In brief: HHS choice emerges, VGM regroups

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WASHINGTON - Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas appears to be President Barack Obama's top choice for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, The New York Times reported last week. Sebelius' strongest asset: Her record of navigating partisan politics as a Democrat in a heavily Republican state, the Times reported. Obama's first pick for secretary, Tom Daschle, withdrew over his failure to pay $128,000 in taxes until nominated. With an economic stimulus package passed, Obama now plans to turn his attention to health care, according to the newspaper.

VGM regroups

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group announced last week that it has postponed its seminar series on national competitive bidding. The reason: CMS's recent decision to push back the effective date of the interim final rule on competitive bidding from Feb. 17 to April 18. "Competitive Bidding Round 1.2: The Rules Have Changed" was scheduled to kick off in March, making stops in nine different locations. The seminar remains part of the HME Expo April 22 and Medtrade Spring March 24.

Southwest approves Eclipse

SAN DIEGO - Southwest Airlines now allows passengers to use SeQual's Eclipse portable oxygen concentrators onboard. In September, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the Eclipse for use onboard commercial airlines, and since then, SeQual has worked to have the POC approved by individual airlines. Southwest joins American, Alaskan, Frontier, Horizon, Midwest and WestJet. 

Invacare declares dividend

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare's board of directors announced last week that it has declared a cash dividend of $.0125 per share on its common shares and $.011364 per share on its Class B common shares payable April 14, 2009. The dividend applies to shareholders of record on April 6, 2009.