In brief: AAH surveys providers, DHS taps Univita exec

Friday, March 28, 2014

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare is conducting a short survey on the level of awareness among patients on Medicare issues and reform. The association will use the results of the survey as a benchmark to track the progress of its new patient awareness campaign, “Save My Medical Supplies.” Campaign resources and specifics will be shared in the upcoming weeks, AAHomecare says.

DHS taps Univita exec as new leader

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Dynamic Health Services (DHS) has named Michael Grabko as its new CEO, the company announced today. "During this unique and transformative period in health care, there is no better person to lead DHS than Mike Grabko," stated Michael Holloway, president of GMH Ventures, a private equity firm that backs DHS, in a release.  Grabko, who most recently served as senior vice president of Univita Health, has more than 30 years of experience in health care. During his tenure at Univita, Grabko led the company’s expansion into nine states and helped double revenues to more than $200 million. The company entered the HME market in 2010 when it acquired Atenda Healthcare Solutions. Granko’s resume also includes stints as vice president of operations at Apria Healthcare, and area vice president and corporate vice president at Air Products Healthcare. "We at DHS will look to position the company as a leader in the current geography we occupy, but with a vision for the expansion into new and profitable markets, products, acquisitions, and contracts," he stated in the release.  DHS has made several regional acquisitions in the past two years, most recently Reliable Medical in Hackensack, N.J. Other buys include HomeTown Oxygen, Evanko Respiratory, APO2 and Progressive Home Medical—all based in Pennsylvania. “GMH Ventures is actively seeking to acquire other companies in the home and durable medical equipment marketplace within the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions,” the release states.

Governor commends DeVilbiss for manufacturing in US

SOMERSET, Pa. – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett recently visited DeVilbiss Healthcare’s corporate headquarters here, commending the company for its efforts to bring jobs back to the U.S. Corbett met with the DeVilbiss management team, toured the manufacturing facility and addressed the company’s more than 200 onsite employees. Bringing China-based product lines back to the Somerset facility has created more than 25 direct assembly, engineering and quality jobs, and several indirect vendor jobs, according to the company. “DeVilbiss Healthcare’s decision to move production back to Somerset is a testament to the company’s visionary leaders and the hardworking men and women that are producing innovative products for people throughout the world,” Corbett stated in a release. “We are building a stronger Pennsylvania where innovative companies like DeVilbiss can grow and compete in the global marketplace.”

Association takes on face-to-face rule

WASHINGTON – The National Association for Homecare (NAHC) is laying the groundwork for a possible lawsuit against CMS’s implementation of the face-to-face requirement for home health, according to AAHomecare. The association says providers are frustrated with denials related to the face-to-face requirement and believe CMS needs to provide more guidance and clarity. Arguments for the lawsuit include: Claims shouldn’t be denied for lack of documentation if it is present in the rest of the medical record; the requirement for the narrative is outside the authority granted to CMS by the Affordable Care Act; and CMS isn’t following Medicare due process requirements to publish clear, concise guidelines. The NAHC plans to talk with beneficiary advocates, disability groups and others about joining the lawsuit. AAHomecare plans to monitor its progress closely.

Roscoe distributes SLEEQ braces

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Roscoe Medical now distributes the SLEEQ spinal bracing system to HME providers as part of a deal with brace maker Quinn Medical announced March 26. The SLEEQ brace fits nearly all patients, and supports and stabilizes the lumbo-sacral spine with a lift effect that relieves disc pressure. “With recent cuts in reimbursement and the uncertainty of Round 2, we are extremely excited about offering the SLEEQ back brace to our HME and pain management dealers,” said Ryan Moore, vice president of Roscoe Medical’s pain management division. “The reimbursements are very healthy.” The PDAC-approved, physician-prescribed brace system is reimbursable throughout a patient’s treatment, according to the release.

Responsive Respiratory expands facilities

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Responsive Respiratory, manufacturer of high-pressure oxygen products, has expanded its warehouse and manufacturing facilities for the third time in five years. With the expansion, the company can increase the volume of its Private Label Program, which brands provider logos on equipment like regulators, conservers and cylinder carry cases. “With the changing nature of medical reimbursements in the marketplace, our customers realize the value of branding equipment,” stated Tom Bannon, Responsive Respiratory president, in a release. “We are now better suited to service the increasing demands for this program and maintain our industry-leading service levels.” The company can now stock more finished goods, manufacture more custom items and maintain its same-day ship, complete Service Plus Guarantee, according to the release.

Convaid shipping goes green

TORRANCE, Calif. – Convaid has joined the “UPS carbon neutral” program, which allows shippers to offset the environmental impact of transporting freight with contributions based on each shipment’s CO2 emissions. Convaid ships about 80 packages each day. With an average “UPS carbon neutral” contribution of five cents per package, the company will be putting $1,040 each year toward projects that have included reforestation, landfill gas destruction, wastewater treatment and methane destruction, according to a release.

VGM earns honor

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has been named the 2014 Iowa-Nebraska Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Company of the Year by the ESOP Association. To be eligible for the award, a company must demonstrate, among other things, involvement with and commitment to, the ESOP Association; communication with employees; and financial solvency, according to a press release. VGM has been 100% employee-owned since 2008. The award will be presented May 7 at the ESOP Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

VMI earns FSS contract

PHOENIX – The government National Acquisition Center has awarded Vantage Mobility International (VMI) a federal supply schedule (FSS) contract. The contract will expedite the process for disabled military veterans to acquire mobility transportation by supporting non-service connected veterans and giving qualified veterans access to VMI’s lowered-floor minivan conversions, according to a March 26 release. “The FSS contract supports VMI’s mission to help veterans secure the highest quality mobility conversions at the best value to our government,” said Jeff Weston, VMI vice president of sales and business development. VMI is the only manufacturer of wheelchair-accessible vehicles to earn an FSS contract, which supports healthcare requirements of the VA and other government agencies through access to more than 8,000 products, according to the release.

Stakeholders apply full-court press on bidding, audits

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group, HME providers and state association leaders held congressional meetings in four states last week to discuss their concerns with competitive bidding and audits. In Bismarck, N.D., Great Plains Rehabilitation hosted events with Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. In Meridian, Idaho, Norco and the Big Sky Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers organized events with Bob Ford, director of business, trade and rural development for Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. In Portland, Ore., Norco was the host again, this time with the Pacific Association for Medical Equipment Services, for a meeting with the director of business outreach for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. In Sioux Falls, S.D., VGM’s Tom Powers had meetings with staff representing Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and John Thune, R-S.D., and Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D.

Rotech cuts back oxygen deliveries

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech Healthcare has stopped oxygen deliveries, except for first-time set-ups and emergencies, in West Virginia, according to a local TV station. The company is now requiring patients to go to the Elkview location to refill their tanks, WSAZ reports. Rotech told the TV station that the cutbacks in service are the result of restructuring due to its bankruptcy. Another provider in the area, Boll Medical in Charleston, told WSAZ that it still delivers oxygen to more than 60 patients a week, with stops in more than 14 cities throughout the state each day. The reason: A lot of patients are older and don’t drive, and the company fears for their safety, according to the TV station. In comments to HME News, Rotech said the newscast contained numerous inaccuracies and that it had not commented to the TV station on the contents of the report. "This does not clearly represent the current situation at this location for our patients," stated Steven Burres, assistant general counsel for Rotech. "Rotech values its relationships with its patients and does not condone false reports being broadcast or published about the company."

Short takes

Brightree’sHospice Solution is compliant with CMS’s change request (CR) 8358. Effective April 1, 2014, the change request requires hospice organizations to provide additional claims data to support payment reform. The solution now allows users to, among other things, automatically import patient medication fill detail from the top pharmacy benefit managers to support reporting requirements…SCA has been recognized as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and governance. This is the seventh consecutive year that SCA has been named to the global list. It is one of only nine companies in the consumer products category this year.