In brief: AAH to build audit tracker, BioScrip reports increase

Friday, May 9, 2014

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare plans to build a system to track the Medicare audits that are devastating HME providers, the association announced during its Washington Legislative Conference last week. “Good data informs good decisions,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the association, in a release. “We’re ready to work on behalf of the industry to collect and quantify the impacts of audits and present compelling facts that policymakers cannot ignore.” AAHomecare worked with the American Hospital Association on its audit-tracking tool, called RACTRAC, and has met with the company that built the tool, Provider Consulting Solutions. The association will use lessons learned to develop a tool that collects “hard facts that will demonstrate the impact of audits on the industry,” according to the release. “Anecdotal stories and self-reported data are not credible and not persuasive with policymakers,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for the association, in the release. “The new audit tracking system will help the industry track a more complete picture of audit activity and its impact.”

BioScrip reports double-digit increases

ELMSFORD, N.Y. – BioScrip reports revenue from continuing operations was $239.6 million in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 32.3% over the same period last year. In the Infusion Services segment, revenue grew to $221.4 million, an increase of 43.4%, driven primarily by BioScrip’s acquisitions of HomeChoice and CarePoint, along with organic growth. Consolidated gross profit was 27.2% higher for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. Adding to BioScrip’s earnings picture: In March, the company sold Deaconess HomeCare for $60 million and used the proceeds to pay down a portion of outstanding debt.

Untreated cases drive sleep market, report says

NEW YORK – Undiagnosed cases and new devices will drive growth in the global sleep apnea device market, a new Kalorma report says. In the U.S., 18 million are affected by sleep apnea in any given year, the report says, while another 10 million are undiagnosed. “Sleep apnea is very common,” said study author Mary Ann Crandall. “Yet because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated.” The report predicts an influx of device alternatives in the future as large companies expand their offerings through acquisitions. For example, ResMed acquired Narval SA, which makes a mandibular repositioning device, and Philips Respironics purchased Aspire Medical, which makes an implant to treat sleep apnea. The market grew from $3.6 billion in 2011 to $4.2 billion in 2013, according to the report.

Software companies ready for Medtrade

ATLANTA – More than a dozen software companies have already signed on to exhibit their wares at Medtrade, Oct. 20-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, according to a release. The companies have a focus on efficient operations and smoother billing processes. “It’s no secret that revenue is down for many HME providers, but demand is steadily growing,” says Kevin Gaffney, group show director. “While these two forces are at work, it makes sense that software companies that truly lower costs can help providers’ bottom lines.” 

Home Care Medical snags HMO contract

NEW BERLIN, Wis. – Home Care Medical has reached an agreement with Trilogy Health Plan to be an in-network provider for its new Medicaid HMO health insurance members in southeastern Wisconsin. Trilogy provides service to all Medicaid HMO members in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties. Per the agreement, members now have access to products and services from Home Care Medical’s five lines of business: infusion and enteral therapy; high-tech rehab equipment; respiratory care; HME and supplies; and bracing and compression garments. Home Care Medical also became an in-network provider with Sheboygan Employer’s Health Network in April.

ResMed execs unload stock

SAN DIEGO – Peter Farrell, the former CEO of ResMed and a current director, sold 25,000 shares of company stock on the open market in a transaction dated May 1. The stock was sold at $49.80 for a total value of $1.245 million. Farrell still owns 304,990 shares in the company valued at $15.188 million. Brett Sandercock, CFO, sold 4,290 shares in a transaction dated May 6. The stock was sold at $50 for a total value of $214,500. Sandercock sill owns 71,423 shares in the company valued at $3.57 million.

Alliqua buys Choice Therapeutics

LANGHORNE, Pa. – Alliqua, a provider of advanced wound care products, has acquired Choice Therapeutics for $4 million in stock and cash. The agreement, effective May 5, provides for an additional contingency payment of up to $5 million in stock or cash if stated revenue thresholds are reached over the next three years ending April 30, 2017. Alliqua has acquired Choice’s wound care portfolio, its technology platform, and its sales and marketing team. The portfolio includes a TheraBond Antimicrobial Barrier Systems technology that’s in wide use at key burn centers nationwide.

Short takes

Invacare was the proud sponsor of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Buckeye Wheelchair Games at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, May 2-3. More than 40 veterans from Ohio and Pennsylvania competed in the games, which included archery, bowling, billiards, weightlifting, table tennis, and track and field. Stuart Cohen, a national account manager for Invacare, worked a booth at the event…StateServ Medical, a provider of DME, DME software and DME benefit management for the hospice industry, is celebrating 10 years in business, according to a release. “In 2010, we launched our Network Services to contract with DME companies across the country,” said Paul DiCosmo, CEO.

People news

Megan Delperdang, community relations coordinator for Convaid, has been elected meeting and education chairwoman for the Greater Texas Rehab Providers’ Council (TXRPC). In this role, Delperdang will identify key educational opportunities and needs, and coordinate council activities on educational programs and meetings.