In brief: Bill to repeal device tax gains ground, OMB seeks comments on PMD demo

Friday, June 1, 2012

WASHINGTON – A bill to repeal a 2.3% tax on medical devices cleared the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives last week, but industry stakeholders aren’t getting their hopes up. While the bill will likely get passed in the House this week, it probably won’t get far in the Senate, according to Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare. “It’s expected to be met with a resounding thud,” she said. “That’s what’s happening to a lot of bills that are getting through the House right now.” The bill is sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service is expected to publish a final rule later this year on how the tax, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, will be implemented. At a public hearing hosted by the IRS in May, stakeholders argued that the agency should apply a retail exemption to the tax to all home medical equipment.

OMB seeks comments on PMD demo

WASHINGTON – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will take public comments through June 28 on the seven-state prior authorization demonstration project for power mobility devices (PMD). Those comments will figure into the OMB's decision on whether or not to approve CMS’s request to collect information from providers. This new development means that the demo will likely launch Aug. 1 or later, according to AAHomecare. Comments may be emailed to

F&P boosts profits

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Fisher & Paykel Healthcare says expanding clinical applications for its medical devices and new products contributed to record operating revenue of NZ$516.7 million for the year ended March 31, 2012. The company reported net profit after tax of NZ$64.1 million for the year ended March 31, 2012, compared to NZ$52.5 million for the prior year. Excluding deferred tax charges of NZ$11.5 million in 2011, F&P’s net profit after tax grew 23%, primarily due to revenue growth, disciplined control of expenses and other efficiencies, according to a statement. Operating revenue for its respiratory and acute care product group increased by 18% in U.S. dollars for the year ended March 31, 2012, compared to the prior year, and its obstructive sleep apnea product group increased by 7% over the same time period. "We expect our underlying revenue growth to begin to accelerate this year, particularly in the second half, as a number of new products, including new OSA masks, are introduced around the world,” stated Michael Daniell, CEO of F&P Healthcare, in a release.

Hasco Medical reports ‘dramatic’ earnings

MOBILE, Ala. – A shift to providing handicap accessible vans has had “a dramatic positive impact” on Hasco Medical’s earnings. The company last week reported net revenues of $8.8 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to $484,329 for the last period last year. Impacting revenues: the acquisitions of Mobility Freedom in May 2011 and Ride-Away in March 2012. Hasco Medical reported gross profit of $2.5 million for the first quarter this year compared to $2.2 million for the same period last year. It reported net income of $51,650 vs. a net loss of $155,656.

ResMed launches in Japan

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has launched a new wireless sleep-monitoring device in Japan using technology from BiancaMed, which it recently acquired, and in partnership with Omron Healthcare. Users place Omron Sleep Design HSL-101 by their beds at night to measure their sleep and to log key sleep quality metrics like sleep onset time and total sleep time. When users report data through Omron’s Wellness Link service, they get “a full picture of sleep health,” alongside customized summaries, health tips and advice. “We believe that by monitoring sleep and encouraging sleep health, the Sleep Design HSL-101 and support services provide a convenient tool for early prevention and intervention,” stated Dr. Conor Handley, managing director of the BiancaMed division at ResMed, in a release. The device is part of Omron Healthcare’s “All for Healthcare” strategy to develop health monitoring products and health support services for the home.

Short takes: HQAA, Invacare, Golden Technologies, SpinLife, NovaSom

Waterloo-Iowa-based HQAA has launched an accreditation program specifically for third-party billing companies. The goal of the program: Validate and correct billing and operational procedures, which, in turn, guards against fraud…Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare is proud to sponsor the National Veterans Golden Age Games May 31-June 5 in St. Louis. The games, in their 26th year, are for military veterans 55 years and older. More than 700 veterans are expected to compete in 14 events, including swimming, cycling, golf, bowling and table tennis…Old Forge, Pa.-based Golden Technologies has partnered with to offer its lift and recline chairs online… has received an "excellent" rating from StellaService, an independent company that evaluates the customer service of online businesses…NovaSom, a manufacturer of home sleep testing devices, has launched a sleep education website,

People: Drive Medical

Drive Medical has appointed Rich Kocinski president of its wholly owned subsidiary Inovo/Chad Therapeutics. Previously, Kocinski served as vice president of respiratory business development for Chad. He replaces Mike Mulroy, who will be pursuing new business endeavors, according to a press release…