In brief: AAH honors champions, Philips Respironics snags gov’t contract

Friday, September 26, 2014

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has named Cara Bachenheimer of Invacare and Joel Mills of Advanced Homecare as its 2014 Homecare Champions. The award recognizes AAHomecare members who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community throughout their careers. AAHomecare officials lauded Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare, as a “consensus builder who sees the big picture.” AAHomecare officials praised Mills, CEO of Advanced Homecare and one of the association’s original members, for his long-time commitment to the industry. AAHomecare will present awards to Bacheheimer and Mills during the Stand Up for Homecare reception at Medtrade on Oct. 21. 

Philips Respironics to develop vent for gov’t

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Philips Respironics has snagged a three-year, $13.8 million contract to develop a next-generation portable ventilator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ventilator will help fill the need for portable, low-cost, user-friendly and flexible ventilators in a pandemic or other public health emergencies, according to a Sept. 17 press release from HHS. “An affordable portable ventilator will help us meet the needs of critically ill patients during a public health emergency, whether due to a naturally occurring pandemic or an act of bioterrorism,” stated Robin Robinson, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research Institute and Development Authority, which will over see the project. Per the contract, Philips Respironics must develop a ventilator that will meet the needs of everyone from infants to the elderly. It must also be low cost: Currently, ventilators with all the required features cost anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000 per unit. The contract includes an option for HHS to purchase 10,000 completely kitted, initial production ventilators from Philips Respironics for $32.8 million.

CAMPS co-locates at Medtrade Spring

LAS VEGAS – The California Association of Medical Product Suppliers (CAMPS) will co-locate its annual meeting with Medtrade Spring in 2015. The events will take place March 30-April 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. “This co-location agreement saves CAMPS members time and money by allowing them to go to one trade show instead of two,” stated Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade, in a press release. CAMPS and Medtrade had a similar agreement a decade ago. CAMPS expects to provide California-specific topics and speakers to the event. The association will also hold a membership update meeting and a small reception for California attendees.

#Pharmacists ready to tweet

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Pharmacists from around the world will take part in a tweet-a-thon Oct. 2. The second annual event will allow pharmacists to highlight the positive impact pharmacist have on patients, communities and the healthcare system, according to a release from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Last year m ore than 7,100 tweets with the hashtag #Pharmacist were sent. “From preventing potentially adverse reactions, to teaching newly diagnosed diabetic patients how to use their glucose monitor, to administering 40 flu shots in three hours—last year’s stories were diverse and inspiring,” according to the release.

AbleNet secures reimbursement for 100-plus products

ST. PAUL, Minn. – AbleNet has secured Medicare reimbursement for more than 100 assistive technology products, including speech generating devices (SGDs), accessories and mounting solutions, the company announced Sept. 24. The funding “opens opportunities for people with communication disabilities to participate in daily activities and lead more fulfilling and productive lives,” AbleNet stated in a press release. To see the products that have been approved for funding, visit, and under “Search DMEPOS Product Classification List: Manufacture/Distributor” enter “AbleNet.”

Are diabetes rates slowing?

YARMOUTH, Maine – The incidence and prevalence of diabetes appears to have plateaued between 2008 and 2012, according to an article published Sept. 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, there appear to be continued increases in diabetes among subgroups, including non-Hispanic black and Hispanic subpopulations, and those with a high school education or less, the article states. The basis for the article: an analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey for 664,969 adults ages 20 to 79 years old from 1980 to 2012 to measure the annual percentage change in rates of the prevalence and incidence of diagnosed diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2 combined).

180 Medical ups scholarship program

OKLAHOMA CITY – 180 Medical will give nine young adults $1,000 to help overcome their medical hardships and pursue their goals of higher education. “Our scholarship committee could not pick just five, so we are awarding nine individuals this year,” stated Kieranne Nelms, marketing manager, in a press release. The 180 Medical College Scholarship is for students with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis and/or a neurogenic bladder who plan to attend a two-year, four-year or graduate school program full time in the fall. In addition to eligibility documentation, winners submitted brief essays about the importance of college to their goals, lessons learned from a failure or qualities that set them apart. The founder and CEO of 180 Medical, Todd Brown, created the scholarship program. Brown was left paralyzed from the chest down by a motocross accident in 1994.

DeVilbiss revamps website

SOMERSET, Pa. – DeVilbiss Healthcare’s now has a refreshed look and improved usability. In addition to a softer appearance that the company believes makes it more welcoming, the website allows users to view pictures and instructions more readily. The website also has a simplified format: Users see only the input fields for items necessary to obtain compliance information. They can enter patient, device, provider and physician information as needed.

Inogen execs sell shares

NEW YORK – Inogen CEO Raymond Huggenberger sold 25,722 shares on Sept. 22 for an average price of $20.25 in a transaction valued at $520,870. He now owns 6,808 shares valued at $137,862. Inogen Director Timothy Petersen sold 46,865 shares on Sept. 22 in a transaction worth nearly $1 million. The shares sold at an average price of $21.05 for a total of $986,508. Peterson previously sold 39,135 shares on Sept. 17 in a transaction worth $850,012.

Short takes: Apria, ActiveCare, Essentially Women, Inogen

Apria Healthcare has secured a $100 million credit facility from Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “Wells Fargo Capital Finance provided us with a creative and flexible financing package that helps leverage our existing asset base for future growth,” stated Debra Morris, CFO of Apria, in a release. “Our sector of the healthcare industry continues to experience significant change. It is important for us to have a lender that understands these dynamics.” Wells Fargo’s healthcare finance portfolio has now surpassed $1 billion in commitments…Essentially Women will host its annual “Focus on the Future” event March 8-9 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. This year’s theme: “Heat Up Your Business: Facing Challenges – Expanding Opportunities.”

People news: Jones, Holm

ActiveCare, a provider of diabetes management and wellness services, has appointed Michael Jones president and interim CEO effective Oct. 1. Jones will replace David Derrick, who is stepping down for personal reasons. Previously, Jones founded or ran several fast-growing technology companies, including Interactive Care and RemedyMD, according to a press release… Ottobock has named Aaron Holm manager of consumer marketing and engagement. The goal of the newly created position: strengthen the company’s connection to consumers and impact product development processes and patient outcomes. Holm is a consumer himself—he lost both of his legs when he was crushed between two cars on the side of a freeway while helping a friend change a tire, and he has been using Ottobock’s microprocessor-controlled knees since 2007.