In brief: CQRC asks CMS to slow down, Circadiance readies rebrand

Friday, June 3, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Council for Quality Respiratory Care says the findings of a recent Office of Inspector General report further demonstrate the need to slow down the national rollout of Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

“Federal policymakers should carefully evaluate the risk for implementing cuts too fast and take measures to ensure access to quality patient care is prioritized and protected,” said Dan Starck, chairman of the CQRC, a coalition of home respiratory therapy providers and manufacturers. “We know that high quality home respiratory care keeps patients at home and out of emergency rooms, hospitals and other institutional care settings.”

Medicare is poised to implement a second round of reimbursement cuts in non-bid areas on July 1. The first round of cuts—25%, on average—went into effect Jan. 1.

The OIG found that 43% of the 146 providers they audited had not met state licensure requirements for at least some of the competitive bidding contracts they received. Additionally, it was unclear whether or not an additional 14 providers, or 9.6%, met the requirements.

“Considering that nearly half of the suppliers that were awarded contracts had not met basic state licensure requirements, we have significant concerns with the integrity of the competitive bidding rate setting process,” Starck said. “The fact that unqualified suppliers’ bids were used to set rates means that the current rates are not correct, and applying them to non-competitive bidding areas could create serious problems.”

Industry stakeholders have bills in the House of Representatives and in the Senate to delay the implementation of the second round of cuts until at least Oct. 1, 2017.

Accessibility groups wrangle over specifics of bill

WASHINGTON – The Independent Auto Lift Dealers of America has appealed to lawmakers to tweak a bill in the House of Representatives, as well as a companion bill being considered in the Senate, that seeks to improve the provision of automobiles and adaptive equipment by Veterans Affairs. In a May 19 letter to the chairman of the Senate’s Committee of Veterans Affairs, the group said the bill, H.R. 3471: “needs a more robust conflict-of-interest provision related to the use of a third-party certification organization for the new safety standards.” The Independent Auto Lift Dealers of America says the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association drafted the bill as part of its campaign to become designated as the VA’s third-party certification organization. That’s unfair, the Independent Auto Life Dealers of America says, because NMEDA is dominated by three large national chains. The group says the bill should be tweaked to better differentiate between simple and complex modifications to ensure that exterior lifts that don’t affect the operation of or alter the structure of the vehicle may continue to be installed at home.

Option Care awarded enteral contracts

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. – Option Care has accepted contracts in the Round 2 re-compete to provide enteral nutrition services across the country. The provider has participated in the competitive bid program since 2011. “Our continued selection by CMS demonstrates that Option Care is a partner of choice because our proven track record of delivering quality care ensures successful outcomes,” said John Rademacher, COO for Option Care. “Our high rates of patient satisfaction and safety demonstrate that we put patients at the center of our personalized, compassionate approach to care.” Option Care is one of the largest providers of home and alternate site infusion services, with more than 1,800 clinicians.

Cape Medical launches new phone system

SANDWICH, Mass. – Cape Medical Supply has implemented an Internet-based phone system in partnership with ShoreTel Connect. The new system will reduce wait times, and result in direct department access and more efficient customer service. “As we continue to grow and expand our reach across New England, we needed to invest in our future and invest in our continued improvement as a company so we can scale our industry-leading patient care programs," said Gary Sheehan, president and CEO of Cape Medical Supply. ShoreTel Connect will eventually be integrated with the company’s email system of offer web-based support to its customers.

U.S. Rehab, TiLite partner up

WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab and Permobil have announced that TiLite will be a contracted supplier of titanium and aluminum manual wheelchairs for members of U.S. Rehab. “Our mutual interests in patient outcomes are what brings this synergy,” said Greg packer, president of U.S. Rehab. “This relationship with another high quality manufacturer like TiLite is a big win for U.S. Rehab members all over the country.” Permobil acquired TiLite in 2014.

Groups promote ‘Get Out & Enjoy Life’ contest

ATLANTA – Sports ‘n Spokes, the sports and recreation magazine of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, has teamed up with Wheel:Life, a social community for wheelchair users, to promote the “Get Out & Enjoy Life This Summer” photo contest and prize giveaway. The social media pages of Sports ‘n Spokes and Wheel:Life will feature daily listings of accessible vacation spots, outdoors programs and other events to encourage wheelchair users to participate in the contest, now in its sixth year. The first place winner will receive a Panthera X carbon fiber wheelchair valued at $11,000 courtesy of Triumph Mobility, a “Get Out & Enjoy Life” prize pack and, depending on the quality of the photo submitted, the cover of the September issue of Sports ‘n Spokes.

Drive DeVilbiss adds fourth distribution center

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare will open a 232,000-square-foot distribution center in Indianapolis on June 1 to meet growing demand for its products. “We will continue to optimize our supply chain to provide better value and improved service levels to our customers,” said Harvey Diamond, CEO of Drive DeVilbiss, in a press release. Similar to existing centers in South Brunswick, N.J., Atlanta and Rialto, Calif., the center features the latest in automation to ensure orders are processed, picked and shipped quickly and accurately. It will house the entire Drive DeVilbiss product line.

Circadiance ready to rebrand

EXPORT, Pa. – Circadiance has received a scope extension to its ISO 13485 Certificate and CE Marketing for its SmartMonitor and NeoPAP product lines, the company announced June 1. These approvals allow Circadiance to complete the rebranding of the product lines to fully capitalize on the interest of several international distributors. Circadiance acquired the SmartMonitor and NeoPAP product lines, including the infant apnea monitoring and PAP technologies associated with them, from Philips Respironics last year.

Point of Rental impacts revenues

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Point of Rental Software, a provider of rental and inventory management software, has completed a study of the impact that online orders are having on rental business revenues. One client reported that first quarter earnings were up about 30% after implementing Point of Rental Essentials, a cloud-based product for rental and inventory needs. The product allows businesses to provide their customers with a 24/7 view of availability, and get quotes and reserve items. It also features a portal where they can access their accounts, view orders, cancel bookings and make secure payments online.

Short takes

Exeter, Pa.-based Quantum Rehab has continued its partnership with the ALS Association. As a premier-level national partner, the company supports ALS Association events, including the Walk to Defeat ALS. Chapters of the association have the opportunity to collaborate with Quantum’s national network for the Walk and other events…Goleta, Calif.-based Inogen has gone to market with the Inogen One G4 portable oxygen concentrator. The G4 is the company’s smallest and lightest POC at 2.8 pounds…ResMed has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for the iVAPS therapy mode for its Astral life support ventilators. ResMed’s Astral life support ventilators offer mobility and ease of use for patients suffering from neuromuscular disease, COPD, and other adult and pediatric breathing disorders...Pride Mobility Products has been granted a patent for “Elevated Height Wheelchairs” relating to its Quantum iLevel, Jazzy Air and corresponding power seat elevation technologies. Specifically, the patent addresses safer performance of a power elevating seating system in conjunction with power base operation.

People news

Michael Petras, formerly president of Cardinal Health’s Post-Acute Solutions businesses, has been named CEO of Sterigenics International. Sterigenics is a provider of contract sterilization, gamma technologies and medical isotopes, and is a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus and GTCR. Petras succeeds Michael Mulhern, who has been appointed executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. Before Cardinal Health, Petras was the CEO of AssuraMed, which Cardinal bought for about $2 billion in 2013.