In brief: DOT considers sleep testing, AAHomecare commissions cost study

Friday, March 11, 2016

WASHINGTON – The federal government is seeking public input on whether it should require sleep tests for commercial drivers and railroad workers. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration announced the proposal March 8. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the DOT take action to address OSA screening.

“It is imperative for everyone’s safety that commercial motor vehicle drivers and train operators be fully focused and immediately responsive at all times,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “DOT strongly encourages comment from the public on how to best respond to this national health and transportation safety issue.”

The FMCSA has been working on guidelines for testing and treating commercial drivers for nearly a decade.

The joint advance notice of proposed rulemaking is the first step as both agencies consider proposing the requirement.

The FMCSA and the FRA will hold three public sessions, in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, to get input.

To read the notice or provide comment, go here.

No link between CPAP and glycemic control, study says

MELBOURNE, Australia – CPAP therapy may not improve glycemic control for people with Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea after all, according to a new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“Some uncontrolled studies have reported improved glucose control after starting CPAP, but some small controlled trials did not support this,” said lead study author Jonathan Shaw, head of population health at Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, in a release.

Researchers in Australia and the U.S. randomly assigned 298 patients with “relatively well-controlled” Type 2 diabetes and newly diagnosed OSA to treat their sleep apnea with CPAP or receive usual care.

After three and six months, researchers found no difference between the two groups in glycated hemoglobin; however, daytime sleepiness improved significantly among CPAP users. Overall, the quality of life between the two groups was not statistically significant.

“OSA is common in people with Type 2 diabetes, and although we did not find a glycemic benefit for its treatment, clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for its presence when patients experience daytime sleepiness, snoring and resistant hypertension,” said Shaw.

3B Medical enters oxygen market

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – 3B Medical has entered the home oxygen therapy market with the launch of its 5-liter stationary oxygen concentrator, the Cirrus 5. The manufacturer has, up to this point, been focused on the sleep therapy market. 3B Medical says the Cirrus 5 has features like a cooling system to protect the sieve beds and a monitor to measure oxygen purity. “Once you remove the back panel and explore the internal design, it is easy to see that it was designed for performance and low maintenance, and will set a new standard for durability,” said Joe Toth, vice president of sales and marketing. The Cirrus 5 will be available in April and pre-orders will be accepted on March 15.

Coming soon: HME cost study

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has partnered with healthcare consulting firm Dobson DaVanzo & Associates to develop a study on the cost of providing HME products and related services. The study, prompted by recent reimbursement cuts in non-bid areas, will look at costs for HME providers at all size levels and break down the results on a statewide/regional basis. Stakeholders hope the data will encourage fair reimbursement rates going forward. The study is expected to be completed in six months.

AAHomecare prioritizes managed care

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has created a new to position to help its provider members in their dealings with Medicare Advantage, managed care and Medicaid payers. The new senior director of payer relations will be tasked with developing relationships and reference materials to assist members in navigating relationships and concerns related to these payers, and with keeping abreast of regulations covering these groups to make sure they are compliant.

ACU-Serve revamps website

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – ACU-Serve has launched a redesigned website. The site, will give users a first look at the company’s “Right Sourcing” model, which allows providers to keep their current staff while using its ACU-Insight workflow tool, according to a press release. ACU-Serve, a biller of HME and home infusion services, also hopes the site will provide a more useful and informative portal for customers to learn about its services.

Rotech automates fleet delivery

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech Healthcare has selected the cloud-based Route Planner on-demand solution from Descartes to automate planning, dispatch and data collection processes for its fleet delivering medical equipment and services. “As the current tide of healthcare reform adds more margin pressure to the HME industry, we are making significant technology investments to increase efficiency and drive down unnecessary logistics costs without sacrificing high quality service for our customers,” said Tim Pigg, president and CEO. The solution from Waterloo, Ontario-based Descartes provides fast “time-to-value” for rapidly growing companies that need to consolidate delivery operations, and move away from manual and paper-based practices, according to a press release. It offers advanced capabilities to optimize both static and dynamic routes by taking into account business rules, delivery assets, and customer requirements. Mobile solution integration provides real-time GPS-based tracking, planned vs. actual performance monitoring, and the electronic capture of proof-of-delivery information.

MED gets tactical about marketing

LUBBOCK, Texas, and ATLANTA – The MED Group has teamed up with Laboratory Tactical Consulting to present the 2016 Marketing Bootcamp Webinar Series. “It’s time to get back to basics and take your marketing from ‘good’ to ‘better,’” MED stated in a press release. Anna McDevitt, president of Laboratory Tactical Consulting, will discuss the following topics in a four-part series: Establishing your presence: Are you saying what you want to say; Get Involved. Stay Involved: Are you actively developing your brand; Make more happen: Creating momentum with your marketing; and Review & Repeat: Making Marketing habits stick. Providers do not need to be MED members to attend this series.

General Dynamics awarded $75 million CMS contract

TOWSON, Md. – General Dynamics has been awarded a potential five-year $75M contract to supply and maintain software for CMS and Medicaid. “We are committed to CMS and to supporting its efforts to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the highest quality of care,” said Marcus Collier, senior vice president of the IT unit’s health and civilian solutions division, in a release. The software will be used to process claims submitted by providers.

TravelScoot revamps website

CHEHALIS, Wash. – TravelScoot, manufacturer and distributor of the TravelScoot electric scooter, has re-launched its website, The new, mobile-friendly website offers comprehensive information about the company’s products as well as video demonstrations and other media.