In brief: BioScrip, Option Care to merge; Aeroflow launches CBD division

Friday, March 15, 2019

DENVER – BioScrip and Option Care Enterprises, two of the largest independent providers of home infusion therapy services, have entered into a definitive merger agreement, the companies announced on March 15.

Under the terms of the agreement, BioScrip will issue new shares to Option Care, which is owned by investment funds affiliated with Madison Dearborn Partners and Walgreens Boots Alliance, in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the transaction, MDP and WBA will own about 80% of the combined company, with BioScrip shareholders holding the remainder.

Option Care CEO John Rademacher and CFO Mike Shapiro will lead the combined company. BioScrip President and CEO Daniel Greenleaf will become a special adviser to the company’s board of directors. “This is a compelling and complementary fit of two leading players in the U.S. infusion market,” Greenleaf said. “Together, we will be able to provide a diverse set of life-improving and cost-effective services to more patients across the United States. Our expanded reach and broader array of offerings provide a key competitive advantage at a time when the demand for home and alternate site infusion services continues to grow.”

Expected benefits of the transaction include improved, cost-effective patient care; enhanced scale and therapy offerings; a “powerful growth engine in an attractive industry”; and compelling financial benefits, the companies say.

The combined company’s common stock will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq Global Market. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

Aeroflow Healthcare launches CBD division

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has launched Aeroflow Naturals, a new division offering patients high-quality cannabidiol (CBD) products to assist with a variety of conditions.

Aeroflow has partnered with Kingdom Harvest, a Rutherfordton, N.C.-based “seed-to-sale” company that encompasses farmers, botanical extractors, marketers and local retailers, to launch the new division.

“While CBD is currently only FDA-approved to treat epilepsy, Aeroflow is confident that studies will continue to demonstrate the efficacy for CBD to further improve the quality of life for patients who need it,” said Evan Israel, director of emerging markets for Aeroflow. “As more research emerges and the CBD industry attracts even more national attention, we will provide more products in this category to best suit our patients’ individual needs.”

Aeroflow Naturals currently offers products containing full-spectrum CBD oil, including tinctures, balms, capsules, sprays and more provided by Kingdom Harvest, Carolina Hemp Company and other brands.

In a “Wild West” market like CBD, Aeroflow aims to set itself apart by offering “trusted products” that contain CBD extracted from locally grown industrial hemp plants without using harmful chemicals. It also displays the ingredients of each item and offers educational resources, such as blogs and live customer support, to help patients correctly use and understand CBD products.

U.S. Rehab refreshes FMA dashboard

WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab is in the final stages of releasing a new dashboard for its Functional Mobility Assessment tool, according to a blog post on its website. The new dashboard will have enhanced ease-of-use, more clearly defined graphics and menu selections, advanced diagnoses choices and more up-to-date demographic selections. U.S. Rehab says more details will be announced soon. More than 2,800 unique U.S. Rehab members and rehab institutions have now participated in the FMA outcomes program, U.S. Rehab says. Recent data from the program shows, for example, a 78% overall increase in client satisfaction from old equipment to new equipment. It also shows a statistical decrease in falls (reduced 64%), readmissions to healthcare facilities due to seating mobility incidents (reduced 83%) and skin breakdowns caused by poor seating and positioning (reduced 52%).

Nat’l Home Infusion Foundation honors Johns Hopkins exec

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Foundation has named Mary Myers, RN, BSN, MS, as the recipient of its 2019 Lynn Giglione Women in Leadership Award. The award emphasizes contributions of women leaders in the field of home infusion. Myers, president/CEO of Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, was honored as a strong and effective leader whose career has spanned critical care, ambulatory, hospice and home care as a nurse, teacher, manager and advocate for patients and employees. At Hopkins, Myers has challenged traditional models of care delivery, resulting in a number of creative programs, including a mobile vascular access service and an app for asthma patients. Her colleagues call her “an agent of excellence,” “a role model for effective collaboration,” “a champion and advocate for her team,” and “a consistently present, highly visible leader.” The award was presented at the National Home Infusion Association’s Annual Conference in Orlando on March 13.

Philips study re-examines ASV

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Adaptive servo ventilation is an effective treatment for patients with complex sleep apnea, according to a new study from Royal Philips. The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, compared four ASV devices with different algorithms, including the Philips DreamStation BiPAP autoSV, and the ASV device that was originally associated with greater mortality in patients during a trial in 2015. This study suggests that the underlying adverse effect of ASV may be secondary to excessive ventilation due to device-based effect. “The pursuit for scientific understanding of various disease and treatment processes is an iterative process where we revisit successes and failures to deepen our understanding of disease processes,” said Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, a lead investigator on the study, professor of medicine and interim chief of Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at University of Arizona College of Medicine. “It’s imperative we keep this in mind and re-visit previous studies when technological advancements show promise for a certain type of therapy. Today, ASV isn’t used in certain clinical settings due to safety concerns associated with the therapy in patients with congestive heart failure and predominant central sleep apnea. Now, through devices with smarter algorithms, providers can potentially ensure that patients are getting the right treatment and, thereby, improve treatment approaches in patients with complex or central sleep apnea.”

WellSky integrates with Chapters Health

LENEXA, Kan. – WellSky has partnered with Chapters Health System to implement its web-based EHR platform, the companies have announced. Chapters Health, which operates hospice and home health services in eight counties in Florida, will also implement Consolo Hospice and Palliative Care software. WellSky acquired Consolo in December. “We are honored to support Chapters Health as we work alongside them to develop new product enhancements to advance the quality of their care for patients and families,” said Bill Miller, CEO of WellSky, in a press release.

People news: BOC, Generex

BOC has named Matthew Gruskin as its new credentialing director and Matt Dickinson as compliance manager. Gruskin has nearly a decade of experience in the orthotics and prosthetics field. Dickinson has 12 years of costumer service experience and has worked as a business development specialist at BOC since 2016…Generex has named Lance Goudzwaard chief commercial officer of its NuGenerex Distribution Solutions. Goudzwaard will be responsible for delivery and operations of the management services organization and growing it from five to 27 states. He will also focus on developing a DME service offering called DME-IQ for the orthopedic market. Goudzwaard has more than 25 years experience as a healthcare executive.

Viemed responds to bid program including vents

LAFAYETTE, La. – Viemed Healthcare doesn’t expect CMS’s decision to include non-invasive ventilators in Round 2021 of national competitive bidding to affect its growth plans. “While our team continues to prepare for the inclusion of NIV in the competitive bidding process, we will be focused on delivery quality care to our expanding patient base under the program and expect to continue our rapid growth throughout the country,” said Casey Hoyt, CEO. “We feel this change will present great opportunity for those companies who are underleveraged with size and scale, such as Viemed.” Currently, Viemed is serving Medicare beneficiaries in 39 of the 130 areas that will be included in Round 2021. It estimates that less than 25% of its revenue comes from those areas. At the same time, Viemed is actively working to diversify its payer mix to include Veterans Affairs and diversify its product mix to include more oxygen business.

Coram’s Wanda Rogers receives Gene Graves Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association has named Wanda Rogers the recipient of the 2019 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award. Rogers is the national director of pharmacy for Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services. Rogers serves on the NHIA Standard Committee and the Joint Commission Medication Compounding Advisory Panel, and as the regional past president of the Virginia Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists. “NHIA is proud to recognize Wanda’s accomplishments and distinguished career through this award,” says Connie Sullivan, BSPharm, NHIA’s president and CEO. “The nomination by her team clearly reflects how much she means to her many colleagues throughout the country and to the patients she has touched.” The award was presented March 12 at NHIA’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

Quantum Rehab donates iLevel power chair to Walmart greeter

MIDDLEBURG, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has donated an iLevel power chair to 30-year-old Adam Catlin. Catlin, who has cerebral palsy, was at risk of losing his job as a Walmart greeter due to a change in job requirements that, without the technology, he would have been unable to meet. The iLevel, which offers 12 inches of seat elevation and a driving speed of up to 4.5 miles per hour, will also make it easier for Catlin to get around at home. "It's going to open up a whole new world for me," he said.

Responsive Respiratory enters CPAP market

ST. LOUIS – Responsive Respiratory has entered the CPAP market with the Purify O3 ozone sanitizer. Purify uses ozone technology to disinfect CPAP and BiPAP equipment, including masks, tubing and humidification chambers, in 35 minutes, killing 99.9% of bacteria and germs, the company says. “The addition of the Purify O3 to our product line was a natural extension,” said Tom Bannon, president. “The CPAP and oxygen markets go hand and hand—so many of our providers partners offer both. It was a logical fit to extend into the market to offer this affordable, simple-to-use sanitizer to our customer base.” Purify features a compact and lightweight design with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for use at home or on-the-go. It comes as a kit and includes everything patients need to sanitize their equipment—no adapters, filters, pre-wash solutions or replacement bags required.

Legislature in Tennessee recognizes complex rehab

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee General Assembly has passed a bill that recognizes complex rehab as a separate benefit category. The state’s House of Representatives passed H.B. 0647 94-0 on March 7, then the Senate substituted that bill with S.B. 0632 and passed it 30-0 on March 11. The bill requires the commissioner, under the Long-Term Care Community Choices Act, to recognize complex rehabilitation technology as a separate benefit category for the purposes of any proposed budget or other public documents; and defines complex rehabilitation technology as including Group 3, 4 and 5 power wheelchairs and certain manual wheelchairs. The bill now heads to Gov. Bill Lee for his signature. Tennessee joins six other states in recognizing complex rehab as a separate benefit.