In brief: AAH launches PR campaign, Pride updates MAP Policy
WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has partnered with DCI Group, a public relations firm, to help move bid relief legislation forward. With DCI’s help, the association hopes to highlight the effect of the latest round of Medicare cuts on beneficiaries and providers in rural areas and deliver those messages directly to Congress. “The dozens of stories we’ve received thus far have greatly aided in these efforts,” AAHomecare stated in a release. “However, more stories will help us make an even stronger impression on Capitol Hill.” Funding for DCI was raised in part by the Stand Up for Homecare Campaign. Stories can be sent to Tilly Gambill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride Mobility updates MAP Policy
EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products has updated its Minimum Advertised Pricing Policy to best support HME providers. “Our role is to help all of our providers succeed, and this updated MAP policy truly creates a level and ideally prosperous playing field for businesses of all sizes,” said Julie Piriano, vice president of clinical education/rehab industry affairs and compliance officer, in a press release. The goal of the MAP Policy is to promote fair competition across all distribution channels, maintain brand identity and value, allow smaller providers to compete with larger providers, diminish underpricing, and promote reasonable provider margins. Pride Mobility says it enforces its MAP Policy “unilaterally.”
CommonWell allows patients to share health info
BOSTON – The CommonWell Health Alliance, which counts Brightree as one of its members, will give patients access to their health data for the first time via the CommonWell network, it has announced. Patients will be able to self-enroll, self-link their health records wherever they receive care, and self-query their health on the network. They will also be able to give their providers instant access to their health data, which could help improve care and coordination. “Far too often individuals and the people who care for them are stymied by the onerous task of accessing their health data,” said Jitin Asnaani, executive director, in a release. “CommonWell and its members are dedicated to helping break down the barriers that make it difficult for patients to access that information.” CommonWell members MediPortal and Integrated Data Services have committed to launch these new services via their patient portal offerings by the end of the year.
Genesis Medical Center opens HME biz
ALEDO, Ill. – Genesis Medical Center will open Genesis Home Medical Equipment adjacent to a new pharmacy it plans to open Sept. 1. The new pharmacy, to be called Genesis FirstMed Pharmacy, combines three area pharmacies, Stuts Drug Store, Wagner Pharmacy and McKnight Pharmacy, the Quad-City Times reports. “I think as we look at health care across the country and the insurance companies growing larger through consolidation, it makes it tough on independent providers to continue to keep up with those changes and financially to maintain their presence,” said Ted Rogalski, Geneva administrator, told the newspaper. Previously, Genesis Medical Center assumed ownership of the Mercer County Nursing Home in 2013.
Board offers sleep-screening guidelines for truck drivers
WASHINGTON – The medical review board of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has offered guidelines on when to require testing for obstructive sleep apnea for truck drivers, according to Land Line Magazine. The board recommends mandatory screenings for truck drivers with a body mass index of 40 or above, with admitted fatigue or sleeping during wakeful periods; or for truck drivers who have been involved in a sleep-related motor vehicle accident. It also recommends mandatory screenings for truck drivers who have a BMI of 33 and who have at least three other risk factors (untreated hypertension; Type 2 diabetes; loud snoring; witness apneas; small airway/Mallampati score; neck size of 17 or more for males and 15.5 or more for females; age 42 or older; male or post-menopausal female; untreated hypothyroidism; stroke, coronary or artery disease). The board made the recommendations during a meeting to discuss an advance notice of proposed rulemaking by the FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration that seeks to require testing for truck drivers and rail workers.
HME Retail Product Awards are back
ATLANTA – Medtrade is calling for submissions for its Innovative Retail Product Awards. Like last year, judges will review products and advance eight to a final onsite judging round, hosted by Jim Greatorex, who works in business development for The VGM Group. “Providers who know of innovative new caretail products should contact the manufacturers and encourage them to enter the awards,” says Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “If manufacturers exhibit at Medtrade, they are eligible to compete. The publicity benefits manufacturers and informs our attendees.” Entries are due Sept 30. For rules, entry form and contract, click here.
Ki Mobility ramps up sales with dedicated reps
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Ki Mobility has begun hiring dedicated sales reps, the manufacturer announced Aug. 23. “We want to offer more education on our products and services, respond quicker to our customers’ needs, and have greater availability to support product evaluation,” stated Douglas Munsey, president, in a letter to customers. Many of Ki Mobility’s independent sales reps will remain with the company, Munsey said. “We are deeply indebted to our current representatives for what they have given to us,” he said. “We would not be where we are today without their efforts.” Ki Mobility has been manufacturing seating and mobility products for 10 years.
Inogen One G4 approved for flights
GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen has received approval for its Inogen One G4 portable oxygen concentrator to be used onboard commercial aircrafts, it announced today. “The ability for the Inogen One G4 to be used during air travel will allow our oxygen users to reclaim their independence by traveling as they see fit with a portable oxygen concentrator weighing only 2.8 pounds,” said Raymond Huggenberger, CEO, in a press release. The manufacturer has also launched the product in its domestic business-to-business channel.
Short takes: Reliable Respiratory, NRRTS
Norwood, Mass.-based Reliable Respiratory now holds competitive bidding contracts for the respiratory product category in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, it announced recently…NRRTS has been approved as an accredited provider for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training. The IACET is a non-profit dedicated to continuing education and training.