In brief: HME spending drops, PlayMaker CRM secures funding

Friday, January 22, 2016

WASHINGTON – While overall Medicare spending has increased more than 175% from 2000 to 2014, spending on HME accounted for just 1.25% of overall Medicare spending in 2014, dropping from 2% in 2004, according to AAHomecare’s analysis of a December update of the National Health Expenditure Accounts. Furthermore, spending on DME can lower overall Medicare costs in the long-term, the association argues. Every $1 spent on mobility equipment, for example, saves $16.78 in fall-related recovery; every $1 spent on supplemental oxygen therapy for COPD saves $9.62 in complications; and every $1 spent on CPAP therapy saves $6.73 in obstructive sleep apnea complications.

PlayMaker CRM lands $3 million credit facility

DURHAM, N.C. – Square 1 Bank, a division of Pacific Western Bank, has provided a $3 million credit facility to PlayMaker CRM, a cloud-based customer relationship management solution for post-acute care, it announced. “PlayMaker CRM has experienced a tremendous amount of growth under the leadership of its seasoned management team,” said Zack Mansfield, senior vice president of Square 1 Bank’s technology banking practice, in a release. “We are delighted to serve as their partner and support a Nashville-based, high impact company.” Proceeds from the facility will be used to support the company’s growth.

Respiratory provider agrees to $600,000 settlement

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. – J&L Medical has agreed to settle allegations that it violated state and federal regulations by using unlicensed technicians to set up CPAP and Bi-level machines. J&L president John Loyer said using patient care technicians, LPNs and others supervised by licensed RTs is common practice in the industry, but he agreed to pay $600,000. "We think it's important for our patients and the members of the medical community to understand that the government never claimed J&L Medical Services failed to deliver quality care or equipment," said Loyer, who is also co-owner of the company. "This was a matter of our disagreeing with their interpretation of Connecticut law about who can work with sleep apnea patients to do the initial setup of their CPAP machines." John Hart, a licensed RT formerly employed at J&L, filed a whistleblower complaint.

Health system sells HME business

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – North Ottawa Community Health System has sold its HME business to CareLinc Home Medical & Equipment Supply in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to a local newspaper. CareLinc now has 20 locations in Michigan. The health system’s Grand Haven location fills a gap in CareLinc’s footprint in the lakeshore market, the newspaper reports. The health system says it decided to exit the HME business due to declining Medicare reimbursements. It says CareLinc has the economies of scale to withstand the 30% cuts. “From a financial viability, we knew this was something that we were not going to be able to sustain, but on the other hand, there was a need in the community,” Dan Holwerda, COO of the health system, told the newspaper.

O&P companies become ESOP

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Midwest Orthotic & Technology Center and Surestep are now owned by their 170 employees, according to a local newspaper. The center is a full-service O&P company; Surestep manufactures, markets and sells a bracing system and complete line of products for children with developmental challenges. The owners of the company, Bernie Veldman and his wife Pam, will remain president and vice president, respectively. The Veldmans transitioned Dienen, Inc., the parent company of Midwest Orthotic & Technology Center and Surestep, to an employee stock ownership plan or ESOP on Jan. 4, the newspaper reported.

CCS debuts streamlined website

DALLAS – CCS Medical has launched a redesigned website at The new website has a more current look and improved functionality, making it easier for customers and healthcare providers to do business with the company online, says Rodney Carson, president and CEO. “One of our highest priorities going forward is to streamline things for our customers,” he said. More specifically, the new website, which is optimized for mobile use, simplifies the process of reordering supplies, paying bills and other tasks. It also provides health living tips. CCS Medical is a provider of medical supplies to patients with chronic conditions.

ACHC golfs for charity

Cary, N.C. – The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) will host its inaugural charity golf tournament at the Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh, N.C.,on May 16, the non-profit accreditation organization announced. Proceeds from the tournament will go to two local charity organizations: the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, which supports hunger relief, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle. “We hope the donations raised through the tournament will make a difference in the lives of those around us,” said José Domingos, ACHC CEO, in a release. “We are grateful for the volunteers, corporate sponsors, and players who have come together to support our local community.”

Harmar donation puts 12-year-old in the pool

SARASOTA, Fla. – Harmar has donated a pool lift to a 12-year-old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The P350 pool Lift has restored Grayson Tullio’s ability to get in and out of the pool, according to a release. “For Grayson, swimming puts a smile on his face and gives him great joy, and we are so pleased we could help him,” said David Baxter, vice president of marketing for Harmar. 101 Mobility of Sarasota donated their time to perform an evaluation and install the lift.

Short Takes: VGM Insurance, InfuSystem Holdings, 3B Medical, Thermoskin

VGM Insurance Services has partnered with AAHomecare to offer preferred pricing to AAHomecare members. Going forward, AAHomecare members will receive a 10% discount on Medicare/Medicaid Surety Bond premiums, and general and professional liability insurance…InfuSystem Holdingshas announced the implementation of InfuSystem EXPRESS, which includes the company's patent-pending EMR connectivity solution, at The Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at The University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics…3B Medical has committed to allocating a significant portion of its profits to fund adult autologous stem cell research for use in treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, diabetes and neurological diseases. "We spend a lot of resources treating the symptoms of diseases, and not enough trying to target the actual causes,” said President Thomas Thayer, Sr., in a release…Thermoskin has appointed Orthozone as the new exclusive distributor of its full line effective Jan. 1.

People news: O2 Concepts, SleepQuest

02 Concepts has named Cory Smith CFO. Smith has held leadership positions in finance and information technology for more than a decade, most recently at Endologix, which has gone from a $7 million device maker to a $150 million company…SleepQuest has named Bill Vandervennet as president and CEO. Vandervennet has held healthcare leadership positions for more than 25 years, most recently as COO for URAC, an accrediting organization.