In brief: InnoMed cuts ties with DeVilbiss, AAH names president

Friday, August 16, 2013

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – InnoMed Technologies will no longer distribute its respiratory products exclusively through DeVilbiss Healthcare, the company announced Aug. 12.

“With competitive bidding and declining reimbursement rates, demands are being placed on manufacturers to reduce prices and in order to remain competitive with companies such as ResMed, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Philips Respironics, we believe moving toward a direct sales model is the right thing to do,” stated CEO Ron Richard in a press release. “DeVilbiss was a good partner for many years, but InnoMed has to plan for the future and create a solid business model for our customers and investors.”

The transition began Aug. 12.

By bringing its sales efforts in-house, InnoMed believes it will be able to broaden the reach of its product mix and renew its focus on customer care and educational support for patients and clinicians.

InnoMed’s flagship product line is the Nasal-Aire nasal interface, which debuted in 2001. It also manages and distributes the Hybrid oral nasal interface and the Aloha nasal pillow interface, among other products.

A sister company, Mergenet Medical, plans to launch a High Flow Therapy System in 2014.

Thomas Ryan named president and CEO of AAHomecare
WASHINGTON – AAHomecare named Thomas Ryan its new president and CEO Aug. 14. Ryan began as a respiratory therapist and has spent the last 25 years as president and CEO of Farmingdale, N.Y.-based Homecare Concepts, which provides home oxygen therapy, sleep apnea therapy and traditional durable medical equipment. AAHomecare in March announced the departure of former president and CEO Tyler Wilson, effective in September. “Tom Ryan emerged as the clear choice to lead our association in the future,” stated Robert Steedley, chairman of AAHomecare’s board of directors in a release. “His real-life, practical experience as a homecare provider and entrepreneur enables him to relate to our members in a way that few association CEOs can.”

Rotech has proof of insolvency, company says
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech Healthcare hopes a summary judgment in bankruptcy court will prove there isn’t enough value in the company to pay creditors, Dow Jones reported Aug. 14.

If the judge agrees with papers filed Aug. 13 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., the summary judgment could shut down a planned two-day trial pitting the company and its creditor supporters against the official committee representing shareholders.

The disagreement is the latest between shareholders and the company* since Rotech filed for Chapter 11 April 8. Rotech has also asked that an official committee representing shareholders be disbanded.

Shareholder opposition prompted Rotech to drop a planned recovery for equity stakeholders of 10 cents a share. Rotech has said that the company is unable to pay its debts, so a long court process would be pointless, Dow Jones reported.

Now, Rotech lawyers contend, the evidence mustered by shareholders supports the company's arguments: The expert for the official creditors' committee puts Rotech's value at $540 million or less. According to Rotech, it will take at least $647.5 million to cover the bills, Dow Jones reports.

Invacare announces quarterly dividend
ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare’s board of directors has announced a cash dividend of $0.0125 per share on common shares and $0.011364 per share on Class B common shares, payable Oct. 11 to shareholders of record on Oct 3. Headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, Invacare is the largest manufacturer of home and long-term care medical products.

Study: CPAP reduces risk of death from COPD, sleep apnea
DARIEN, Ill. – Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy reduces the mortality rate of those with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), referred to as overlap syndrome. The study can be found in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“We have shown that more time on CPAP in patients with the overlap syndrome was associated with a reduced risk of death, after controlling for common risk factors,” said lead study author Michael Stanchina, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a physician at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I, in a press release.

Study results showed patients using CPAP have a significantly higher survival rate than those not using the therapy, with benefits realized from even minimal use of CPAP.

“We were most surprised to find that any level of CPAP use in this cohort, over no use, was associated with some mortality benefit,” Stanchina said.

Texas counties say bankrupt Scooter Store owes tax liens
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas  - Three Texas counties want a bankruptcy judge in Delaware to reject The Scooter Store’s request for final relief orders because they say the company owes them $35,000 in unpaid tax liens, Law360 reports.

Dallas, Harris and Nueces counties objected to the struggling company’s bid for final orders authorizing cash collateral and instead want the court to give priority to the debts they are owed.

In an objection, the counties wrote, “The debtors are preferring one secured creditor at the expense of another, which is not how a proper fiduciary acting to benefit all creditors of the estate should act.”

According to Law360, the Texas counties want Peter J. Walsh, U.S. bankruptcy judge, to reject The Scooter Store’s request unless the company protects the interests of the liens and the counties in proceeds from the sale of the company’s collateral.

Portable concentrators shake up oxygen industry
DUBLIN – Transformative innovations in portable-oxygen concentrator technology are revolutionizing the industry, moving it beyond large, stationary concentrators and cumbersome portables toward smaller machines, according to Wintergreen Research, Inc. The market for oxygen concentrators—at $242.5 million in 2012—are expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2019, it said. That growth is due to new competitors and increased demand for the new smaller, lighter concentrators, which are also becoming less expensive, the research firm noted. The cost of home delivery of oxygen cylinders combined with falling reimbursements further support a move by oxygen providers to a non-delivery model, the company said in a report.

Can CPAP therapy help asthma patients?
WASHINGTON – The American Lung Association is recruiting asthma patients for a study examining whether CPAP therapy can also improve asthma control. “If CPAP is to be found effective, this will introduce an entirely new way to treat asthma without medication,” stated Robert Wise, MD, director of the association’s Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC), in a press release. “If we can reduce the number of inhalers and the frequency of inhaled rescue medication with this new treatment, it will not only relieve the burden of asthma but improve quality of life.” In 2011, it was estimated that 25.9 million Americans had asthma, including 7.1 million children. Asthma is the cause of nearly 11 million ambulatory physician encounters and 440,000 hospitalizations annually, according to the release. The ACRC is recruiting non-smokers between the ages of 15-60 with a history of asthma for its four-month study.

BioScrip to sell 6.8M shares in public offering
ELMSFORD, N.Y. – BioScrip, a provider of infusion and homecare services, has upped the ante on its public offering. The company announced Aug. 14 that it will offer 6,895,873 shares instead of 6,800,000, all of which are being sold by existing stockholders. The underwriter of the offering, Morgan Stanley, has 30 days to purchase up to an additional 1,020,000 shares from selling stockholders. BioScrip will not receive any of the proceeds from the initial sale of the shares. The offering is expected to close Aug. 19.

CareGiver Partnership receives ‘excellent’ rating
NEENAH, Wis. – The CareGiver Partnership, a national retailer of incontinence supplies and other home healthcare products, has earned an “excellent” rating from STELLAService, an independent company that rates the customer service performance of online businesses. “I’m pleased to say we’re often referred to as the Zappos of home healthcare products, meaning our customer satisfaction rating sets us apart, and STELLAService rates us as highly as Amazon and Walmart,” stated Lynn Wilson, founder, in a press release. In addition to an overall rating of “excellent,” the CareGiver Partnership also received designation for telephone and email support, shipping speed, product fit and quality, and ease of returns and speed of refunds.

Aeroflow sees spike in pediatric-related biz
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare’s sales of pediatric nebulizers jumped from approximately 1,700 in its first year to more than 7,500 in its second year in the Charlotte and Piedmont, N.C. areas, the company announced Aug. 13. Aeroflow has also added apnea monitors and bili-blankets to its portfolio of pediatric products, as well as breast pumps. The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies pay for pumps, creating new demand. Aeroflow has nine offices in the Southeast and ships products nationwide.

Braun to move production from Michigan to Indiana
WINAMAC, Ind. – The Braun Corp. announced Aug. 13 that it will spend about $7.5 million to modify a production line at its Winamac, Ind., facility so workers can install rear-entry wheelchair lifts on minivans there. The move shifts production from Kalamazoo, Mich. The new line is expected to be operational by late next year. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Braun up to $500,000 in tax credits and $100,000 in training grants. The move will create 70 jobs in Indiana.

Nonin receives award for quality
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan announced Aug. 13 that it has awarded Nonin Medical the 2013 North American Pulse Oximetry Devices Product Quality Leadership Award. The award is based on product performance, product design and perceived value in the marketplace. "We are pleased that Frost & Sullivan recognizes Nonin Medical's commitment to quality in an extremely price-sensitive market," stated Steve Bucholz, president and chief operating officer of Nonin Medical, in a press release.

New grant program helps with DME
DALLAS – The Patient Advocate Foundation and Susan G. Komen have launched a grant program for breast cancer patients to help with expenses, including durable medical equipment, lymphedema care and supplies, prosthesis and wigs. The one-time $300 grant is available to those who have been diagnosed and are in active treatment for breast cancer and fall within 250% or less of the federal poverty limits. More information is available at

Invacare HCS exec joins Brightree
ATLANTA – Lynda Bell, director of the Invacare HCS billing and collections business, will join Brightree in September as director of strategic accounts for its billing services organization, according to a press release. Bell will work with providers to help improve billing and collection practices. “I have worked with Lynda for several years and have always been impressed with her drive to improve the customer experience while managing a team of professionals,” stated Dave Cormack, president and CEO of Brightree, in the release. “We are pleased to have her join our team as we continue to expand our AR management services to meet the growing demand from our customers as they seek to off set the decline in reimbursement rates.”

CareCentrix appoints new CEO
HARTFORD, Conn. – CareCentrix, a home healthcare benefit management company, has appointed John Driscoll as CEO, according to a press release. Driscoll joins CareCentrix from Castlight Health, a healthcare technology company, and replaces Eric Reimer. “I am honored to lead CareCentrix through its next phase of growth," stated Driscoll in the release. "Our efforts will be focused squarely on delivering exceptional service to health plans, patients and providers; driving innovative care delivery in the home; and empowering our associates to take on larger roles as CareCentrix expands to serve more customers."