In brief: HME Audit Key builds strong case, National HME furthers reach

Friday, July 8, 2016

WASHINGTON – Results are in for the AAHomecare HME Audit Key survey for the first quarter of 2016.

Sixty-nine percent of completed MAC prepayment audits nationwide were paid upon review, according to the survey, which included additional documentation requests from Oct. 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

Other results from the survey:

·      the average rate of audits denied increased 5% between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, with the average percent of audits denied by net revenue ranging from 13% to 40%;

·      companies with net revenues from $3.6 million to $10 million had significantly higher denial rates—three times that of companies with net revenues from $0 to $1 million

While the survey is gaining momentum, industry stakeholders say increased participation is needed to gain support on Capitol Hill to create “smarter and fairer policies.”

“If future data on overturn rates confirms results like the ones we’re starting to see here, I believe we can make the case for reforms that both decrease the audit burden on suppliers and make better use of government resources,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare.  “What we need now is for more suppliers to join the program and complete the next survey round." 

Providers can begin submitting data for the second quarter of 2016 on July 15.

National HME furthers reach

NEW YORK – Allcare Medical has merged with National HME, a portfolio company of Tailwind Capital. The acquisition will further National HME's reach in South Carolina and Georgia as a provider of technology-enabled DME for the hospice industry. "This key acquisition aligns with our vision for the continued growth of National HME, and further expands our ability to provide the most comprehensive DME solution to any hospice in the country," said Geoffrey Raker, partner at Tailwind Capital, a private equity firm and lead investor in National HME. This is second acquisition this year for National HME. In January, the provider acquired Springfield, Mo.-based Therapy Support, which has 21 branches in seven Midwestern states.

AAHomecare commissions cost analysis study 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has commissioned Dobson DaVanzo & Associates to conduct a study of provider’s fixed and variable costs for providing DME. The study will focus on respiratory products, wheelchairs, hospital beds and walkers. While previous cost studies have been conducted, this will be the first to consider categories under threat by competitive bidding. AAHomecare encourages all providers to participate in the survey, which will later be analyzed and shared with policymakers. “This is our opportunity to provide hard numbers industry-wide to Congress and CMS to explain the depth of cuts we are receiving compared to the actual cost of doing business,” said Laura Williard, senior director of payer relations for AAHomecare, in a press release.

NightBalance prepares to enter U.S. market

DELFT, Netherlands – NightBalance BV, a manufacturer of obstructive sleep apnea devices, has announced the completion of a EUR 12.5 million Series B financing round led by INKEF Capital and Gilde Healthcare Partners. The proceeds will allow NightBalance to intensify and expand commercial activities for its Sleep Position Trainer in Europe, and to prepare for the company’s entry into the U.S. market. The manufacturer is also planning further clinical studies in the U.S. and filing for 510(k) clearance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. John Lipman, former vice president of marketing and commercial development of Apnicure, has been appointed COO U.S. to head NightBalance’s operations here. The Sleep Position Trainer, worn around the upper body, measures the sleep behavior of the patient. Once a patient turns into the supine position, the device gives a gentle vibration, prompting the patient to change sleeping position, all without disrupting the “natural sleeping architecture,” according to the company.

Quantum Rehab launches enhanced website

EXETER, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has launched a “technologically enhanced” website to meet the expanding content and application needs of complex rehab consumers, clinicians and providers. “Our customers shared with us that they wanted unprecedented virtual access to our products, from technical specifications to 360-degree views, videos and beyond,” said Jim Schreiber, vice president of digital and product marketing. “Their input told us that no matter if it’s a consumer, clinician or provider, all wish an exceptionally content-rich site that places product information and resources in one, easy-to-navigate website.” The result is a website with expanded product pages that not only include added product information and materials, but also interactive color palettes. Users can request to be contacted by providers with a click of a button. Clinicians and providers also have their own resource areas.

GCE enters U.S. POC market

DALLAS – GCE Group has entered the U.S. and Canadian homecare markets with its GCE Healthcare range of respiratory care products. Effective immediately, the GCE portable oxygen concentrators under the Zen-O brand will be marketed to U.S. and Canadian customers. During the coming months, other products, including oxygen conserving devices, oxygen regulators and high purity gas control products, will also be marketed. GCE has tapped Jim Clement as general manager of GCE Healthcare to head up U.S. and Canadian operations. He’s formerly with DeVilbiss Healthcare.

Alliqua, BSN hammer out deal

YARDLEY, Pa., and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alliqua BioMedical, a provider of wound care products, has signed a definitive agreement with BSN Medical for the exclusive distribution rights for its Sorbion, Sachet and Sorbion Sana primary dressings in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Per the agreement, BSN will pay Alliqua $4.4 million to purchase the rights of Alliqua’s existing distribution agreement with Sorbion GmbH & Co KG, now owned by BSN Medical. “The sale of Alliqua’s exclusive distribution rights for the Sorbion dressing products represents an opportunity for us to add important growth capital to our balance sheet and to focus our future investments on commercializing our own highly differentiated advanced wound care and regenerative technologies,” said David Johnson, CEO of Alliqua.

GF Health partners with Mercy Ships

ATLANTA – GF Health Products has agreed to donate medical equipment to Mercy Ships, a volunteer-based international charity that delivers free health care to Africa and other medically underserved nations. Mercy Ships, which operates the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world, has performed more than 79,000 life-saving surgeries and docked in more than 580 ports since 1978.“We are proud to partner with Mercy Ships and its 1,400 volunteers in their mission to make health care accessible to developing nations,” said Ken Spett, CEO of GF Health, in a press release. “We are specifically supporting their ophthalmic surgery projects in impoverished communities with in-kind donations of our Hausted stretchers.”

Golden Technologies launches ‘extreme’ contest

OLD FORGE, Pa. – Golden Technology is giving away a new Golden Buzzaround Scooter as part of its “Golden Extreme Giveaway” contest. Consumers are encouraged to participate by sharing their story and a picture of their favorite Golden product on social media. “This contest is about celebrating how Golden products are changing people’s lives,” said Tim Robinson, director of digital media, in a release. “It’s not only a modern social media sharing contest, but it’s a great way to see the impact that these Golden products really have.”

VGM donates to flood victims

CHARLESTON, West Va. – The VGM Group has donated $1,000 on behalf of its membership in West Virginia in the wake of historic flooding that has impacted the state. The donation was made to the West Virginia Union Mission, which is providing clean drinking water, cleaning supplies and food, among other items, to residents. “It has been very difficult to see the images of the damage and pain caused by the flooding across the beautiful state of West Virginia,” VGM stated. “We hope this donation will provide some relief to the impacted residents.” VGM encourages others to donate to the mission or the American Red Cross.

Short Takes: BraunAbility, 3B Medical

FEV, the developer and provider of the wheelchair ramp gateway module used in BraunAbility-converted FCA vans, announced this week that it has hit the milestone of supplying 25,000 modules…Jeff Shields has been named vice president of sales at 3B Medical. He brings with him more than 30 years of HME manufacturer experience, including with ResMed and Inova Labs.