, would establish “disposable medical technology” and incorporate it into existing DME coverage, allowing Medicare beneficiaries to use less expensive equipment at home. “Many of our constituents rely on disposable medical devices that provide healing in the home setting following hospital stays,” stated Ellmers in a press release. “While private health plans cover these innovative devices, Medicare does not—which results in patients returning to the more-expensive hospital setting to receive the care they need.” Under the current DME benefit, descriptions of eligible equipment are limited to items such as crutches, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks.

    CMS holds steady on Medicare Advantage

    WASHINGTON – CMS has proposed a very small decrease in payments to Medicare Advantage plans for 2016, the agency announced Feb. 20. CMS says it wants to pay private insurers 0.95% less next year. When more intensive services are factored in, however, the agency says it expects overall payments to increase about 1.05%. “The proposed rates will enhance the stability of the Medicare Advantage program and minimize disruption to seniors and care providers,” stated Andy Slavitt, CMS Principal Deputy Administrator, in a press release.

    CMS is currently accepting comments on the proposal and plans to publish a final version on April 6. The agency has reported record high enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans each year since 2010, a trend continuing in 2015 with a total increase of more than 40% since the Affordable Care Act was passed. Additionally, CMS reports that premiums for these plans have fallen nearly 6% from 2010 to 2015. In past years, proposed decreases in payments to Medicare Advantage plans have been reversed. In 2014, for example, a 1.9% decline turned into a 0.4% increase.

    http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-s...

    CMS calls first week of ICD-10 testing a ‘success’

    BALTIMORE ­­– Approximately 660 providers and billing companies participated in the first week of end-to-end testing for the new ICD-10 coding, CMS announced last week. Of the nearly 15,000 test claims submitted Jan. 26–Feb. 3, most were submitted successfully and processed through CMS’s billing system, the agency stated in a press release. Of the claims that were rejected, most were due to errors unrelated to ICD-9 or ICD-10. “Testing allows us to identify areas of improvement, and we will work with outside entities and stakeholders to improve those very small deficiencies identified,” stated CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in the release. Full implementation of the news code set begins Oct. 1, 2015.

    CMS discriminates against doctors of podiatric medicine, council says

    ATLANTA – The AFL-CIO Executive Council issued a statement on Feb. 25 calling on Congress to enact legislation to recognize doctors of podiatric medicine as “physicians” in Title XIX of the Social Security Act governing Medicaid. DPMs are already defined as physicians in Title XVIII of the Social Security Act governing Medicare. The council also called for an amendment of the Social Security Act governing Medicare to recognize the ability of DPMs to independently certify the need for and prescribe appropriate medical equipment. “Failure to recognize DPMs as “physicians” in Title XIX allows a state to eliminate podiatrists from the state Medicaid program as an ‘optional’ service,” the council states. “This optional elimination prevents podiatrists from treating patients under Medicaid, thereby causing unnecessary interruption of ongoing care provided by podiatrists and resulting in potential harm and injury to patients.”

    Midwest Medical hosts Sen. Thune

    WATERTOWN, S.D. – Midwest Medical, a member of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services, hosted a meeting with Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on Feb. 19 to discuss concerns over the impact of competitive bidding in rural areas. “Senator Thune was very interested in our facts and stories about the national roll out of competitive bidding rates and the audit nightmares we have encountered,” stated Kay Johnson, owner of Midwest Medical, in a press release. Other MAMES members also participated in the event: Missouri Breaks DME, Northland Rehab Supply, Patient Financial Services, and Avera Home Medical Equipment.

    Insulet reports increase in revenues

    BILLERICA, Mass. – Insulet reported revenues of $72.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2013. It reported a net loss of $5.4 million vs. $2.5 million. Insulet reported revenues of $288.7 million for the year, an increase of 17% compared to 2013. It reported a net loss of $51.5 million vs. $45 million. For 2015, Insulet expects revenue to be in the range of $305 million to $320 million.

    Universal Software, CollectPlus continue integration

    DAVISON, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions has further integrated the company’s Healthcare Data Management System (HDMS) with CollectPlus, a billing and collection service powered by A/R Allegiance Group. The new integration includes dashboard sign-on, enhanced statement design and auto posting payments at no additional cost to HDMS users. “Based on HDMS users’ needs, we continue to enhance the integration of CollectPlus because we feel it offers the most comprehensive solution for our clients,” stated Christopher Dobiesz, president of Universal Software Solutions, in a press release.

    Bill carves out speech generating devices

    WASHINGTON – A bill that seeks to protect access to speech generating devices for Medicare beneficiaries has been introduced. The Steve Gleason Act of 2015 would remove SGDs from the DME capped rental payment category and clarify statutory language to ensure coverage of eye-tracking technology for beneficiaries who need it to operate their devices. H.R. 628 was introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Steve Scalise, R-La. CMS classified SGDs as capped rental items in April 2014. The agency then issued a coverage reminder in September stating that the devices can only be used for face-to-face conversations. SGDs enable individuals with disabilities likes ALS and cerebral palsy to communicate and live fuller lives, says Tara Rudnicki, president of Tobii Dynavox, which manufactures the devices. “These devices are literally lifelines to their beneficiaries, allowing them to communicate with loved ones,” said Rudnicki. “The introduction of this bill demonstrates a firm federal commitment to the health and well-being of Americans living with disabilities and a willingness to act expeditiously in their defense.”

     

    California providers get ‘best of both worlds’

    LAS VEGAS – The California Association of Medical Product Suppliers has finalized several state-specific sessions for Medtrade Spring as part of its agreement to co-locate its annual conference at the show. “Before the co-location agreement, many CAMPS members were trying to decide, ‘Do I go to the CAMPS show or Medtrade Spring?’” said Tony Myrell, president of CAMPS and owner of Premier Medical Equipment in Colton, Calif. “They will now get the best of both worlds.” The sessions include “California State of the State” and “Managed Care Contracting: Cutting Through the Legalese.” Medtrade Spring takes place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas March 30 to April 1.

    RESNA seeks board nominees

    ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA seeks nominations to fill three board positions. Candidates must be RESNA members in good standing, preferably with a record of participating in the association’s activities, including in some leadership capacity. Nominations are due April 17. For more information, click here.

    Moneyline: Liberator, Oncologix

    Liberator Medical Holdingshas approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.0325 per common share payable April 10. This is the ninth cash dividend paid by the Stuart, Fla.-based provider…Oncologix Tech has retired another convertible note. Over the past several months, the Kentwood, Mich.-based company has retired similar notes, eliminating the issuance of more than 55 million shares.

    Sunrise Medical unites social media presence

    FRESNO, Calif. – Sunrise Medical and its family of brands can now be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. “Sunrise has expanded its social media presence across the world under a united approach,” the company stated in a press release. Sunrise Medical invites users, therapists and dealers to upload pictures or videos to one of these websites with the hash tag #OneSunrise. The company will highlight one post per week in the coming month.

    Short takes: 3B Medical, McLaren Home Infusion

    3B Medicalhas promoted Joe Toth to vice president of sales and marketing. In his previous role as national sales director, Toth helped to bring significant product innovations to the market and was instrumental in the growth of the brand, according to a press release…McLaren Home Infusion Pharmacy has been awarded accreditation under the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP).


    0 0

    03/03/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals has launched a new tool that allows providers to check the status of appeals at the administrative law judge level, AAHomecare reported this week.

    Providers can access the tool, called the ALJ Appeal Status Information System, by going to OMHA’s website, www.hhs.gov/omha, and selecting the “Appeal Status Lookup” link from the navigation bar on the left side.

    “We applaud OMHA for taking this step to allow suppliers to see what is going on with audits affecting their business and giving them a resource for following up on those appeals,” stated Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs, in a press release from AAHomecare.

    The tool allows providers to query level 2 and/or level 3 appeal numbers to get information on the receipt date and the status of the appeal, and the ALJ assignment and team phone number.

    In November, AAHomecare reported that more than 900,000 appeals were backlogged at the ALJ level.


    0 0

    03/06/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals has launched a new tool that allows providers to check the status of appeals at the administrative law judge level, AAHomecare reported last week. Providers can access the tool, called the ALJ Appeal Status Information System, by going to OMHA’s website, www.hhs.gov/omha, and selecting the “Appeal Status Lookup” link from the navigation bar on the left side. “We applaud OMHA for taking this step to allow suppliers to see what is going on with audits affecting their business and giving them a resource for following up on those appeals,” stated Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs, in a press release from AAHomecare. The tool allows providers to query level 2 and/or level 3 appeal numbers to get information on the receipt date and the status of the appeal, and the ALJ assignment and team phone number. In November, AAHomecare reported that more than 900,000 appeals were backlogged at the ALJ level.

    OHI buys Aetrex’s Apex division

    TEANECK, N.J. – Orthotic Holdings Inc. has acquired the Apex Foot Health & Wellness division of Aetrex Worldwide, the companies announced March 3. The deal will allow OHI to increase its lower extremity offering, according to a press release. The Aetrex management team will continue to serve as advisers to OHI and the new operation will remain at the current location in Teaneck, N.J. “OHI will begin immediately devoting the resources necessary for Apex to maintain its leadership position and to reach ever greater heights through new and innovative design and technologies,” stated Ivan Sabel, CEO of OHI, in the release. Aetrex credited its 20-year relationship with OHI as a strong factor in its decision to sell. “Together, we’ve served thousands of customers and millions of patients whose consequent outcomes have benefitted measurably through the partnership,” stated Larry Schwartz, CEO of Aetrex, in the release. “I’m fully confident that such relationships and patient outcomes will continue to thrive under the OHI umbrella.”

    Patient Home Monitoring to acquire company in Virginia

    LOS ANGELES – Patient Home Monitoring has executed a letter of intent to acquire a $5 million healthcare company in Virginia that offers home accessibility products like patient lifts. PHM is a $50 million company focused on rolling up annuity-based healthcare service companies in the U.S. “We now have four LOIs that are awaiting closing with total revenue in excess of $15 million,” stated Michael Dalsin, chairman of the board of PHM, in a press release. “Assuming we close all four deals, PHM’s annual revenue run-rate will exceed $65 million.” PHM plans to close the deal with a mix of cash and stock, issuing less than 1% of its outstanding common shares. Upon closing, the owners of the unnamed company, who will stay on board, plan to begin cross selling their products and services across Georgia, Maine and South Carolina.

    Hasco Medical secures $1M in credit

    ADDISON, Texas – Hasco Medical has secured an additional line of credit with Hancock Bank, the company announced last week. Hasco will use a $1 million secured revolving line of credit from the bank to grow BraunAbility and Vantage Mobility, and to acquire companies and dealerships throughout the U.S., according to a press release. “This new facility allows us the flexibility to act on acquisitions that we may not otherwise have been nimble enough to act on in the past,” stated Shane Jorgenson, CFO, in the release.

    Medtrade’s 6-4-18 series returns

    LAS VEGAS – The “6 Building Blocks 4 Success in the Next 18 Months” (6-4-18) series returns to Medtrade Spring, March 30-April 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. “These hand-selected sessions in the 6-4-18 series are filled with information that you can learn from immediately, as well as implement into your short- and long-term business strategies,” stated Show Director Kevin Gaffney in a press release. The six sessions are free with a conference pass or can be added to expo-only passes for $49. Sessions include “Tired of Revisiting, Revising and Redoing: Develop a Solid Plan to Collect Patient Pay form the Get Go” with Sarah Hanna and Kit Shellhouse of ECS Billing & Consulting North; and “Retail Sales: Innovation and Aggressiveness While Avoiding Legal Pitfalls” with Jeff Baird of Brown & Fortunato.

    Roscoe, MED Group strengthen relationship

    STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Roscoe Medical has expanded its partnership with The MED Group by making more of its portfolio of products and services available to members. Roscoe and The MED Group now partner on more than 4,000 items, including those in Roscoe’s new Viverity retail product line. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with The MED Group and look forward to providing their members with our comprehensive portfolio of products and services that will support their growth," stated Ryan Moore, vice president of sales for Roscoe, in a press release.

    Convaid launches contest

    TORRANCE, Calif. – Convaid has launched a Convaid Care Contest to bring together special needs families to answer the question, “What do you wish you had known at the time of your child’s diagnosis?” Three entrants will win a new accessory for their child. Contestants can participate in one of three ways: essay of 200 words or less; a photo; or a video of one minute or less. The deadline to participate is March 31. For more information, visit www.convaid.com or call 1-888-convaid.

    Active Healthcare releases ‘All About That…Sleep’

    RALEIGH, N.C. – The Sound Sleep Institute, a sleep consulting and treatment program from IntegraSleep and Active Healthcare, has released “All About That Sleep,” a music video that parodies the hit single, “All About That Bass,” to celebrate Sleep Awareness Week. The video showcases a common occurrence in undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea—patients are unaware of the sleep disorder until their bed partner recognizes the signs like snoring and pauses in breathing. “Sleep is one of the three pillars of health, in addition to diet and exercise, that often gets discounted or overlooked in our culture,” stated Steven Feierstein, CEO of Active Healthcare, in a press release. “Sleep Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to revisit and rethink our quality of sleep and how we can make sleep a bigger priority for our overall health and well-being.” Sleep Awareness Week is a national campaign run by the National Sleep Foundation to educate Americans about the importance of sleep. It kicked off March 2 with the release of the NSF’s “Sleep in America” poll and ends March 8 with Daylight Savings Time.

    Virginia association announces 2015 lineup

    GLEN ALLEN, Va. – The Virginia Association of Durable Medical Equipment Companies announced its officers for 2015 at its winter meeting in late February. The officers are Sam Clay of Clay Home Medical, president; Ronnie Rankin of Culpeper Home Medical, vice president; Robin Powers of Friendship HME, treasurer; and Stephanie Hess of Community Home Care Services, secretary. The at-large directors are Jolynn Hamelman of Roberts Home Medical, Anthony Ellis of Ellis Home Oxygen, Mark Bragg of Atlantic Medical, and Angie Fishel of Valley Home Care. A new director: Justin Miller of ABC Healthcare. Associate at-large directors are Noel Booker of Philips Respironics and Gil McCall of VGM.

    Comorbidities increase medical costs for COPD patients, study says

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Patients with COPD and multiple comorbidities, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma, are more likely to have increased medical costs, according to a study released by the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. COPD patients without comorbidities spent about $4,800 on health care, while those with four or more comorbidities spent nearly $28,000. The retrospective observational study was done using data from 183,681 COPD patients from January 2009 to September 2012.

    Short takes: ASA, Freeport Home Medical, BSN

    The American Sleep Association launched the first annual “Stop Snoring Day” on March 2 to increase awareness about the sleep disorders associated with dangerous snoring. About half of the adult population snores and for 4% to 10% of them it’s an indication of obstructive sleep apnea, according to the association…Freeport Home Medical Equipment has hired Christopher Robinson as a field sales manager. Previously, he worked as an insurance auditor for 24 years…BSN Medical has awarded the 2015 BSN-Jobst Research Grant in Venous and Lymphatic Diseases to Andrew Kimball, a resident surgeon at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor, Mich. With the $100,000 grant, Kimball will investigate the mechanisms of venous thrombus resolution under the mentorship of Peter Henke, past president of the American Venous Forum.


    0 0

    03/10/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON and WATERLOO, Iowa – The COPD Foundation has partnered with People for Quality Care, the advocacy division of The VGM Group, to protect access to home oxygen therapy for Medicare beneficiaries.

    The partnership will better position the two groups to collect data on the access issues created by competitive bidding, and share it with CMS and Congress.

    “By collecting patient stories, the COPD Foundation and People for Quality Care are demonstrating that, while competitive bidding may be saving CMS money, it is harming patients across America,” the COPD Foundation stated in a press release. “The partnering of our two organizations will ultimate serve to amplify the patient voice and concerns as it relates to healthcare.”

    Competitive bidding has negatively impacted access in a number of ways, the groups say. Providers that didn’t win contracts and providers that have closed their doors have resulted in service disruptions and confusion for beneficiaries, they say.

    Additionally, the program has forced providers that did win contracts to cut back on their product and service offerings to maintain profitability, the groups say.

    “Given the inability to obtain adequate oxygen and supplies, the patient will become more homebound, more invisible,” stated Jim Nelson, a state captain for the COPD Foundation, in the release. “With the resultant lack of activity and social interaction, many patients will grow weaker, more susceptible to exacerbations. This will likely result in the necessity for much more expensive medical treatment in an ER or hospital setting.”

    The groups say that any money saved through competitive bidding will be overshadowed by the increased costs of this more expensive treatment.

    “Savings are nice, but not when they impair the physical and mental health and quality of life of millions of Americans,” stated Bill Clark, director of patient support and outreach for the COPD Foundation. “We can and must do better.”


    0 0

    03/13/2015
    Theresa Flaherty

    WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders are counting on the support of healthcare professionals from outside the DME arena to bolster their arguments against competitive bidding.

    “We know that lawmakers need to hear from some other people that are affected by the program who don’t have a vested interest,” said Karyn Estrella, executive director of the Home Medical Equipment Services Association of New England. “We know that the beneficiaries are not calling and complaining at the numbers we need them to.”

    The Office of Inspector General in January announced it would conduct a study—its fifth—on the impact of competitive bidding on access to DME. AAHomecare met with the OIG in February and offered to provide the agency with the names of several case managers, discharge planners and other professionals to comment on the program. 

    The contact list included professionals from across the country and from such prestigious institutions as the Cleveland Clinic and Spaulding Rehab.

    “We want the OIG to get a good sense of what’s happening around the country,” said Kim Brummett, senior director of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. “Hopefully, they have reached out and had some good conversations with some of these folks.”

    AAHomecare also gave the OIG contact information for several non-contract suppliers in bid areas.

    “We know many patients can’t get what they need from contract suppliers so they are paying cash to non-contract suppliers,” said Brummett.

    Stakeholders are quick to point out that the message isn’t that contract suppliers aren’t fulfilling their obligations—though that is sometimes the case—but that the way the program was designed and implemented makes it difficult to do so.

    “I talked to a planner who has one local company that does walkers, but they are inundated,” Brummett said. “It’s not that they don’t want to do it, they just can’t purchase enough walkers.” 

    This isn’t the first time that HME stakeholders have reached outside of the industry, and it won’t be the last, says Estrella, who has begun exhibiting at case manager conferences.

    “We want to try to develop that network, not just for bidding but also into the future,” she said. “Anyone that relies on medical equipment, we want to get them more involved with helping us to advocate for better policies.”

     


    0 0

    03/13/2015
    Liz Beaulieu

    BURTONVILLE, Md. – Sure, the push by hospitals and health systems to reduce readmission rates has created opportunities for post-acute care providers. But post-acute providers should be careful not to take on too much responsibility, says healthcare attorney Elizabeth Hogue. Here’s what Hogue had to say about navigating the Wild West of acute and post-acute care alignment.

    HME News: As post-acute providers seek to create partnerships with hospitals and health systems, what are the pitfalls they face?

    Elizabeth Hogue: There are a number of practical ones. I think there’s a tendency on the part of the hospital to look at post-acute care providers and say, “OK, this is your responsibility.” The truth is, we still don’t know how to reduce readmission rates. We think it has to do with discharge planning at the hospital. We think it has to do with transition care services. It’s beginning to look like it has something to do with caregiver education. But we don’t know. So post-acute providers need to be careful about allowing hospitals to dump on them.

    HME: What’s the message that post-acute care providers want to convey to hospitals?

    Hogue: They need to be very clear that it’s a collaboration. That’s the only way it’s going to work.

    HME: So taking on too much responsibility is one pitfall. Any others?

    Hogue: I’m hearing some commentators suggest a patient’s right to freedom of choice will or should go away because, otherwise, how are hospitals going to get control of readmissions? That’s a bunch of bunk. The right to freedom of choice isn’t going anywhere. Can you imagine saying to a patient, “This is where you’re going to get your post-acute care?” That dog is not going to hunt. It’s missing the point, anyway. The point is, it’s the provider’s job to engage patients in an effective conversation about post-acute care and care transitions. 

    HME: But a lot of preferred provider relationships could be formed, right?

    Hogue: Of course, but patient choice always trumps any of those relationships.

    HME: How are you seeing post-acute providers make these collaborations with hospitals work?

    Hogue: One of the things that I’m seeing work is to have designated staff members on both sides of the fence who are responsible for whatever services are involved and to contractually require that those representatives meet with each other on a regular basis. I’m also seeing that the sharing of data in both directions is key.

    HME: You work with a number of different types of post-acute care providers. Who’s making the most progress in this area?

    Hogue: The Medicare-certified home health agencies are, but that’s not to say there isn’t a role for other providers. The jury is still out on what works and what doesn’t, but home health agencies are successfully entering into care transition agreements and preferred provider relationships.

    HME: How are home health agencies getting through to hospitals?

    Hogue: Readmission rates are available and you can see who’s in trouble and who isn’t. It’s a nice approach for post-acute care providers to say, “We see you have a rate of X. Let us help you bring that down.”


    0 0

    03/13/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The industry’s binding bids legislation got another boost yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office said that passing it could increase revenues. In a statement, the CBO estimated that H.R. 284 would increase revenues by about $1 million. The CBO stated: CBO expects that implementing the legislation would not have a significant effect on the prices that CMS establishes for DME items, but that it would result in the forfeiture of a small number of surety bonds. CBO estimates that the revenues from such forfeitures will amount to less than $500,000 in each year, and will total about $1 million over the 2015-2025 period. This estimate assumes enactment in the spring of 2015. The CBO score is the latest step forward for the bill. In late February, the House Ways and Means unanimously voted to pass the bill. The next step is to bring it to the house floor for a vote, said AAHomecare. The association is working with House leadership to expedite the process.

    Inogen delays earnings

    GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen will not report its fourth quarter and year end earnings today as planned due to an internal investigation of its accounting practices. Management discovered “certain potential accounting matters” during the first quarter of 2015, prompting an Audit Committee, with help from independent advisers, to launch an internal investigation. “The Audit Committee is investigating whether there were any violations of the company’s accounting policies associated with these potential accounting matters,” the company stated in a press release. “The Audit Committee has not reached any conclusion.” Inogen says it can’t predict the outcome of the investigation or when it will be completed. Until the investigation is completed, the company can’t comment on its earnings. “Inogen will announce such results as soon as practicable following the completion of the Audit Committee’s investigation,” the company stated in the release.

    NSM targets service, supply chain improvements

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has added director-level positions in service delivery and supply chain to support unprecedented growth in 2014, the company announced March 9. Darrell Chiasson will serve as director of service delivery, and Chris Paz will serve as director of supply chain management. Chiasson will focus on building a best-in-class service organization that improves the client service experience while minimizing downtime and repairs. “With so many local new NSM branches nationwide, integrated customer service is key,” he stated in a press release. Paz will focus on working with providers to help their ATPs get the most appropriate products and services.

    COPD Foundation, PFQC partner to ‘amplify patient voice’

    WASHINGTON and WATERLOO, Iowa – The COPD Foundation has partnered with People for Quality Care, the advocacy division of The VGM Group, to protect access to home oxygen therapy for Medicare beneficiaries. The partnership will better position the two groups to collect data on the access issues created by competitive bidding, and share it with CMS and Congress. “By collecting patient stories, the COPD Foundation and People for Quality Care are demonstrating that, while competitive bidding may be saving CMS money, it is harming patients across America,” the COPD Foundation stated in a press release. “The partnering of our two organizations will ultimate serve to amplify the patient voice and concerns as it relates to healthcare.” Competitive bidding has negatively impacted access in a number of ways, the groups say. Providers that didn’t win contracts and providers that have closed their doors have resulted in service disruptions and confusion for beneficiaries, they say. Additionally, the program has forced providers that did win contracts to cut back on their product and service offerings to maintain profitability, the groups say.

    Kohll’s expands presence in Nebraska

    OMAHA & LINCOLN, Neb. – Kohll’s Pharmacy has acquired Lincoln, Neb.-based Wagey Drug Company, an independent pharmacy. The deal was announced March 10 by Generation Equity, the acquisition firm that advised Wagey on the transaction. "Our client had a personal desire to find a buyer that would keep the pharmacy running and the Wagey legacy in Lincoln going for years to come,” said Terry Mackin, managing director of Generational Equity, in a release. Founded in 1948, Omaha, Neb.-based Kohll’s offers HME and has nine locations in Nebraska and Iowa.

    Sleep therapy program goes live

    SANDWICH, Mass. – Cape Medical Supply is now offering a SleepExpress program at its new location in New Bedford, Mass. The program offers patient setups, equipment repair and therapy consultations by appointment only. The goal is to service patients in 10 minutes or less. “We have spent a lot of time and energy working on making care more convenient for our patients, and we think that putting a clinic right in the center of our patient’s home community is a big step in the right direction,” stated CEO Gary Sheehan in a release. Cape Medical recently opened its Sleep Therapy Center in December and lauched MyResupply online in June.

    Univita launches in-home wound care program

    MIRAMAR, Fla. – Univita Health’s new wound care program aims to reduce costs and improving outcomes by managing at-risk patients and reducing hospital admissions. “Without Univita’s interventions in providing proactive, specialized care for these complex, chronically ill patients, these individuals would have experienced hospitalizations and extensive surgery,” said Dr. Manny Selva, chief medical officer at Miramar, Fla.-based Univita in a release. Of those patients enrolled in the program: 92% were discharged with healed wounds; 64% of patients’ wounds had healed or were significantly reduced in size within 90 days, according to the release.

    TiLite gets behind wheelchair tournament

    PASCO, Wash. – TiLite is providing financial and marketing support to a local wheelchair basketball tournament. Executives from the wheelchair manufacturer attended last year’s Clash at the Columbia and were disappointed by the low turnout of spectators, according to a local news article. Organizers of this year’s tournament, slated for March 21, hope TiLite’s involvement will boost awareness of and participation in the event. This isn’t the first time TiLite has supported local causes. Employees have formed the TiLite in Motion Committee to look for ways to give back. Permobil acquired TiLite last year.

    NCPA announces conference dates

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association will hold its 2015 Annual Legislative Conference May 12-13. Member priorities include enacting federal and state MAC reform legislation to alleviate delays in generic drug reimbursement updates; passing legislation that would allow pharmacies to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks; and passing pharmacist provider status legislation. “I strongly urge community pharmacists from across the country to join me for the legislative conference as we advocate for pharmacy choice,” stated NCPA PresidentJohn Sherrer in a release. The conference will be held at the Hilton Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. To register, click here.

    Roscoe offers financing program

    STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Roscoe Medical has partnered with Navitas Lease to offer a new cash flow financing program to HME providers. Features of the program include a one-page application, highly competitive rates, financing terms from 12 to 36 months, credit decisions within hours and the ability to approve companies with a broad spectrum of credit profiles. Navitas is a nationwide provider of commercial financing programs. 

    Short takes: Hasco, Mediware, Merits

    Hasco Medicalhas opened a Ride-Away location in Parkville, Md. The company plans a grand opening April 17-18 with an open house, demos and special savings. Addison, Texas-based Hasco operates 20 locations in 11 states from Maine to Florida…Mediware has announced the first customer to go live with its new CareTend software solution: Health Options, a home infusion provider…Merits Health Products has a new member on its team: Chris Blackmore as national director of sales. Previously, Blackmore was regional vice president of sales for Pride Mobility Products and director of business development for Handicare…Milwaukee-based Knueppel Healthcare Services is the first provider in Wisconsin to offer the Motivo Tour walker. The Tour was named one of Medtrade’s Top 5 new products in 2014.

     


    0 0

    03/13/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The industry’s binding bids legislation got another boost yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office said that passing it could increase revenues.

    In a statement, the CBO estimated that H.R. 284 would increase revenues by about $1 million.

    The CBO stated:

    CBO expects that implementing the legislation would not have a significant effect on the prices that CMS establishes for DME items, but that it would result in the forfeiture of a small number of surety bonds. CBO estimates that the revenues from such forfeitures will amount to less than $500,000 in each year, and will total about $1 million over the 2015-2025 period. This estimate assumes enactment in the spring of 2015.

    H.R. 284 was introduced Jan. 12, along with Senate companion bill S. 148. The bills would require providers to obtain bid bonds and provide proof of licensure before submitting bids. H.R. 284 currently has 59 co-sponsors; S. 148 has five.

    The CBO score is the latest step forward for the bill. In late February, the House Ways and Means unanimously voted to pass the bill. The next step is to bring it to the house floor for a vote, said AAHomecare. The association is working with House leadership to expedite the process.


    0 0

    03/16/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday sided with the HME industry and passed a bill that would reform the competitive bidding program.

    After 40 minutes of debate, representatives voted to pass H.R. 284, which would require, among other things, binding bids and proof of licensure.

    The House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 26 marked up and unanimously voted to pass H.R. 284.

    Then the Congressional Budget Office on March 12 released a statement saying it believes, if passed, H.R. 284 would increase revenues by about $1 million from 2015-2025.

    Reps. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, and John Larson, D-Conn., introduced H.R. 284 on Jan. 12. It has 63 co-sponsors.

    With a bill passed in the House, industry stakeholders are now zeroing in on the Senate. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced S. 148 on Jan. 12. It has five co-sponsors.

    “AAHomecare is lobbying both the House and Senate on behalf of the industry, and is already moving on the Senate version, which will be the next step,” the association stated in a bulletin to members. “AAHomecare will alert the industry when grassroots action is needed.”


    0 0

    03/20/2015
    Theresa Flaherty

    LEDYARD, Conn. – Two state associations have partnered to create an event aimed at helping providers find their place in the changing world of health care.

    The two-day event will provide a global overview of initiatives driving partnership-based entities—like accountable care organizations—and how HME providers can align themselves with these new entities.

    “Hospitals and physicians want tangible outcomes from the HME providers they are working with,” said Carol Napierski, executive director of the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association. “We want to talk to providers about how to have that data available.”

    NYMEP and the Home Medical Equipment Services Association of New England will host the Northeast Post Acute Care Symposium at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., May 11-13.

    At press time, the associations were still finalizing the program, but a speaker from Leavitt Partners, a D.C.-based healthcare policy firm, will speak about the government’s role in health care and where it is moving.

    “We are hearing about unique partnerships and Medicare savings, but we also want to talk about what’s going to happened in the next couple of years,” said Napierski. “We’ll also hear from providers who have engaged in new partnerships and what they’ve learned.”

    Other tracks include how to data mine—understanding your internal data and benchmarking it against other providers—and how to do a clean intake. 

    While some providers have indeed made shifts toward a post-acute care model, others either lack the resources to do so, or simply haven’t thought that far ahead.

    “All of our members are part of the post-acute world,” said Karyn Estrella, executive director of HOMES. “We need to do whatever we can to increase their visibility and position their companies so they can be part of it.”


    0 0

    03/20/2015
    Tracy Orzel

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota lawmakers have introduced a pair of bills that seek to unlink Medicaid pricing from competitive bid pricing.

    “Because of the way the state rules were written, Minnesota Medicaid has to follow what Medicare’s reimbursement rates are,” said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services. 

    The bills, H.F. 1053 and S.F. 988, are a preventative move: Competitive bid rate pricing was supposed to go into effect July 1, 2013; however, the state legislature voted to delay implementation for a year in 2013 and then again in 2014.

    Had the competitive bid pricing been applied to Medicaid, Schafhauser says the result would have been access issues, cheap equipment and delivery delays for Medicaid beneficiaries.

    Another bill that’s in the works would change state sales tax language to specify that any item billed to third-party payers should be exempt from the tax. Currently, only items billed to Medicare or Medicaid are exempt from sales tax.

    Sales tax is always a concern, says Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, who supports both bills. 

    “Usually sales tax is not something that can be passed onto the patient, so the provider ends up having to pay,” he said.


    0 0

    03/20/2015
    Tracy Orzel

    WASHINGTON – Providers can register for AAHomecare’s HME Audit Key starting in April.  

    “We’re hoping to sign up several hundred providers,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for the association.

    AAHomecare launched the HME Audit Key in 2014 to track audit activity in the HME industry and present those findings to policymakers.

    Starting in May, providers that have registered will be able to use a secure electronic form to anonymously answer questions about audits, including who they’re being audited by; how many audits they have at the redetermination, reconsideration and ALJ levels; and how many appeals they’ve won.

    “(The system) is intuitive,” said Judy Bunn, compliance manager at Medical Service Company in Cleveland, who also sits on AAHomecare’s Regulatory Committee Audit Task Force. “Audits impact the ability to collect reimbursement and I would think that every supplier would already be tracking these.”

    The goal is reform, specifically the ability of auditors to use clinical inference, said Laura Williard, senior director of regulatory affairs, compliance, and contracting for Greensboro, N.C.-based Advanced Home Care, who also sits on AAHomecare’s Regulatory Committee Audit Task Force.

    “Some of these denials are for basic technical reasons that don’t negate the medical necessity,” she said.

    AAHomecare plans to share results.

    “To be able to make comparisons from company to company, region to region, DME MAC to DME MAC, I think it will be really eye-opening for a lot of people,” said Brummett.


    0 0
  • 03/20/15--11:33: Bid fight moves to Senate
  • ‘We’ve got a lot more we need to accomplish’
    03/20/2015
    Theresa Flaherty

    WASHINGTON – No sooner had the House of Representatives passed a bill that would reform the competitive bidding program, than things started moving in the Senate. 

    The House on March 16 voted unanimously to pass H.R. 284, which would require binding bids and proof of licensure.

    “The Senate has been watching this,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy for AAHomecare. “As soon as the bill passed, I was getting emails.”

    H.R. 284, which was introduced Jan. 12, was marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 26 and received a favorable score from the Congressional Budget Office on March 12.

    Before the vote in the House, Rep. Patrick Tiberi, who introduced the bill along with Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., took to the House floor.

    “I’ve heard from seniors, beneficiaries and small businesses that the program is impeding access to needed items for seniors and ultimately harming health and making costs more expensive for our seniors and the program itself,” he said. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

    Now, the focus is on getting a Senate companion bill passed. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced S. 148 on Jan. 12. It has five co-sponsors.

    Like the House and its suspension calendar, the Senate has an expedited process called “hotlining,” a process in which the majority leader and minority leader agree to pass legislation by unanimous consent.

    “We have two strong champions in Portman and Cardin—they’ve been pushing with the Senate Finance Committee and leadership on this for a while now,” said Witter. “(After the vote), their offices contacted Senate leadership about moving this bill quickly.”

    Stakeholders acknowledge that things move much slower in the Senate—there is no timetable yet for a vote on S. 148. In the meantime, they’re focusing on bumping up the number of co-sponsors for the bill.

    Although H.R. 284 comes too late to help those in the Round 2 re-compete, it’s important to keep pushing for reform, stakeholders say. 

    “This is momentous for the industry,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “Get out there and fight, and make a difference. We’ve got a lot more we need to accomplish.”


    0 0

    03/20/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – The government’s healthcare fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered $3.3 billion in taxpayer dollars in fiscal year 2014, the Justice and Health and Human Services departments announced March 19. For every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government has recovered $7.70—the third highest return on investment since the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program was established in 1997, according to the agencies. In all, more than $27.8 billion has been returned to the Medicare Trust Fund over the life of the program, they say.

    FDA gives Snug Seat green light

    MATTHEWS, N.C. – The Food and Drug Administration has released Snug Seat from a product specific hold. The company may now resume distributing 15 products in the United States that are manufactured in Denmark by its parent company R82. Snug Seat has been under a product specific hold for the last 18 months, following the FDA’s finding that R82 was in violation of six “good manufacturing requirements.” Snug Seat plansto confirm previously placed orders over the next two weeks and start filling open orders according to inventory and age of order by late March.

    Univita Health secures $40M

    MIRAMAR, Fla. – Univita Health has secured a credit facility of $40 million from Genstar Capital and a private lender, it announced March 17. The provider says it will use the credit facility to expand its roster of health plan partners. Currently, Univita has contracts with more than 20 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Through those contracts, the provider manages care for more than 5 million members. In 2014 alone, Univita added 1 million members on Medicaid plans in Florida.

    MHA launches advocacy website

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Managed Health Care Associates, which owns The MED Group, has launched a website dedicated to legislative advocacy, it announced March 17. The website, www.cqrcengage.com/mha, provides members with the ability to communicate with their federal and state legislatures about issues affecting their companies and industries. It also features information about bills that have been introduced in Congress that will affect long-term care, home infusion and specialty pharmacies, and DME providers. “With so many changes taking place in our industry, it is vital that we support our members in staying engaged with their legislators,” stated Wayne Grau, vice president of legislative affairs for MHA, in a press release. “This site will help our members and their employees to understand legislation that may impact our industry and take action to make their voices heard by their legislators.”

    U.S. Rehab revamps training program

    WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group, has revamped its popular Tech Training program to provide a “deeper dive” into repairs for power mobility equipment. The program now has two tracks: online training for newer repair techs; and in-person, advanced training for techs with two or more years of experience. Training will be provided by Richard Fuller of Richard Fuller Consulting; Elizabeth Cole, clinical director of U.S. Rehab; and Permobil, Invacare, Motion Concepts and Sunrise Medical. “Problem areas will be frankly discussed,” stated Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, in a press release. “This is not a sales pitch posing as a tech seminar.” U.S. Rehab will offer advanced training on May 4-6 in California; June 16-18 at the Heartland Conference in Waterloo, Iowa; Aug. 3-5 in Dallas; and Oct. 12-14 in Atlanta. Those who complete the program will receive 2.1 continuing education units. The fee is $450 for VGM/U.S. Rehab members and $500 for non-members.

    Universal Software strengthens ties with McKesson

    DAVISON, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions now offers VendorLink, a module for drop shipping patient orders to McKesson Medical-Surgical, free of charge. The module automatically stores shipment confirmations, tracking numbers and invoice data documents to help process claims faster. It also helps cut down on handling and warehouse costs; eliminates re-keying and data entry errors; and provides a complete cycle of documentation.

    GWP expands presence in Pacific Northwest

    WASILLA, Alaska – Geneva Woods Pharmacy has acquired Vancouver, Wash.-based CHS Pharmacy and Kirk’s Drugs. The providers offer HME, complex rehab, respiratory and long-term care pharmacy services in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and Nevada. GWPplans to double its workforce in the Vancouver area over the next 24 months and establish a “lower 48” headquarters in the city. The acquisition is GWP’s ninth.

    3B Medical sues ResMed for antitrust violations

    LAKE WALES, Fla. – 3B Medical has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against ResMed for antitrust violations. 3B Medical’s complaint alleges that ResMed is “choosing winners and losers in the CMS competitive bidding process (with) preferential pricing, creating an environment of fear and bullying among customers, and interfering in 3B Medical’s business relationships.” “This action is intended to restore competition, increase patient choice and lower product pricing for sleep products,” stated Daniel Kotchen of Kotchen & Low, 3B Medical’s attorney. In a statement following the filing, ResMed’s global general counsel, David Pendarvis, said there is no substance to the claims in the case. “ResMed conducts business in an ethical and lawful manner,” he stated. “Physicians, customers and patient prefer our products because they are better. We expect to win this case if it is brought to trial.” Pendarvis also pointed out that ResMed recently won a case for patent infringement against 3B Medical and its Chinese-based manufacturer, BMC Medical Co.

    Grip Solutions launches new website

    EBENSBURG, Pa. – Grip Solutions has redesigned its website, www.mygripsolutions.com, to optimize viewing using different devices. The website also features a YouTube video so users can easily understand the company’s products and see them in action, and a twitter feed so they can get real life, real time insights. Grip Solutions is a line of non-slip products designed to help with a variety of activities of daily living.

    Short takes: BOC, Active Healthcare, Sigvaris

    Owings Mills, Md.-based The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) has won a Stevie Award for sales and customer service for the third consecutive year. It earned a silver award in the “Innovation in Customer Service” category. BOC also received a bronze award for the “Business Development Achievement” category…Lisa Feierstein, co-founder and president of Raleigh, N.C.-based Active Healthcare, was selected from more than 5,000 women to be featured in the 2015 Woman’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar. The calendar provides advice for women business owners. Feierstein’s advice: “Recipe for attaining goals: 1 part exercise, 2 parts diet, 6 parts sleep. Blend together and your goals will bake”…Sigvaris has launched a brand video addressing common leg problems like varicose veins and work-related leg pain, and medical conditions like deep vein thrombosis and diabetes. “The campaign is designed to raise much needed awareness about the importance of overall leg health,” stated Judith Brannan, associate director of education & medical affairs at Sigvaris North America. View the video here: http://bit.ly/SIGmevfl.


    0 0
  • 03/25/15--08:20: CMS extends bid deadline
  • 03/25/2015
    HME News Staff

    BALTIMORE – CMS has pushed back the deadline to submit bids for the Round 2 re-compete by a day.

    In an announcement this morning, the agency said that, due to technical difficulties yesterday, the bid window will now close at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 26.

    The deadline for submitting hardcopy documents is unchanged: The Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor must receive all packages no later than 12 a.m. EST on Wednesday, March 25.

    Providers are submitting bids for seven product categories in 117 competitive bidding areas, as well as mail-order contracts for diabetes supplies nationwide.

    CMS expects to announce the single payment amounts for the Round 2 re-compete and begin the contracting process in the winter of 2016.

    Providers can contact the CBIC customer service center with questions at 877-577-5331 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.


    0 0

    03/27/2015
    Theresa Flaherty

    WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders claimed another victory last week when the House of Representatives passed a permanent “doc fix” bill that contained binding bids language.

    “Lawmakers wanted to be sure H.R. 284 gets passed into law,” said Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare. “Assuming the Senate passes the ‘doc fix,’ the binding bids bill will pass.”

    Previously, the House on March 16 voted unanimously to pass H.R. 284, which would require binding bids and proof of licensure.

    The Senate won’t take up the “doc fix” or SGR bill until after the two-week Easter recess, which begins today. 

    “More Democrats in the Senate have come out in support of the ‘doc fix,’” said Bachenheimer. “I am increasingly optimistic that it’s going to happen.”

    Industry stakeholders have been working with the Senate to get S. 148, a companion bill to H.R. 284, passed by unanimous consent, but having the binding bids language in the SGR bill is a safer bet, stakeholders say.

    Once the SGR bill is out of the way, the industry needs to once again roll up its sleeves, they say.

    “We have to come in as an industry and really push hard against the Jan. 1, 2016, rollout (of bid pricing nationwide),” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for The VGM Group. “Both the House and Senate know this is the train wreck that’s got to be fixed.”

    Meanwhile, the bid window for the Round 2 re-compete closed March 26—a day late, due to technical glitches. Despite that, provider Woody O’Neal still managed to finish before the deadline.

    “We were ready to go with a pot of coffee but the system was hung up,” said O’Neal, vice president of Pelham, Ala.-based O2 Neal Medical. “Now we’re done, and I’m going to go play golf.”


    0 0

    03/27/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – AAHomecare is throwing its weight behind a study to determine the impact of education on compliance and outcomes for COPD patients.

    The association says it will help recruit HME providers and patients to participate in the Peer-Led O2 Infoline for Patient and Caregivers study, which is funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

    “As the national association for HME providers, AAHomecare is well positioned to help the PELICAN study recruit HME providers and their patients,” stated Tom Ryan, president and CEO, in a press release. “This study will go a long way toward quantifying the impact of peer coaching on adherence and self-management, leading to better patient outcomes.”

    Participating providers will conduct four home visits to collect information about the oxygen equipment in the patient’s home and his or her oxygen prescription.

    To participate, patients must be at least 18 years old, have COPD, be prescribed for 24-hour oxygen use, be expected to live at least six months and speak English or Spanish.

    AAHomecare says providers and patients will be compensated for their participation.

    The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois Breathe Chicago Center, National Jewish Health, LA BioMed, AlphaNet and the COPD Foundation.

    Partner organizations include Apria Healthcare, Fitzsimmons Home Medical Equipment, American Association for Respiratory Care, Invacare, Klingensmith Healthcare, Wellspan Medical Equipment, Orbit Medical, Rush University Medical Center, Sturdy Memorial Hospital and Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital.

    Inogen’s new facility ready to roll

    GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen’s new manufacturing facility is now operational, the company announced March 25. The 23,890-square-foot facility in Richardson, Texas, will support manufacturing, packaging and logistics. Inogen will convert its prior manufacturing space into office space. “Our goal is a balance of infrastructure growth with cost control through scalable manufacturing, reliability improvements, optimizing asset utilization and reducing service costs,” said President and CEO Raymond Huggenberger in a release. Inogen announced on March 12 that it was delaying the release of its fourth quarter and year-end earnings to investigate “potential accounting matters.”

    AAH launches Legislative Council

    WASHINGTON –AAHomecare’s newly formed Legislative Council met for the first time last week to discuss information sharing, as well as common HME regulatory and advocacy goals. The group hopes to promote collaboration among the government relations professionals of the association’s member companies. During the meeting, AAHomecare’s Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs, provided a regulatory update, while Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy, offered a legislative update.

    TiLite gives tour of facilities

    PASCO, Wash. – TiLite recently gave nine para-athletes a behind-the-scenes look at how custom wheelchairs are made. “It’s a somewhat unique American manufacturing success story in and of itself, with what we do with our custom tailored wheelchairs,” said John Roach, TiLite’s chief information officer, in a release. The wheelchair manufacturer hopes the tour will help drum up interest in parasports.

    Show organizers name top 10 retail products

    LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring organizers have announced the top 10 finalists for its Innovative HME Retail Product Awards. The finalists advance to an onsite judging round at Medtrade Spring this week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. During a session on March 31, judges and attendees will pick the top three winners. The finalists are: Titan Swivel Chair from ComforTek Seating, PainAway Wireless TENS from Drive Medical, Golden Cloud PR510 Power Life and Recline Chair from Golden Technologies, OrthoSleeve from ING Services, Foot Gym from ING Services, IWALK 2.0 Hands Free Crutch from IWALK Free, LC-385 Lift Chair with FirstUp Technology from Pride Mobility, REMZZZs CPAP Mask Liners from REMZZZs, Viverity Pain Relief Paid from Roscoe Medical, SleepSaver from Stevenson, Inc., and Breezy Elegance Retail Wheelchair from Sunrise Medical. The session, “Best New Retail/Cash Opportunities,” is open to all attendees.

    Short takes: CCS Medical, HOMES

    CCS Medicalhas named Rodney Carson president and CEO. He joins the company from MDLIVE, the nation’s second largest telehealth company, where he was president of operations. He also spent time as president of Liberty Medical’s mail-order pharmacy business...The Home Medical Equipment Services Association of New England will present the April Mason Home Care Advocacy Award to Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., at the Northeast Post-Acute Care Symposium, May 11-13 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn. Larson has supported the industry’s efforts to reform the competitive bidding program and create a separate benefit for complex rehab.


    0 0

    03/27/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – AAHomecare is throwing its weight behind a study to determine the impact of education on compliance and outcomes for COPD patients.

    The association says it will help recruit HME providers and patients to participate in the Peer-Led O2 Infoline for Patient and Caregivers study, which is funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

    “As the national association for HME providers, AAHomecare is well positioned to help the PELICAN study recruit HME providers and their patients,” stated Tom Ryan, president and CEO, in a press release. “This study will go a long way toward quantifying the impact of peer coaching on adherence and self-management, leading to better patient outcomes.”

    Participating providers will conduct four home visits to collect information about the oxygen equipment in the patient’s home and his or her oxygen prescription.

    To participate, patients must be at least 18 years old, have COPD, be prescribed for 24-hour oxygen use, be expected to live at least six months and speak English or Spanish.

    AAHomecare says providers and patients will be compensated for their participation.

    The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois Breathe Chicago Center, National Jewish Health, LA BioMed, AlphaNet and the COPD Foundation.

    Partner organizations include Apria Healthcare, Fitzsimmons Home Medical Equipment, American Association for Respiratory Care, Invacare, Klingensmith Healthcare, Wellspan Medical Equipment, Orbit Medical, Rush University Medical Center, Sturdy Memorial Hospital and Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital.


    0 0

    04/01/2015
    HME News Staff

    LAS VEGAS – AAHomecare held its Stand Up for Homecare reception last night at Medtrade Spring, drawing 200 attendees and raising more than $50,000.

    The money raised goes to consumer advocacy groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, United Spinal Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America and National Council on Independent Aging, as well as AAHomecare’s own Save My Medical Supplies.

    “The reception raised over $50,000 to help promote a positive image of HME and raise public awareness of home care's benefits,” the association stated in a press release.

    This year, Bert Burns, a disability advocate and paralympian, attended the reception to share his story and to support Save My Medical Supplies.

    Also at the reception, AAHomecare and show organizers gave awards to several members of Medtrade’s Educational Advisory Board. Mary Ellen Conway of Capital Healthcare Group, Bob Fary of Inogen, Miriam Lieber of Lieber Consulting, Mark Schmeler of the University of Pittsburgh and Jay Williams of QS/1 Data Systems were all honored for their contributions and leadership.

    “(They) are the cornerstone of Medtrade’s success,” stated Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, in the release. “AAHomecare and Medtrade thank them for their tireless service, counsel and leadership.”


    0 0

    04/03/2015
    HME News Staff

    PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive Medical made not one but two acquisitions last week. Drive Medical Limited of the U.K., a wholly owned subsidiary of Drive Medical, has acquired U.K.-based Park House Healthcare. Founded in 1984, Park House Healthcare manufactures pressure prevention products, hospital and long-term care beds and transfer equipment, and has more than 25 distributors worldwide. “The Park House acquisition extends our already significant presence in Europe, providing us with a full line of pressure prevention mattresses to complement Drive’s extensive product portfolio,” stated Richard Kolodny, president of Drive Medical, in a press release. “Park House will also expand Drive’s footprint into the National Health Service and long-term care markets in the U.K.” Drive Medical has also acquired Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based Columbia Medical, expanding the presence of its Wenzelite division in the pediatric market. Columbia Medical’s product offerings include wheelchairs, aircraft transfer chairs, bath and shower products, gait trainers and car seats. “With our recent acquisition of Specialised Orthotic Services (SOS) in the U.K., we believe there will be significant cross-selling and marketing opportunities with Wenzelite, Columbia Medical and SOS in the U.S. and Europe,” stated Drive Medical CEO Harvey Diamond in a release. Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

    Sunrise Medical buys Switch-It

    FRESNO, Calif. – Sunrise Medical has acquired substantially all of the assets of Switch-It, a manufacturer of special drive controls, special input devices and other high-tech products for complex power wheelchairs. Sunrise Medical officials say the acquisition expands the company’s portfolio in complex rehab and further positions it for significant growth. “Switch-It is a strong fit with our business and this acquisition accelerates our global offerings in the high-end mobility market,” stated Pete Coburn, president, U.S. commercial operations at Sunrise Medical, in a press release. Together, the two companies plan to co-develop programs and specially design products for multiple mobility needs, according to the release. Switch-It officials say the acquisition allows the Missouri City, Texas-based company to grow its presence outside of the U.S. “This acquisition brings us significant opportunities to leverage our growth and expand our international presence by utilizing the strong global reach of Sunrise,” stated Andrew Parker, president of Switch-In, in the release.

    FullCircle hires marketing company

    SHELBYVILLE, Ky. – FullCircle Registry has engaged a marketing company to distribute company information to stockholders and the investment community. Innovative Marketing, which has locations in New York, Chicago, Tampa, Fla., and San Diego, will develop, execute and maintain investor relations programs, e-mail investor packages to qualified brokers and individual investors, complete investor sentiment work, conduct an outbound campaign to new investors and communicate with company management for strategy discussions and planning. Innovative Marketing will also transmit information through social media to help the company with its plan to acquire DME companies in Louisiana. “If this marketing activity is successful then we can continue negotiating in our DME merger project,” the company stated in a release.

    Educate on burn risk for COPD patients, study advises

    GALVESTON, Texas – Home oxygen therapy puts patients with COPD at risk for burns, according to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers looked at 685 Medicare patients with COPD who suffered burns and 2,055 who did not between 2001 and 2010, and found that those who suffered burns were more likely to have been prescribed home oxygen therapy within 90 days prior to their burns. Still, “the benefits of oxygen in COPD patients outweigh the modest risks of burn injury,” said senior study author Dr. Alexander Duarte, a professor in the division of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Duarte advises healthcare professionals to educate and counsel patients and their families on the potential risk of burn injury. Overall, one out of 1,421 COPD patients who have been prescribed oxygen therapy suffer a burn each year, according to the study.

    People news: Insulet, NHIA, NHIF

    Insulet, manufacturer of the OmniPod Insulin Management System, has appointed Michael Levitz CFO starting May 4. He succeeds Allison Dorval, who has resigned to pursue other opportunities. Dorval will remain at Insulet through July 3 to help with the transition. Levitz has more than 15 years of experience with several medical device companies…The National Home Infusion Association has announced that Danette Frauenholtz, executive director at the University of Iowa Community HomeCare in Iowa City, has been named chairwoman of the board of directors. She succeeds Paul Mastrapa, president of Walgreens Infusion Services, who has served as chairman since 2013…The National Home Infusion Foundation has awarded its inaugural Lynn Giglione Memorial NHIF Scholarship Award for Home and Specialty Infusion Nursing to Diane Tuemler for her leadership and commitment to patient care in the home and specialty infusion field. Tuemler is a homecare liaison nurse for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she educates and prepares parents and caregivers to administer infusion therapy to their child at home.

    ROVI goes on tour

    CARSON, Calif. – To celebrate the launch of its new wheelchair, ROVI Mobility has hit the road in a ROVI Educational Bus. Equipped with training and demonstration equipment, the bus will make stops in more than 50 cities, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Denver, before coming to a stop on Sept. 1, 2015. The purpose of the tour: to educate ATPs, rehab technicians and clinicians about the ROVI X3. For a full list of tour dates, click here. 

    Inogen seeks extension on annual report filing

    GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen announced last week that it will file a Form 12b-25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The move will give the Goleta, Calif.-based manufacturer an extra 15 days to file a Form 10-K for its annual report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014. Due to an ongoing internal investigation into potential violations of accounting policies, the company was unable to file the form by the March 31 deadline. 

    And the winners are…

    LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring show organizers have announced the winners of this year’s Innovative Retail Product Awards: IWalkFree Inc. took first place for the iWALK 2.0 Hands Free Crutch, and ING Source took second and third places for its OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve and Foot Gym, respectively. Finalists were given three minutes to pitch their products to judges and attendees during a session at the show…Show organizers also doled out New Product Pavilion Provider’s Choice Awards. The TwoCan Cane by TwoCan Cane took home gold; the Amara View Minimal Contact Full Face Mask from Philips Respironics earned silver; and The OxyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator from Applied Home Healthcare Equipment won bronze...Finally, show organizers doled out an award for Best Booth to Minneapolis-based HurryCane Company. 

    Industry stands up for home care

    LAS VEGAS – AAHomecare held its Stand Up for Homecare reception last week at Medtrade Spring, drawing 200 attendees and raising more than $50,000. The money raised goes to consumer advocacy groups like the American Association of People with Disabilities, United Spinal Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America and National Council on Independent Aging, as well as AAHomecare’s own Save My Medical Supplies. “The reception raised over $50,000 to help promote a positive image of HME and raise public awareness of home care's benefits,” the association stated in a press release. This year, Bert Burns, a disability advocate and paralympian, attended the reception to share his story and to support Save My Medical Supplies. Also at the reception, AAHomecare and show organizers gave awards to several members of Medtrade’s Educational Advisory Board. Mary Ellen Conway of Capital Healthcare Group, Bob Fary of Inogen, Miriam Lieber of Lieber Consulting, Mark Schmeler of the University of Pittsburgh and Jay Williams of QS/1 Data Systems were all honored for their contributions and leadership. “(They) are the cornerstone of Medtrade’s success,” stated Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, in the release. “AAHomecare and Medtrade thank them for their tireless service, counsel and leadership.”

    Senate moves to protect access to speech generating devices

    WASHINGTON – The Senate has included language in its budget resolution that protects patient access to medical necessary speech generating devices, reports Tobii Dynavox, a manufacturer of the devices. The language comes from a bill introduced March 18 by Sen. David Vitter, R-La. A similar bill has already been introduced in the House of Representatives. “The Senate adoption of the budget amendment for speech generating devices is another show of support that we hope will result in full enactment of the legislation,” the company stated in a press release. Known as The Steve Gleason Act of 2015, the bills would make SGDs purchase items instead of capped rental items, and clarify statutory language to ensure coverage of eye-tracking technology for beneficiaries who need it to operate their devices. A number of senators have put their weight behind the bill, including Maine’s two senators, Angus King and Susan Collins.

    The MED Group expands payer network

    LUBBOCK, Texas – The MED Group, a Managed Health Care Associates company, has expanded its payer network to include several new and enhanced agreements. MED members now have access to an additional 11.8 million covered lives through agreements with Prime Health Services, MultiPlan’s Texas True Choice Network and Stratose. "We are excited to bring these new payer agreements to our members, enabling them to seek new revenue opportunities and discover new referral sources in their marketplace,” stated Jeff Woodham, senior vice president and general manager of The MED Group, in a press release. “Our members can directly market their products, programs and services to the broad range of clients who utilize these three payers."

    Sleep, COPD apps developed, tested

    BALTIMORE ¬– Doctors at Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep have developed a new mobile app, called MySleep101, to help doctors who are not specially trained better identify patients who might have a chronic sleep disorder, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. The idea: Doctors use the app to diagnose symptoms and refer patients for follow-up care with a sleep specialist. Using the app, doctors can watch short video clips and brief lectures about the most common sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. The app also offers guidance on risk factors, treatment and management strategies for each sleep disorder. It’s available for $3.99 in Apple’s app store…LifeMap Solutions has launched a pilot program for COPD Navigator, an Apple HealthKit-compliant iOS app that helps patients monitor and manage their symptoms, with Mount Sinai. As part of the pilot, LifeMap will work with researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and with COPD experts from the Mount Sinai–National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. The app tracks symptoms, medication and treatment adherence, and overall quality of life. The data is presented in an easy-to-understand and configurable graph, empowering patients to recognize patterns and send the information to their doctors.

    Hasco reports double-digit growth

    ADDISON, Texas – Hasco Medical, a provider of wheelchair accessible vehicles, reported net revenues of $91 million for 2014, a 24.8% increase compared to 2013. It reported net income of $2.1 million, a 160% increase. “Our team continues its excellent execution by driving sales in our wheelchair vehicle sales and services business,” stated CEO Hal Compton in a press release. “These results are a testament to the increasing success of our brands and the successful delivery of our growth plan by our management team.” Additionally, service and other revenues contributed $23.3 million for 2014, a 24.7% increase compared to 2013. Hasco Medical expects the launch of the new Ford Explorer-based BraunAbility MXV Sport Utility and the Chevrolet Suburban-based Mobility SVM SUV to help drive growth in 2015. “These vehicles represent a paradigm shift in the wheelchair accessible vehicle market and Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom are positioned with trained mobility consultants to deliver on customer expectations,” Compton said. “I see these vehicles as increasing the accessible market.” Also coming in 2015: new locations in Parkville, Md., and Miami. Hasco operates 20 locations in 11 states from Maine to Florida. Its brands include Ride-Away, Mobility Freedom and Wheelchair Vans of America.

    Stratice Healthcare partners with MED

    CARMEL, Ind. – Stratice Healthcare has formed a strategic partnership with The MED Group, giving the company access to a network of more than 2,000 providers. “Through our collaboration with The MED Group, we are well positioned to scale our electronic prescribing platform to all major markets,” stated John Brady, CEO and co-founder of Stratice Healthcare. Stratice Healthcare is a health information technology company and developer of eDMEplus, an electronic prescribing platform that connects healthcare providers with HME providers. Because it’s integrated within electronic health records, eDMEplus allows users to streamline the ordering process by eliminating phone calls, faxes and paper trails, according to the company. “We applaud the Stratice team’s vision toward achieving interoperability for our industry,” stated Jeff Woodham, senior vice president and general manager of The MED Group, in the release.

    Brightree, Apacheta launch mobile solution

    ATLANTA – Brightree and Apacheta have launched an integrated mobile delivery management solution to HME providers. Apacheta’s solution integrates with Brightree, allowing providers to decrease costs, reduce paper, optimize productivity, track deliveries and assets, accelerate time to revenue for claims, and improve patient outcomes, according to a press release. “The Apacheta and Brightree mobile delivery management solution addresses our need to eliminate paper and optimize our logistics operations with an intuitive solution,” stated Ben Gissinger, regional vice president of operations at QMES, a provider using the solution. “This mobile solution will help add more automation to our processes across the enterprise." The cloud-based solution supports consumer-grade smartphones and tablets, allowing providers to get up and running quickly without high upfront costs, according to the release.

    AAH gets increased commitment from VGM

    WASHINGTON ¬– AAHomecare has welcomed The VGM Group as a bronze level corporate partner. "We look forward to working more closely with AAHomecare, especially on the legislative front,” stated Van Miller, founder and CEO of The VGM Group, in a press release. “In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that the interests of the entire industry are protected." AAHomecare now has 13 companies in its corporate partner program: Apria Healthcare, Brightree, Byram Healthcare, Drive Medical, Inogen, Invacare, Medtrade, Philips Respironics, Pride Mobility Products, ResMed, Shield Healthcare, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and, now, VGM.


older | 1 | .... | 20 | 21 | (Page 22) | 23 | 24 | .... | 61 | newer