In brief: AAHomecare meets with Hargan, Inogen reports data security incident

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Friday, April 13, 2018

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare execs met with HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan on April 11 to discuss competitive bidding relief and other industry priorities.

AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan and Senior Vice President of Public Policy Jay Witter met with Hargan and other HHS/CMS officials to discuss the status of the interim final rule, which Congress included in its recent omnibus bill, “encouraging” CMS to “promulgate” the IFR.

Also on the agenda: long-term reform for the bid program; the status of provisions in the Cures Act directing CMS to use stakeholder input, travel and cost considerations, and other local data in making cost adjustments in non-bid areas starting in January 2019; and concerns about language included in the 2019 White House Budget that proposed expanding the bid process to non-bid areas.

AAHomecare is asking its members to reach out to their legislators in the coming weeks to keep the pressure on HHS and CMS to move on the IFR and competitive bidding reforms.

Inogen reports data security incident

GOLETA, Calif. – An Inogen employee’s email account was accessed by unknown persons outside the company without authorization, it announced in an April 13 Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Some of the account’s messages—and the files attached to them—may have contained personal information belonging to Inogen rental customers. That personal information included names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, dates of death, Medicare identification numbers, insurance policy information and/or type of medical equipment provided. It did not include payment card information or medical records.

Additionally, the unknown persons may have gained access to Inogen’s non-public financial information.

The unauthorized access appears to have occurred between Jan. 2, 2018, and March 14, 2018.

Inogen is notifying approximately 30,000 current and former customers of the incident. It will provide resources, including credit monitoring and an insurance reimbursement policy, to assist them.

In the wake of the incident, Inogen, which has hired a forensics firm to help investigate the incident and bolster its security, has required all email users to change their passwords. It has also implemented multi-factor authentication for remote email access and has taken additional steps and other preventative measures to further limit access to its systems, including enhanced training.

Medforce Technologies acquired

SUFFERN, N.Y. – Medforce Technologies, the productivity-enhancing software and services provider, has been acquired by U.K.-based technology firm Ideagen for $8.7 million.

Ideagen says Medforce, its first acquisition in the U.S., adds an established suite of intellectual property and a skilled workforce to its growing global headquarters.

“Medforce is a valuable addition to the group and is in line with our strategy of acquiring businesses that have strong IP and recurring revenues,” said David Hornsby, Ideagen’s CEO.

Ideagen says Medforce generated revenues totaling $4.7 million for 2017, with 82% of that recurring.

Overall, Medforce represents Ideagen’s 13th acquisition in just more than a decade and means the company now has a major operational presence in the U.S., U.K., Asia and Central Europe. More recently, it has integrated Gael Ltd, IPI Solutions Ltd, Covalent Software Ltd and PleaseTech Ltd as part of a “buy-and-build” growth strategy.

NSM consolidates in Chicago…

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has opened a new branch in Chicago to consolidate three existing branches in the area. “Merging the three existing Chicago area branches within our new location enables us to enhance the services provided for our clients in the area,” said Bill Mixon, CEO. “The larger location allows our Chicago team to combine resources, increase evaluations and streamline routing and service scheduling so we can serve our clients better and faster.” Branches in Broadview, Bridgeview and Lombard, Ill., will merge into the new location in Countryside, Ill. Twelve ATPs and 23 team members, including technicians, funding specialists and customer service representatives, will staff the new branch. “We look forward to continuing our work alongside area physicians and therapists to provide the best customized solutions for individuals with mobility challenges in Chicago,” Mixon said.

… makes buy in Michigan

NASHVILLE – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Reflection Medical in Temperance, Mich., it announced April 13. The move expands the provider’s reach in southern Michigan and northwest Ohio. NSM also operates branches in Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown and Toledo, Ohio, and in Freeland, Lansing, Flint, and Detroit, Mich. “Reflection Medical’s reputation for customer service and client care make them a great cultural fit for us,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO in a press release. NSM has been on a growth spree, making acquisitions and opening branches, including its first in Maine, in March.

VGM launches weekly podcast

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group has launched Industry Matters, a weekly podcast featuring interviews with industry leaders. Recent guests included Ty Bello of Team@Work Coaching and Larry Dalton of the Oklahoma Medical Equipment Providers Association. “Our goal is to keep the information intriguing and informative, and to provide solutions to help our audience succeed in an ever-changing and difficult business environment,” said Collin Brecher of VGM Government Relations and podcast host. The 30-minute podcasts are released every Wednesday through Stitcher Radio, Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Update: C2C phone demo

WASHINGTON – C2C Innovative Solutions, the QIC contractor, reopened 54,138 claims and withdrew 27,132 claims from the Administrative Law Judge backlog in 2017, according to a bulletin from AAHomecare. Of those who participated in the telephone demonstration, 64% of the claims were found fully favorable and 3% were found partially favorable. AAHomecare also reports that C2C has also lost their QIC contract, a decision it expects the contractor to appeal.

BBMK, Allegiance Group strike partnership

MIDDLETOWN, N.J., and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – BBMK Technologies, the provider of a cloud-based homecare software solution called NikoHealth, has entered into an agreement with the Allegiance Group. Per the agreement, NikoHealth customers will have access to COLLECTPlus, a proprietary private-pay billing collections solution from the Allegiance Group. “This relationship will complement the services offered by NikoHealth in the HME/DME market," said Michael Kutsak, NikoHealth's CEO. “We are really excited about the new integration of these products, which will provide our customers additional tools to further improve their financial position.”

MAMES honors Heitkamp, Thune

DULUTH, Minn. – The North Dakota and South Dakota members of the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services & Supplies have presented Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Sen. John Thune, R, S.D., with MAMES Legislative Champion Awards this month for their work supporting the HME industry. Heitkamp and Thune have both been champions of the industry’s efforts to provide relief from Medicare’s competitive bidding program in rural areas. After being presented with the award, Heitkamp indicated that she would be willing to work with Thune to introduce a Senate companion bill to H.R. 4229, according to a MAMES bulletin. Thune has also pressed HHS Secretary Alex Azar to approve an interim final rule that would provide relief.

SleepScore acquires app and wearable that detects snoring

CARLSBAD, Calif. – SleepScore Labs, a joint venture between ResMed, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Pegasus Capital Partners, has acquired Netherlands-based digital health company Sleep.ai. Founded in 2014, Sleep.ai created an app and wearable for detecting if a user is snoring and/or grinding their teeth, and helps dentists monitor patients after they’ve begun dental treatment for either condition. “We are only at the beginning of what we can do to help improve people’s lives by diagnosing and improving their sleep health, helping them get better treatment and outcomes,” said Michiel Allessie, Sleep.ai founder and CEO, who will join the SleepScore Labs team in Carlsbad, Calif., as vice president of snoring and bruxism. “With the knowledge and the drive of the team at SleepScore Labs, along with the available technology, I believe we can really change the landscape of sleep in the coming years and help people significantly improve their sleep health.” The Sleep.ai app, which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times form the App Store and Google Play store, will be available on its own website and that of SleepScore Labs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Maker of CPAP alternative to go public

MINNEAPOLIS – Inspire Medical Systems, the maker of FDA-approved neurostimulation technology that provides treatment for moderate to severe OSA, has filed paperwork for an initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. Inspire has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “INSP.” BofA Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are serving as join lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. Guggenheim Securities, Stifel, and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as co-managers. In 2016, Inspire Medical Systems accumulated $37.5 million in venture funding to increase sales of its pacemaker-sized, implantable device.