In brief: AAH restocks board, senator writes CMS

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare members, at their annual business meeting last week, elected new members to the association's board of directors for 2009-2010, including A.J. Filippis, president and CEO of Wright & Filippis, as chairman. Other appointments: Georgie Blackburn, vice president of government relations for Blackburn's, as vice chairwoman; and Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Homecare Concepts, as treasurer. AAHomecare members also recommended the following individuals for at-large board seats for 2009-2012: Ron Bendell of The VGM Group; Carter Fuller of Fuller Rehabilitation & Consulting; Chris Kane of Pacific Pulmonary Services; J.C. Kyrillos of ResMed; Joel Mills of Advanced Home Care; and Mal Mixon of Invacare.

Senator: More changes needed to competitive bidding

WASHINGTON - Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, believes "CMS has not made changes to the competitive bidding program to avoid the problems that occurred during last year's bidding process." In a letter last week, Brown asks Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to rescind the interim final rule for competitive bidding and "engage stakeholders to understand how the program must be changed to be successful." Problems with last year's bidding process included winning bidders without physical locations in service areas and winning bidders without appropriate licensure.

Otto Bock puts $1.5M toward O&P research

MINNEAPOLIS - Otto Bock HealthCare has partnered with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to establish the Max Nader Laboratory to advance the outcomes of prosthetic and orthotic devices, allowing amputees to regain their mobility, the manufacturer announced last week. Otto Bock has made a five-year commitment of $1.5 million. The lab is named after Dr. Max Nader, who led Otto Bock until 1990, when his son, Hans George Nader took over leadership responsibility.

Coloplast makes itself at home in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS - Denmark-based Coloplast held a grand opening for its U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis last week. The 192,000-square-foot campus houses nearly 400 employees in research and development, production, sales and marketing, and administration. "The U.S. market is Coloplast's global growth engine," President Jan Frederiksen stated in a release. In 2008, Coloplast, which produces ostomy, urology, incontinence, wound care and skin care products, had double-digit sales growth in the United States.

Lawmaker seeks increased sleep apnea awareness

WASHINGTON - Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., introduced a bill recently that seeks to increase awareness of sleep apnea. H.R. 384, which has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee, states that sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans, including one in 10 people over the age of 65. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., has also been a vocal supporter of sleep apnea awareness and research, according to Ed Grandi, executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association. The association has offered to help Bilirakis and his staffers gain support for the bill.