In brief: Drive Medical buys in Europe, The Compliance Team expands service

Friday, July 11, 2014

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive Medical has acquired Dupont Medical, a manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products in France. Based in Frouard, Dupont manufactures and distributes everything from wheelchairs to homecare beds to patient lifts. The company also manufactures diagnostic devices, emergency equipment and medical instruments for doctors and other healthcare professionals. The deal will further expand Drive’s presence in Europe. In May, the company acquired several product lines from U.K.-based Days Healthcare.

The Compliance Team expands patient satisfaction service

SPRING HOUSE, Pa. – The Compliance Team has expanded enrollment in its web-based patient satisfaction reporting and benchmarking service to all DMEPOS providers, whether they’re accredited by The Compliance Team or another Medicare-approved organization. “Given Medicare’s and managed care’s emphasis on pay-for-performance and mandates for providers to prove their quality claims, we believe the time is right to expand our service,” stated Sandra Canally, founder and president, in a press release. The Compliance Team has been requiring the submission of patient satisfaction surveys on a quarterly basis since 1998, making its database the oldest and largest of its kind, the company stated in the release. To date, The Compliance Team has aggregated and benchmarked more than 1.3 million patient satisfaction surveys, garnering 10 million standardized data points from providers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Compliance Team is charging an introductory fee of $249 per year for the first location for providers that are not accredited by the company.

NovaSom obtains financing

DURAM, N.C. – NovaSom has secured a $7.5 million line of credit from Square 1 Bank to further its foothold in the sleep market. “After being vetted and approved through Square 1's diligence process, management's vision and plans to move into its next phase of development are validated,” said CEO John Spitznagel in a press release. NovaSom manufactures AccuSom, a home sleep test.

FDA warns Philips Respironics over Smart Monitor 2

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to Philips Respironics about the batteries used in its Smart Monitor 2. The June 30 letter said batteries in the apnea monitor were not properly examined or tested “causing the units to constantly alarm, not allowing continuous monitoring of respiration, heart rate and oxygen saturation of infant and pediatric patients.” Philips says inspectors found “a limited number” of incorrectly wired battery packs and that the issue was addressed through a device recall, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Philips says it has verified its supplier has changed its processes and is doing more inspection, according to the newspaper.

California man gets 121 months in jail for fraud

LOS ANGELES – Vahe Tahmasian has been sentenced to 121 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, six counts of health care fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Between April 2009 and February 2011, Tahmasian and co-conspirator Erik Mkhitarian, owners of Orthomed Appliance, a DME supply company in West Hollywood, allegedly stole the identity of beneficiaries and doctors from patient files to submit fraudulent claims. Tahmasian, who was found guilty in March, submitted more than $1.5 million in claims to Medicare and received $994,036. He has been ordered to pay restitution, according to the release.

Pain device gets OK in Canada, eh

BILLINGS, Mont. – ExcelHealth has received approval to sell its TENS device, the iRelieve Pain Management System, in Canada. The device offers safe, drug-free pain management, according to a release. “People suffering from physical pain is truly an epidemic,” said CEO and iRelieve developer Mike Williams. “I am passionate about bringing to the marketplace access to OTC pain management products that truly help people.” ExcelHeath received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance earlier this year.

Big belly? You’re at increased risk of developing COPD

YARMOUTH, Maine – Obesity, especially excessive belly fat, is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. A team of researchers in Germany and the United States looked at the relationship of waist and hip circumference, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity levels to new cases of COPD in a large group of men and women in the U.S. They looked at data on 113,279 people between the ages of 50 and 70 who did not have COPD, cancer or heart disease at the beginning of the study. During the 10-year follow-up period, 3,648 people developed COPD. People with large waist circumferences (110 cm or more in women and 118 cm or more in men) had a 72% increased risk of COPD. "Our findings suggest that next to smoking cessation and the prevention of smoking initiation, meeting guidelines for body weight, body shape and physical activity level may represent important individual and public health opportunities to decrease the risk of COPD,” researchers say.

HME revenues, profits to decline, report says

NEW YORK – The HME industry has a lot going for it, including a rapidly aging population, but that may not be enough to offset increased Medicare and Medicaid regulations, according to a new report from IBISWorld. Industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualized rate of 2.5% from 2009 to 2014, bringing down total revenue to $5.6 billion, the research firm says. Profit is expected to fall to 4.2% of revenue in 2014, down from 11.6% of revenue in 2009, it says. The biggest regulation that the HME industry has to contend with: competitive bidding, according to the report. “Moving forward, industry revenue is expected to continue declining due to federally mandated low rental prices, although the industry itself remains mature,” stated analyst Amal Ahmad in a press release.

Moneyline: ResMed, Altius

Altius Healthcare, a provider of home infusion and specialty infusion services, has been acquired by Amerita, a wholly owned subsidiary of PharMerica Corp. “The sale of Altius Healthcare to Amerita is a great opportunity for the company as it will allow us to better compete in the healthcare marketplace,” stated Kevin Nestrick, the founder and CEO of Altius, in a press release. “Amerita has the size and scale needed to win on a national level with a local network that our patients can count on.” Altius has two locations in Prescott and Tucson, Ariz…David Pendarvis, chief administrative officer and global general counsel for San Diego-based ResMed sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a July 3 transaction. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.04 for a total transaction of $250,200. Pendarvis now owns about 69,207 shares of the company’s stock valued at about $3.5 million.

People news

Therapy Support has appointed Cliff Stepp as CEO. Stepp previously served as the company’s executive vice president. His goal as CEO: “lead Therapy Support on a path of brand expansion, growth and employee empowerment,” according to a press release.