In brief: CMS briefs, Invacare hires, KCI slips

Friday, November 15, 2013

WASHINGTON – A meeting with CMS and congressional staff on DME competitive bidding, originally cancelled due to the government shutdown, has been set for 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 18, says The VGM Group. Because the briefings, for staff of the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees, will not be public, VGM and AAHomecare are calling on providers to contact their members of Congress to urge them to attend.

Employees return to Invacare facility

ELYRIA, Ohio – A “small number” of employees are returning to Invacare’s Taylor Street facility, according to a story by the Chronicle-Telegram. Per a consent decree put in place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2012, the company limited design, manufacturing and distribution activities at the plant, resulting in the layoff of 236 employees. Returning employees are being placed throughout the facility, according to the story. “It’s a small number, but I know it is a goal to return to full capacity at the facility,” Lara Mahoney, spokeswoman, told the newspaper. “Is this good news? Yes, it is, but we still have a ways to go.” Invacare has submitted and passed two of the three audits required to lift the decree. It expects to submit the third audit in November.

KCI’s third quarter revenues slip

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) has reported a drop in third-quarter revenues: $320.9 million in 2013 vs. $329.7 million in 2012, a 2.7% decrease. The company said the decline stems from Round 2 of competitive bidding. KCI products that fall under the program’s umbrella saw a 42% price reduction. “KCI would have reported positive revenue growth in the third quarter, exclusive of this one item,” stated CFO Robert Hureau.

One in 10 will have diabetes by 2035, report says

BRUSSELS, Belgium – One-tenth of the world’s population—592 million people—will have diabetes by 2035, according to the sixth Diabetes Atlas, released by the International Diabetes Federation Nov. 14. The federation says 382 million people will have the disease by the end of 2013. Most people with diabetes are between 40 and 59 years old and live in low- and middle-income countries, according to the report. “Diabetes is a disease of development,” said Michael Hirst, IDF president, in a statement. “The misconception that diabetes is ‘a disease of the wealthy’ is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic.” About 9.2% of Americans will have developed some form of diabetes by the end of 2013, the report says. That figure should increase to 11.6% by 2035.

My Home Medical Care debuts online

ALPINE, Utah – A new website,, has launched, offering a variety of supplies for home medical care, according to a Nov. 14 news release. Founder Daniel Wang’s work as an X-ray technician in private homes and nursing facilities helped him become familiar with the needs of patients receiving health care at home, according to the release. Products for sale on the site include mobility aides, such as walkers and canes; incontinence products; and blood-pressure monitors. is a division of DJW Enterprises.

Provider collects scrubs for drive

ASHLAND, Ky. – King’s Daughters Home Medical Equipment and The Dressing Room are collecting new and gently used scrubs to donate to students, graduates and those entering the medical field. The drive is open until Dec. 31 and medical professionals who donate scrubs will be given a 10% discount off purchases at King’s Daughters HME. “Uniforms can be a major expense for anyone starting a job, in any field,” said Jamie Martinez, director of King’s Daughters. “But, if you’re a new grad, or someone who has just finished re-training after months of unemployment, the cost of uniforms can be a real obstacle.”

MDA names Numotion Company of the Year

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Muscular Distrophy Association (MDA) has named Numotion the 2013 Company of the Year, the company announced Nov. 11. MDA presented Numotion with the award during the 16th annual Connecticut area Black and Blue Ball in October, according to the release. The organization honored Numotion for supporting the ball, helping with mobility loan closets and volunteering at summer camps. “Numotion is excited to continue its support of the MDA,” stated Mark Miller, Numotion vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships, in the release. “Our team is geared up to be involved and support many MDA events across the country, including Muscle Walks and summer camps, in 2014.”

Company seeks crowdfunding support for sleep apnea device

BURLINGAME, Calif. – California company Lucky Knives is using Indiegogo to raise money to tool and win FDA approval for SpeakEasy, a product that it has developed to help patients talk while using CPAP devices. To use SpeakEasy, the wearer pinches two rubber buttons. “Now, it’s easy to say goodnight to your spouse, answer the phone and sneeze without having to take off the mask or reset the machine,” stated Hal Rucker, company president, in a release.

CMS clarifies “homebound”

BALTIMORE – Medicare beneficiaries must now meet two sets of criteria to be considered “homebound,” according to new rules that take effect Nov. 19. First, they must need supportive devices, special transportation or other help to leave the home. Second, they must be unable to leave the home, or leaving the home must take “a considerable and taxing effort.” CMS says its new definition will prevent confusion, lead to clearer enforcement and offer more definitive guidance to home health agencies.

Studies: V.A.C. VeraFlo speeds wound healing

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Studies presented at two recent conferences show Kinetic Concepts’ V.A.C. VeraFlo Installation Therapy reduces the length of hospital stays, speeds wound closure and reduces debridement costs when compared to traditional V.A.C. therapy, the company announced Nov. 11. “This is one of those things that comes along every decade or so that literally radically changes the way you treat your patients,” stated study presenter Paul Kim, associate professor and research director at Georgetown University School of Medicine Center for Wound Healing, in the release.

Alliqua lands $1M to ramp up wound care biz

LANGHORNE, Pa. – Alliqua has obtained $1 million in financing from Crossover Healthcare Fund to fund key initiatives in the wound care space, the company announced Nov. 12. The biopharmaceutical company will put the money toward sales and marketing of hydrogel products sold under the SilverSeal brand, and its sorbion sachet S and sorbion Sana wound-care products. The financing is in the form of 250,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock, which can be converted into 11,111,111 shares of common stock. Alliqua must redeem the stock on Oct. 21, 2015, according to the release.

HomeCare app speeds reporting

ORLANDO - HomeCare Connect has a new app that helps providers quickly and accurately complete paperwork for workers’ compensation payers. Synchronizing with the company’s servers, the app allows providers to start case reviews and applications while they’re still with patients, according to the company. “Payers can receive same-day reports if desired,” stated Vonesa Wenzel, CMO of HomeCare Connect, in a release. The system provides a portal for real-time updates, document downloads and electronic authorizations, as well. Clinical care coordinators help ensure reports are complete and accurate before they are sent to payers, according to the company. HomeCare Connect focuses on managing the quality and cost of home health, durable medical equipment and supplies for workers’ compensation payers.

SMP Home Medical donates to OT program

DUBOIS, Pa. – SMP Home Medical has donated a wheelchair and a trapeze lift to the Penn State DuBois Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, the company announced Nov. 10. “With updated equipment, our students will get to practice with the most up-to-date items that are out there, and it really improves their educational experience,” stated LuAnn Demo, instructor and OTA campus coordinator, in the release. SMP also hosts the OTA students at a yearly open house, showing them the latest home medical equipment.

Short takes

Wayne, N.J.-based Maddak’s Morph Wheels, folding wheelchair wheels, won Popular Science’s 2013 Best of What’s New award in the health field for innovation and advancement of functionality, the company announced recently…Onehealth & OneSource and its Diabetic 360 program will be the exclusive provider of diabetic supplies and education to clients of HMC Healthworks, a Florida-based provider of health management and wellness programs, the company announced Nov. 14 … Atlanta-based Patientco is the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2013 Healthcare IT Start-Up Company of The Year, according to a Nov. 13 news release…Lee Meagher, founder and CEO of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Scootaround, Inc., was named one of Canada’s top 100 female entrepreneurs by Profit Magazine and Chatelaine. Scootaround rents wheelchairs and scooters to traveling customers, event attendees and business travelers.