In brief: CAIRE now part of Japanese company, OIG provides update on diabetes test strips

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Friday, January 18, 2019

BALL GROUND, Ga. – CAIRE is now a wholly owned subsidiary of NGK Spark Plug Co., LTD, a Nagoya, Japan-based ceramics processing manufacturer.

Chart Industries had previously announced that it planned to divest its oxygen-related products business from its BioMedical division and sell it to NGK for $133.5 million.

“Over the last 15 years, NGK Spark Plug has been utilizing its unique sensing and ceramic technologies to develop leading solutions for the healthcare market,” said Earl Lawson, president of CAIRE. “Their sense of vision and planning to meet the healthcare needs of the future makes the acquisition of CAIRE a natural fit.”

CAIRE’s oxygen therapy portfolio includes liquid oxygen systems, and portable and stationary oxygen concentrators, marketed under the AirSep, SeQual and HELiOS brands.

In addition to Ball Ground, Ga., CAIRE’s global locations include Anjo, Japan; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chengdu, China; Padova, Italy; Wokingham, U.K.; and Wuppertal, Germany.

OIG: Handful of strips dominated Medicare mail-order market

WASHINGTON – The top two strips accounted for 53% of the Medicare mail-order market, and the top 10 strips accounted for 98% of the market, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General.

Overall, suppliers in Medicare’s national mail-order program provided 17 types of test strips during the three-month period between April 1, 2018, and June 30, 2018, the OIG found.

To conduct the report, the OIG sampled 1,210 claims from a population of 313,704 claims.

Suppliers must comply with a rule outlined in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) requiring them to provide at least 50% (by volume) of the types of test strips provided to beneficiaries.

The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2019 included a provision that would strengthen the 50% rule by requiring bidders to attest to their ability to maintain an inventory of strips consistent with their bid, and requiring CMS to establish and maintain a surveillance program to ensure suppliers are complying with the rule.

All competitive bidding contracts expired Dec. 31, 2018.

The Compliance Team celebrates 25 years

SPRING HOUSE, Pa. – It’s been 25 years since Sandra Canally, RN, formed The Compliance Team to accredit Medicare Part A and Part B providers. Canally considers The Compliance Team to be the only certified woman-owned organization to be authorized to accredit providers. She considers as highlights over the past two decades: plain language Safety-Honesty-Caring Quality Standards and Evidence of Compliance; a patient satisfaction reporting and benchmarking web portal; and a Medicare-approved Exemplary Provider accredited status. The Compliance Team plans to introduce “new transformative accreditation programs” later this year, according to the release. The company today offers 17 operations-based accrediting programs for clinics, PCMH, pharmacy services, DMEPOS and private duty. Each year, it accredits thousands of providers based in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Triple W wins award at CES

SAN DIEGO ­– Triple W won a “Best of CES Award” for the Digital Health and Fitness Category at International CES 2019. The company and its DFree wearable device for urinary incontinence was chosen from thousands of companies appearing at CES, standing out based on its level of innovation, quality of design, overall efficiency and market demand, according to a press release. Engadget editors announced the winners following a competition Jan. 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. DFree uses ultrasound technology to monitor bladder fullness and notifies the user on their smart phone or tablet when it’s time to go to the bathroom. The product also earned second place in the Innovative HME Retail Product Awards at Medtrade in October.

People news: Permobil, RESNA, United Spinal

Catharina Modahl Nilsson has been appointed executive vice president, research & development, for Permobil Group. She will oversee innovation, product development and cost position within power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, seating solutions and power assist devices, overseeing the newly formed Global Research and Development function. Nilsson joins Permobil following a long career from the Scania Group and most recently the Traton Group, where she held various senior management positions within R&D, as well as product and project management…Andrea Van Hook has joined RESNA as interim executive director, the organization’s board of directors has announced. Van Hook was RESNA’s membership, marketing and communications manager from 2011-16. She also has experience working in healthcare operations and management at Smithbucklin, an association management company, and in marketing, communications and public relations at L.A. Care Health Plan, a Medicaid HMO and public agency in Los Angeles…Danielle Corazza, an experienced military and veteran advocate, has been appointed vice president of the VetsFirst program at the United Spinal Association. The program assists thousands of veterans and actively serving military personnel annually through an online help desk, Ask VetsFirst, and ongoing advocacy work. Corazza formerly served as the first national outreach coordinator for the Center for Women Veterans in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leading strategy, program management, public affairs and digital outreach initiatives.

DreamWear mask hits mark

AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has sold its 10 millionth DreamWear CPAP mask and cushion. The mask, which features a modular frame system that works interchangeably with nasal, pillow and full-face cushions, launched three years ago. “The invention of the DreamWear mask was not just an incremental improvement on existing CPAP mask designs, but a generational leap forward in terms of comfort and usability,” said John Frank, business leader of Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips.

Medline eyes southeast distribution center

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Medline wants to open a 660,000-square-foot warehouse distribution center here that could ultimately employ 400 people, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. “It will be essentially a healthcare supply-chain center,” Dmitry Dukhan, vice president of real estate for Medline Industries, told the newspaper. If approved, construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2019 and finish in mid-2021. Medline has more than 20,000 employees worldwide and a portfolio of more than 550,000 products. It had sales of more than $10 billion in 2017.

NHIA promotes two execs

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association has promoted Jennifer Charron to COO and Bill Noyes to senior vice president of reimbursement policy. Charron joined NHIA in 2017 as vice president for clinical services, focusing on education. Noyes joined NHIA in 2012 as vice president of information policy, focusing on reimbursement and regulatory issues. “Jennifer and Bill have made significant contributions to the home and specialty infusion industry and to NHIA in their previous roles,” said NHIA President and CEO Connie Sullivan. “I look forward to working with Jenn and Bill as they transition to their new positions to help achieve the legislative and operational goals of NHIA.”

CRT conference registration opens

ARLINGTON, Va. – Registration is now open for the 2019 National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference, scheduled for May 1-2 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. This year’s program will provide updates on healthcare trends, updates on CRT policies, and updates on Medicare, Medicaid and managed care, as well as an advocacy day. The conference is a partnership between NCART and NRRTS. To register: www.ncart.us/crtconf.

Lifeway Mobility expands Midwest presence

HARTFORD, Conn. – Lifeway Mobility has acquired Home Safe Homes, a provider of accessibility equipment and home modification services. Home Safe Homes, which serves central Indiana, was founded by Kent McCool in 2011, according to a press release. McCool will stay on as general manager of the Lifeway Mobility Indiana market. “We are looking forward to working with Lifeway’s team of experienced professionals, and to having access to various systems and tools that allow us to serve our clients with a holistic set of solutions,” said McCool. Lifeway Mobility provides ramps, lifts and bath safety solutions throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois, northwest Indiana, Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Royal Philips broadens sleep portfolio

LAS VEGAS and AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has expanded its SmartSleep suite of solutions in America. The product portfolio aims to offer consumers with solutions that can address a wide range of sleep issues from insomnia to snoring, according to a press release. Those solutions, introduced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, include the SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band, SmartSleep Better Sleep Program, SmartSleep Analyzer, SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband, and SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up Light (Somneo Connected). Royal Philips also announced strategic alliances with the American Sleep Association, American Well, SleepRate and WebMD to create further awareness and education on sleep issues.

Accreditation University starts ‘new chapter’ as ACHCU

CARY, N.C. – Accreditation Commission for Health Care has rebranded its Accreditation University as ACHCU. The move is part of ACHCU’s efforts to expand its service menu domestically and internationally, and will allow it to remain closely identified with ACHC, according to a press release. “We are excited to align our image and brand essence to the support we provide our customers,” said Greg Stowell, ACHCU’s senior manager of education & consulting. “We are excited for this new chapter with our brand, and look forward to providing our customers the education that will empower them to improve their avenues of health care.” The nonprofit ACHC, which was formed in 1986, is a CMS deemed accrediting organization for home health, hospice and DMEPOS.

Ki Mobility forms Canadian division

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Ki Mobility, a manufacturer of ultra-light manual wheelchairs and complex rehab seating and the North American distributor for Leckey, has acquired NuVision Rehab Group and Western Home Medical in Canada. The acquisition creates Ki Mobility Canada LTD. NuVision Rehab Group represents rehab, mobility and home accessibility manufacturers from around the world. Its sales team, led by Rick Nori, has been representing Ki Mobility for the last four years and has been a vital part of the company’s success in the Canadian market, according to a press release. “Forming Ki Mobility Canada LTD allows us to better support our products and services to the dealers in Canada and is an essential part of our overall growth strategy of becoming the leading provider of complex rehab seating in North America,” said Doug Munsey, president of Ki Mobility. NuVision Rehab Group will continue to represent and distribute its existing product lines, including Special Tomato, Silvalea, Essential Medical Products and others, and will continue to manufacture products through its Western Home Medical division.

Parachute Health integrates with Altruista Health

NEW YORK – Parachute Health has partnered with Altruista Health to help healthcare providers reduce costs and errors associated with ordering DME. By integrating Parachute Health’s ePrescribing solution into Altruista’s GuidingCare platform, the companies have developed and implemented a new function that matches patients with DME based on care provider recommendations and complicated insurance requirements. Once the function identifies and selects the correct equipment, orders are automatically approved and processed, the companies say. “By partnering with Altruista, we’ve taken another step toward improving the care delivery process,” said David Gelbard, CEO and founder of Parachute Health. “With the integration of Parachute’s solution into Altruista’s GuidingCare platform, we expect to see reductions in spending and readmissions, and increases in patients satisfaction.” Altruista’s GuidingCare platform is used by health plans and provider organizations to streamline care management workflows; facilitate coordination among clinical, behavioral and community resources; accelerate quality improvement; and promote engagement for more than 38 million members. The new function will be introduced by Visiting Nurse Service of New York. "Since VNSNY CHOICE’s Select Health program began utilizing Parachute in December members are receiving their medical supplies quicker and the lines of communication are excellent," said Sal Bastardi, vice president of corporate administrative services. "The Select Health team can check the system at any given time to determine the status of the order."

Medtrade Spring is workshop ready

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring has scheduled four workshops for April 16, the first day of the show. The workshops, which are available as add-ons to conference or expo passes, are: An Introduction to the Certified Durable Medical Equipment Specialist (CDME), HME Master Sales Training, Industry Insights: Forecasting 2019 and Best Practice Checklist for Productivity and Management. Fees vary per workshop. “If you’re going to make the trip to Medtrade Spring, workshops are a great way to hit the ground running and experience in-depth learning on day one,” said Kevin Gaffney, vice president and group show/publication director, Emerald Expositions. “In 2019, we will have some familiar experts from BOC, VGM, Brightree and Mike Sperduti from Emerge Sales—all sharing new and relevant information.” Medtrade Spring takes place April 16-18 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.