In brief: Apria gives enterals another shot, HME providers make their case to SBA

Friday, March 18, 2016

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Apria Healthcare has stepped back into the home enterals market with the launch of Refresh, its new support program.

“With our re-entry into the home enteral market, Apria is responding to the rapidly increasing requirements of the healthcare industry for an enteral program that consistently delivers positive patient experiences and achieves optimal clinical outcomes,” said Dan Starck, CEO of Apria Healthcare, in a release. “Through our commitment to an industry-leading enteral program, Apria is safely and effectively transitioning patients, delivering high quality products and services, and allowing patients to remain at home in the most effective, lowest cost care setting.”

Apria sold its Coram home infusion business, with included enterals, to CVS Caremark in 2013.

As part of the Refresh program, Apria provides dietitians to assess the patient’s nutritional risks, assist in the development of care plans and help monitor therapy.

Apria won several contracts to provide enterals as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding.

HME providers make their case before SBA

CHEYENNE, Wy. – HME providers from across Wyoming and parts of Colorado shared their stories of how Medicare policies have affected them and the beneficiaries they serve during the Small Business Administration’s Regulatory Fairness Meeting here last week. The SBA’s National Ombudsman, Earl Gay, is hosting such meetings throughout the U.S. The VGM Group invited local providers to the meeting to share their concerns about reimbursement cuts and extensive auditing. Staff members from the offices of Sen. Michael Enzi, John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis also attended. The next meetings will take place March 23 in Bismarck, N.D., and March 24 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Hospital system buys Pittsburgh home infusion pharmacy

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Allegheny Health Network, a nonprofit hospital system, has expanded its home health business by acquiring a home infusion pharmacy in Sharpsburg, Pa., from Infusion Partners, a subsidiary of Elmsford, N.Y.-based BioScrip. The pharmacy employs 20 workers and provides antibiotics, pain management, hydration, chemotherapy and other medications that are administered intravenously at home. The deal will allow AHN to increase the capacity and geographic reach of its existing infusion pharmacy in Meadville. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In December 2014, AHN acquired Klingensmith Healthcare, an independent provider of HME and respiratory services with 195 employees serving more than 9,000 patients in Western Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia and Ohio.

AAHomecare offers input on O2 e-template

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare hosted a conference call last week with CMS, EPIC Software and an association member supplier to lay the groundwork for an oxygen e-template pilot program. The group reviewed the steps involved in rolling out the pilot in two health systems that use EPIC, and the specific data elements that would need to be incorporated into the software and adopted by the health systems. “The goal of this pilot is to create order for oxygen therapy, documentation of lab values and clinical documentation that meet all of the required elements for Medicare,” AAHomecare stated. The long-term goal: Roll out the e-template with EPIC and other health systems nationally.

Invacare goes virtual

ELYRIA, Ohio –Invacare has teamed up with the Cleveland-based digital marketing agency Think Media to create a virtual reality world for viewers to experience its products. "We want everyone—providers, therapists, and most importantly, consumers—to experience what it's like to be in an Invacare product," said Maegen Hurtado, digital marketing manager at Invacare, in a release. "We want people to be inspired and know that they truly can do anything they put their mind to."Viewers experience a 360-degree view as Paralympian Paul Schulte rides on his Invacare Top End Force RX Handcycle in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

Precision, Luxfer partner on EU distribution

NOTTINGHAM, England – Precision Medical has partnered with Luxfer Gas Cylinders to add portable oxygen concentrators to Luxfer’s product offerings in Europe. Beginning in April, Luxfer will offer both dial and push-button versions of three and five liter lightweight POCs manufactured by Precision for Luxfer. “Luxfer will enable the supply of market-leading POCs—manufactured by Precision Medical—into the EU, while enabling Luxfer to offer customers a complete line of oxygen-delivery devices,” said Tim Clark, executive vice president of global sales and marketing for Precision Medical.

Prism gets lift from Shoppers

TORONTO – Prism Medical has agreed to acquire certain assets of the lift and elevating business of Shoppers Home Health Care in the provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Prism will pay about $2.1 million for inventory and equipment, with a deferred payment respecting good will, according to a press release. The two companies have also agreed to enter into a sales agreement whereby Shoppers will be a non-exclusive sales agent for Prism of specified lift and elevating products and services for residential business in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The transaction is scheduled to close May 31.

Women’s health event seeks speakers

WATERLOO, Iowa – Event organizers for this year’s “Focus: The EW Conference” are now accepting presentation submissions. The event, hosted by Essentially Women for its members, will take place Sept. 25-26 at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Event organizers expect more than 300 women’s healthcare providers and manufacturer representatives to attend the event. Education sessions will tackle audits and compliance, marketing, professional and personal development, retail sales and more. Essentially Women became a division of The VGM Group earlier this year.

New blood glucose monitoring system hits U.S. market

CAESAREA, Israel – The Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System is now available in the United States, its developer, LabStyle Innovations, has announced. Through its U.S. headquarters in Massachusetts, the Israeli company is working with insurers to establish reimbursement and arrange agreements with distributors. Direct-to-consumer sales are available at and are supported through a U.S.-based customer service center and hotline. "The U.S. is the world's largest market for glucose monitoring and the launch of national availability represents a transformative achievement not only for Dario, but more importantly for users," said Erez Raphael, Chairman and CEO of LabStyle Innovations.

Short takes: GF Health Products, Responsive Respiratory, BOC

GF Health Productshas received the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s annual GLOBE Award for international sales achievement. Sandra Parker, the company’s vice president of Medical-Surgical SBU, accepted the award at the Annual Go Global Reception on March 8 in Atlanta before 400 attendees…Responsive Respiratory has revamped its website to include intuitive ordering capabilities and enhanced product listings. RRI also restructured the website,, into core markets (home care, emergency medical services, and industrial filling and distribution), allowing direct access to product specifications, manuals, images and real-time inventory stock alerts…The Board of Certification/Accreditation has won a bronze Stevie Award for “E-Commerce Customer Service” for its customer service and social media efforts. It’s the fifth time in four years BOC has won a Stevie Award.