In brief: AAH takes to the airwaves, Sunrise discontinues two wheelchairs

Thursday, December 9, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A radio announcement from AAHomecare expressing opposition to competitive bidding has been broadcast 120 times on 41 radio stations in 22 states so far, the association notified members last week. The broadcast of the announcement was made possible by "Stand Up for Homecare," a campaign funded by donations from the HME industry. In part, the announcement states: "Medicare is experimenting with what it calls 'competitive bidding' for home medical equipment. That sounds good. But 167 market experts, including two Nobel laureates in economics, have warned Congress that this particular bidding system is badly designed. They said it will trigger a 'race to the bottom and will fail in its promise to achieve low cost and high quality. Tell lawmakers in Congress to rethink this bidding system. Let's strengthen homecare--not make it worse."

Sunrise discontinues two titanium wheelchairs

FRESNO, Calif. - Sunrise Medical is changing its tune. For years, the company sung the praises of titanium when it came to building lightweight rigid frame wheelchairs. But not anymore. These days, Sunrise is all about 7000 series aluminum, which is lighter, less expensive, equally durable and as adept at absorbing vibrations at titanium, the company reported recently. Given that and the success of the ultra-lightweight Quickie Q7, Sunrise will discontinue the Quickie Ti Titanium and Quickie GTi effective Dec. 31, 2010, the company announced Dec. 7.

United Seating burns up the acquisition trail

ST. LOUIS - United Seating & Mobility (USM) has acquired Alliance Homecare Equipment's complex rehab business, it announced last week. Alliance Homecare is based in Little Rock, Ark., and provides DME, and oxygen and sleep therapy. Earlier this month, USM announced that it had acquired three RehabTech branches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Keiderling hands U.S. Rehab to Packer

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group has promoted Greg Packer from director of operations to vice president of U.S. Rehab, the company's alliance of complex rehab providers. Packer's background includes sales management for Pride Mobility Products and Biocore Medical Technologies. He also served three terms in the Kansas House of Representatives and is familiar with the government issues facing the rehab and HME industries. Packer's promotion allows Jerry Keiderling, U.S. Rehab's president for the past 13 years, to focus on VGM's newest buying group, Accessible Home Improvement of America, a division that focuses on home modifications.

For your calendar: Two new Open Door forums

BALTIMORE - CMS will hold an Open Door Forum on its "Independence at Home" demonstration today (Dec. 13). During the forum, at 1:30 p.m. EST, CMS officials will "solicit stakeholder input for the design and development of the Independence at Home demonstration...CMS hopes to gather information from stakeholders about issues that will affect demonstration design and implementation." AAHomecare told members last week that it planned to work with CMS officials to ensure home care is "prominently represented." To participate in the forum, dial 800-837-1935 and use the ID 30308336. CMS will also hold an Open Door Forum for DME on Jan. 19 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. To participate, dial 800-837-1935 and use the ID 29116124.

Sizewise, CareCentrix partner

KANSAS CITY - Sizewise, a manufacturer of home medical equipment, has signed a contract with CareCentrix, it announced last week. Per the contract, Sizewise gives CareCentrix and its network of more than 5,000 home healthcare agencies access to its range of products and services, such as intelligent bed frames. "This agreement is another milestone for the Sizewise Homecare Division," the release states. "It recently was awarded CMS grants in each city of application for a national competitive bidding project."

Graymark, Walgreens close deal

OKLAHOMA CITY - Graymark Healthcare has finalized the sale of its Apothecary Rx retail pharmacy business to Walgreens, the company announced Dec. 7. The move will allow Graymark to focus on its core sleep business. "As a pure-play sleep disorders company focused primarily on obstructive sleep apnea, we believe Graymark is better able to help people sleep better," stated Stanton Nelson, Graymark chairman and CEO.

Graham-Field jazzes up website

ATLANTA -- Graham-Field last month launched a redesigned website ( that gives customers easier access to product data, order information and account information, according to a company press release. "We must ensure that any kind of information they need is available when and where they need it, and help them run their businesses with real-time inventory capabilities and back-end integration," stated Scott Lerner, director of information technology.