In brief: Apria goes big for PERS, Drive buys HurryCane

Friday, August 21, 2015

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Apria Healthcare has expanded an agreement to offer PERS devices.

Apria has worked with Tunstall Americans for nearly six years, but under an expanded agreement, the provider will make the company’s products available to the general public under its Apria Medical Alert brand.

“This expanded relationship demonstrates our commitment to providing enhanced services, such as Tunstall’s cellular base unit and automatic fall detection, combined with 24/7 personal support, to help individuals continue to recover and live safely in their own homes," said Chris Gorciak, senior director of marketing & e-commerce for Apria.

Tunstall will support order intake and fulfillment, and design custom branded products and materials for Apria.

“Our two companies share a passion for improving patient outcomes, safety, and quality of life through innovative healthcare technology and high-touch personal health monitoring services,” said Casey Pittock, president and CEO of Tunstall Americas.

Drive Medical buys HurryCane

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive Medical has entered into an agreement to buy HurryCane from the Marketing Architects portfolio of companies.

Drive Medical believes HurryCane’s brand recognition means a “huge market” for its products.

“With Drive’s extensive manufacturing and distribution capabilities, these products will soon be sold all over the world, as will the many new HurryCane products soon to be introduced,” said Harvey Diamond, CEO Of Drive Medical, in a press release.

The HurryCane cane employs a patented design that allows for maximum mobility on all terrains, along with continuous balance and stability, according to the release. It is sold direct-to-consumer, but last year, HurryCane relaunched a retailer program to also sell through HME providers.

Kirsten Newquist, vice president of channel development at Drive Medical, will oversee the marketing, sale and promotion of all HurryCane products, under the leadership of Jeffrey Schwartz, co-founder and executive vice president of Drive Medical.

The deal is scheduled to close by Aug. 25.

HurryCane is only the latest in a string of acquisitions for Drive Medical. Most recently the manufacturer bought DeVilbiss Healthcare.

AOPA pulls out all the stops

Ads, meeting, protest and petition all part of efforts

WASHINGTON – The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association is organizing stakeholders to fight proposed changes to coverage requirements to prostheses.

AOPA has commissioned print and TV advertising in the Washington, D.C., area; it’s arranging for top officials and a Boston Marathon survivor to attend, and hopefully speak at, a DME MAC open meeting on Aug. 26; and it’s organizing more than 100 amputees to converge at CMS headquarters for a protest later that same day.

Also part of the fray: a petition organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics asking the White House to rescind the proposed changes. The petition has more than 100,000 signatures.

All of these activities lead up to an Aug. 31 deadline to submit comments to CMS on the proposed changes.

InfuSystem says it’s ‘well positioned’

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – InfuSystem Holdings on Aug. 13 reported net revenues of $17.2 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015, compared to $16.4 million for the same quarter in 2014, a 5% increase.

It reported a net income of $800,000, an 11% decrease.

"This was an important quarter for InfuSystem as we made substantial progress in integrating the acquired Ciscura assets, gained traction in the expansion of our EMR initiatives, continued expanding our base of payer contracts, decreasing bad debt by 21% compared to last year's second quarter, and we operated profitably for the 11th out of the last 12 quarters, said CEO Eric Steen, in a release. “InfuSystem is well positioned to generate solid financial results for the second half of 2015 and beyond."

The infusion pump and services provider has completed the acquisition of all the assets of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Ciscura, including 1,600 infusion pumps in 100 facilities throughout the Southeast. The acquisition will open up InfuSystem’s full portfolio of infusion products, including its InfuSystem EXPRESS EMR software, to its newly acquired customers.

Brightree, VGM Fulfillment remove fees

ATLANTA – Brightree and VGM Fulfillment, a consignment-based CPAP resupply service, have made available a no-fee integrated interface. “This new agreement allows providers to realize additional reductions in operating costs by removing any transaction fees,” stated Rob Boeye, executive vice president of Brightree, in a press release. The interface allows Brightree customers to reduce inventory cost and speed up the billing process with direct shipments of CPAP supplies to patients. Brightree and VGM have been partners since 2008.

VGM creates cost calculator as part of bid fight

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has created a delivery cost calculator to help show Congress and CMS that rural areas will take a significant hit in 2016 if competitive bidding pricing is applied nationwide. VGM is asking HME providers to fill out and submit delivery cost calculator forms. The group will file the data it receives by state and send it to the appropriate members of Congress. Questions that VGM hopes to answer with the data include: Does CMS realize how much it costs to deliver medical equipment and service patients? Is it considering the cost of gas, and the wear and tear on your vehicle? How about the time it costs to send a delivery person 50-100 miles away round trip?

PRO2 bets on POC

LUBBOCK, Texas – PRO2 Medical Supplies has started carrying the LifeChoice ActiVox Portable Oxygen Concentrator. The provider says it has added the product in response to “customers wanting an overnight, portable oxygen concentrator that reduces cylinder deliveries and eliminates the trouble of changing and carrying multiple oxygen bottles,” according to a press release. The POC comes complete with AC/DC power supplies, carrying bag and cannula. PRO2 has stores in Lubbock and Big Spring. It also carries urological equipment, incontinence briefs, knee scooters, walkers, CPAP masks, wheelchairs, catheters and other health and medical necessities.

Wanted: Individuals making an impact on HME

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare seeks nominations for its “Homecare Champion Award.” The annual award represents an opportunity to honor and thank someone in the HME industry for his or her hard work and dedication. Last year’s recipients: Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare, and Joe Mills, chief executive officer of Advanced Homecare. The recipients of this year’s award will be announced at AAHomecare’s “Stand up for Homecare” reception at Medtrade. The reception will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 on the rooftop deck at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The reception is also a fundraiser for consumer-related initiatives and groups, like the National Council on Independent Living.

Video commemorates ADA

EAST AMHERST, N.Y. – NCART has released a seven-minute video honoring National CRT Awareness Week and commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ADA. “Complex Rehab Technology: 25 Years after the Americans with Disabilities Act” includes historical footage, as well as commentary from former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, highlighting the importance of preserving access to complex rehab products. “While the passage of the ADA was a great achievement, if people with disabilities can’t access the CRT they require, the ADA can be a big unfulfilled promise,” wrote Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, in an email to stakeholders. To view the video, click *here.

Move over Movember, here comes Sleeptember

WASHINGTON – The American Sleep Apnea Association and numerous partners will launch Sleeptember next month. The year-long, patient-led, patient-supported campaign will create online and community events to raise awareness of the public health impact of sleep loss, and will raise funds for medical research and advocacy efforts, according to Sleep Review. The campaign will center around the soon-to-go-live website The association modeled the campaign after Movember, a campaign where men grow moustaches during November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Missouri providers meet senator

PERRYVILLE, Mo. – Provider Patrick Naeger hosted a meeting with Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Aug. 12. Naeger is executive vice president of Healthcare Equipment & Supply Co., and president of the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services. "This was a great opportunity to meet with Senator Blunt and to share with him industry concerns,” said Naeger in a release. “In particular, we asked for support of our efforts to curb the competitive bid national price roll-out, which is slated to take place Jan. 1, 2016.” Also in attendance: Justin Decker, CRTS and ATP with Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment; and Tom Powers from The VGM Group.

Paralympian partners with Melio maker

LIVERPOOL, England – Albert Medical Devices has partnered with Paralympian Bert Burns to create a new educational video. Earlier this year, Albert Medical Devices launched Melio, a self-emptying leg bag system for catheters. The video features Burns demonstrating the system and the positive impact it can have on wheelchair users. “Melio answers one of the biggest inconveniences of using the restroom when you’re away from home,” said Burns in a release. “It never fails—every time you visit a public restroom, the handicap stall is occupied by someone who is not a wheelchair user.”

Drive, DeVilbiss hammer away at integration

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. –Drive Medical has completed a significant portion of its restructuring plan to integrate DeVilbiss Healthcare, the company announced August 14. “Over the next few months, we will be focused on the operational aspects of the integration plan with a renewed focus on innovation and the development of new products,” said Harvey Diamond, CEO of Drive, in a release. The two companies will operate independently in the Americas until the integration is competed, which is expected to happen by the end of October. At that time, customers will be able to order Drive and DeVilbiss products together on one purchase order, through a centralized customer service support center. Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare will have more than 2,000 employees and distribute in more than 80 countries.

More list makers: Aeroflow, PlayMaker CRM

Aeroflow Healthcarehas landed at 3089 on the Inc. 5000 list list of fastest growing companies. “We are extremely proud to receive this recognition, but we are even more excited about the future of the company and our employees,” said Casey Hite, CEO and founder, in a press release. It’s the provider’s first time on the list…PlayMaker CRM, a cloud-based customer relationship management software provider for the post-acute care industry, has ranked 722 on this year’s list. It’s the third year in a row that PlayMaker has made the list: It ranked 956 in 2014 and 451 in 2013. “Our continued growth is a testament to the tremendous amount of work our team puts in to deliver a purpose-built sales acceleration platform to the post-acute healthcare industry,” stated John Griscavage, CEO, in a press release. “I am delighted to see clients of all sizes embracing our innovative technology.”