In brief: CBO scores bid bill, Inogen delays earnings

Friday, March 13, 2015

WASHINGTON – The industry’s binding bids legislation got another boost yesterday when the Congressional Budget Office said that passing it could increase revenues. In a statement, the CBO estimated that H.R. 284 would increase revenues by about $1 million. The CBO stated: CBO expects that implementing the legislation would not have a significant effect on the prices that CMS establishes for DME items, but that it would result in the forfeiture of a small number of surety bonds. CBO estimates that the revenues from such forfeitures will amount to less than $500,000 in each year, and will total about $1 million over the 2015-2025 period. This estimate assumes enactment in the spring of 2015. The CBO score is the latest step forward for the bill. In late February, the House Ways and Means unanimously voted to pass the bill. The next step is to bring it to the house floor for a vote, said AAHomecare. The association is working with House leadership to expedite the process.

Inogen delays earnings

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen will not report its fourth quarter and year end earnings today as planned due to an internal investigation of its accounting practices. Management discovered “certain potential accounting matters” during the first quarter of 2015, prompting an Audit Committee, with help from independent advisers, to launch an internal investigation. “The Audit Committee is investigating whether there were any violations of the company’s accounting policies associated with these potential accounting matters,” the company stated in a press release. “The Audit Committee has not reached any conclusion.” Inogen says it can’t predict the outcome of the investigation or when it will be completed. Until the investigation is completed, the company can’t comment on its earnings. “Inogen will announce such results as soon as practicable following the completion of the Audit Committee’s investigation,” the company stated in the release.

NSM targets service, supply chain improvements

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has added director-level positions in service delivery and supply chain to support unprecedented growth in 2014, the company announced March 9. Darrell Chiasson will serve as director of service delivery, and Chris Paz will serve as director of supply chain management. Chiasson will focus on building a best-in-class service organization that improves the client service experience while minimizing downtime and repairs. “With so many local new NSM branches nationwide, integrated customer service is key,” he stated in a press release. Paz will focus on working with providers to help their ATPs get the most appropriate products and services.

COPD Foundation, PFQC partner to ‘amplify patient voice’

WASHINGTON and WATERLOO, Iowa – The COPD Foundation has partnered with People for Quality Care, the advocacy division of The VGM Group, to protect access to home oxygen therapy for Medicare beneficiaries. The partnership will better position the two groups to collect data on the access issues created by competitive bidding, and share it with CMS and Congress. “By collecting patient stories, the COPD Foundation and People for Quality Care are demonstrating that, while competitive bidding may be saving CMS money, it is harming patients across America,” the COPD Foundation stated in a press release. “The partnering of our two organizations will ultimate serve to amplify the patient voice and concerns as it relates to healthcare.” Competitive bidding has negatively impacted access in a number of ways, the groups say. Providers that didn’t win contracts and providers that have closed their doors have resulted in service disruptions and confusion for beneficiaries, they say. Additionally, the program has forced providers that did win contracts to cut back on their product and service offerings to maintain profitability, the groups say.

Kohll’s expands presence in Nebraska

OMAHA & LINCOLN, Neb. – Kohll’s Pharmacy has acquired Lincoln, Neb.-based Wagey Drug Company, an independent pharmacy. The deal was announced March 10 by Generation Equity, the acquisition firm that advised Wagey on the transaction. "Our client had a personal desire to find a buyer that would keep the pharmacy running and the Wagey legacy in Lincoln going for years to come,” said Terry Mackin, managing director of Generational Equity, in a release. Founded in 1948, Omaha, Neb.-based Kohll’s offers HME and has nine locations in Nebraska and Iowa.

Sleep therapy program goes live

SANDWICH, Mass. – Cape Medical Supply is now offering a SleepExpress program at its new location in New Bedford, Mass. The program offers patient setups, equipment repair and therapy consultations by appointment only. The goal is to service patients in 10 minutes or less. “We have spent a lot of time and energy working on making care more convenient for our patients, and we think that putting a clinic right in the center of our patient’s home community is a big step in the right direction,” stated CEO Gary Sheehan in a release. Cape Medical recently opened its Sleep Therapy Center in December and lauched MyResupply online in June.

Univita launches in-home wound care program

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Univita Health’s new wound care program aims to reduce costs and improving outcomes by managing at-risk patients and reducing hospital admissions. “Without Univita’s interventions in providing proactive, specialized care for these complex, chronically ill patients, these individuals would have experienced hospitalizations and extensive surgery,” said Dr. Manny Selva, chief medical officer at Miramar, Fla.-based Univita in a release. Of those patients enrolled in the program: 92% were discharged with healed wounds; 64% of patients’ wounds had healed or were significantly reduced in size within 90 days, according to the release.

TiLite gets behind wheelchair tournament

PASCO, Wash. – TiLite is providing financial and marketing support to a local wheelchair basketball tournament. Executives from the wheelchair manufacturer attended last year’s Clash at the Columbia and were disappointed by the low turnout of spectators, according to a local news article. Organizers of this year’s tournament, slated for March 21, hope TiLite’s involvement will boost awareness of and participation in the event. This isn’t the first time TiLite has supported local causes. Employees have formed the TiLite in Motion Committee to look for ways to give back. Permobil acquired TiLite last year.

NCPA announces conference dates

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association will hold its 2015 Annual Legislative Conference May 12-13. Member priorities include enacting federal and state MAC reform legislation to alleviate delays in generic drug reimbursement updates; passing legislation that would allow pharmacies to participate in Medicare Part D preferred networks; and passing pharmacist provider status legislation. “I strongly urge community pharmacists from across the country to join me for the legislative conference as we advocate for pharmacy choice,” stated NCPA PresidentJohn Sherrer in a release. The conference will be held at the Hilton Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. To register, click here.

Roscoe offers financing program

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Roscoe Medical has partnered with Navitas Lease to offer a new cash flow financing program to HME providers. Features of the program include a one-page application, highly competitive rates, financing terms from 12 to 36 months, credit decisions within hours and the ability to approve companies with a broad spectrum of credit profiles. Navitas is a nationwide provider of commercial financing programs. 

Short takes: Hasco, Mediware, Merits

Hasco Medicalhas opened a Ride-Away location in Parkville, Md. The company plans a grand opening April 17-18 with an open house, demos and special savings. Addison, Texas-based Hasco operates 20 locations in 11 states from Maine to Florida…Mediware has announced the first customer to go live with its new CareTend software solution: Health Options, a home infusion provider…Merits Health Products has a new member on its team: Chris Blackmore as national director of sales. Previously, Blackmore was regional vice president of sales for Pride Mobility Products and director of business development for Handicare…Milwaukee-based Knueppel Healthcare Services is the first provider in Wisconsin to offer the Motivo Tour walker. The Tour was named one of Medtrade’s Top 5 new products in 2014.