In brief: Invacare divests rentals biz, expo spotlights rehab

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has sold its device rentals business for long-term care facilities.

The business, comprised of Invacare Outcomes Management and Dynamic Medical Systems, sold for $15.5 million in cash. The buyer was not disclosed.

The deal will allow Invacare, which has struggled under the weight of a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration, to refocus on its core businesses, says Matthew Monaghan, president and CEO.

''The sale of our United States rentals businesses allows us to narrow our focus on improving profitability in our core business, including the design, manufacture and distribution of medical devices,” he said in a press release.

Monaghan took the reins April 1, and announced a 90- to 100-day plan to begin a turnaround of the North America HME business.

The rentals businesses had net sales of approximately $7.2 million for the first quarter of 2015.

Expo spotlights complex rehab

WASHINGTON – NCART will host a “Congressional CRT Exposition” on Capitol Hill on July 20 to educate lawmakers and their staffs on complex rehab.

The expo will feature hands-on displays of manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, seating and positioning products, and other equipment highlighting how complex rehab is different than DME. Consumers, clinicians, providers, manufacturers and other advocates will attend to provide demos and answer questions.

“This will be a great opportunity to further demonstrate what CRT is all about,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART, in a bulletin to members. “We will be able to communicate in person what the technology looks like, who uses it, the benefits it provides, how it is configured to meet a person’s individual needs, and other important parts of the CRT message.”

Complex rehab stakeholders are lobbying lawmakers to help them on a number initiatives, including creating a separate benefit for complex rehab, and reversing CMS’s decision to apply competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex power wheelchairs.

The expo is being hosted in conjunction with the United Spinal Association and the National MS Society.

In other news, NCART has also pegged Aug. 17-21 as National CRT Awareness Week.

Firm picks up fourth community pharmacy

DALLAS – Ascendant Solutions, an investment firm, and its healthcare subsidiary, Dougherty’s Holdings, have acquired The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in McAlester, Okla.

It’s the fourth recent acquisition for Ascendant, which trades on Pink Sheets and is focused on acquiring, managing and growing community-based pharmacies in the Southwest region under Doughtery’s Holdings.

“Given its excellent reputation as the premier independent pharmacy in McAlester, we intend to continue to operate this pharmacy under The Medicine Shoppe name,” stated Mark Heil, president and CFO of Ascendant, in a press release.

The Medicine Shoppe is expected to add about $3 million in revenues to Ascendant’s results for 2015 and $6 million to its annual revenues on a full-year basis.

Together, the four recent acquisitions should boost sales for Dougherty’s Holdings 45% to more than $42 million in 2015 compared to $29 million in 2014.

The Medicine Shoppe provides retail prescriptions, non-sterile compounded prescriptions and home health products.

Medline, Brightree pilot new supply interface

MUNDELEIN, Ill. – Medline and Brightree have expanded an existing partnership to bring a new supply interface to the market for licensed home health and hospice dealers. Using the interface, these dealers will only have to enter patient data once rather than each time they order products. “Through this new interface expansion, we aim to help address common patient data entry challenges by making sure patients receive the right products when and where they need them,” stated Mike Lee, president, homecare sales division, Medline, in a press release. To test the interface, Medline and Brightree have coordinated a pilot program among home healthcare agencies and hospices nationwide. One of the trail participants: Natick Visiting Nurse Association. “This collaboration highlights two major forces in the post-acute industry: working together to become more integrated so that clients like us can provide better and more cost effective care to our patients,” stated Wendy Cofran, the association’s CIO.

PMDRX gets representation

GLENDALE, Ariz. – PMDRX has signed an exclusive territorial marketing agreement with MSL Associates in Tampa, Fla. MSL, a marketing, sales and logistics company, has representation in 21 states and Puerto Rico. Its staff includes ATPs, PTs, personal trainers and other healthcare professionals. PMDRX is a web-based mobility exam and documentation solution used by prescribing medical practitioners that integrates with mobility providers to ensure compliance. “Thousands of practitioners, including military physicians and facilities have been successfully using PMDRX for more than 4 years,” stated Gary Cox, CEO of PMDRX, in a press release. “Practitioners and suppliers utilizing PMDRX report virtually 100% documentation compliance evidenced by pre- and post-payment reviews, prior authorization affirmations and audits.”

Apria Healthcare hires heroes

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Apria Healthcare has renewed its commitment to “Hiring our Heroes” by partnering with Direct Employers Group to launch a Military Occupation Code translator on its career page. The translator will allow transitioning service members to match their military skills and experience with available positions within the company. “At Apria Healthcare, we want to honor our veterans each and every day,” stated John Figueroa, chairman of Apria’s board of directors and a veteran, in a press release. “We are proud to welcome veterans to Apria where they can bring their unique skills and experience to serve our patients and strengthen our company.” “Hiring Our Heroes” was launched in 2014 to offer veterans the opportunity to make a successful transition to civilian life through employment with Apria.

Medela’s staff gets certified

MCHENRY, Ill. – Medela has partnered with the Wound Care Education Institute to provide industry certification to its professional wound care staff. The institute’s Certified Wound Care Market Specialist program educates professionals on evidence-based current standards of care in wound management. The institute has trained and certified nearly 1,000 wound care sales and marketing professionals in both the healthcare and manufacturing industries. "This partnership ensures Medela sales and marketing personnel continue to have the skills and competency in the evolving field of wound care to support clinicians nationwide," stated Nancy Morgan, president and co-founder of Wound Care Education Institute, in a press release. "This type of very focused training in wound care represents a growing opportunity to improve the overall clinical outcomes for wound care patients." Medela has been providing negative pressure wound therapy since 2008.

Marble City Pharmacy wins top award from McKesson

SAN DIEGO – Marble City Health Mart Pharmacy in Sylacauga, Ala., has been named the 2014 Pharmacy of the Year by McKesson. The award recognizes independent pharmacies that are best-in-class in a range of areas, including innovative approaches to their business and outstanding service to their community. McKesson recognized three additional pharmacies as regional winners: The Prescription Shop Health Mart Pharmacy in Montebello, Calif., Towncrest Health Mart Pharmacy in Iowa City, Iowa, and First State Health Mart Pharmacy in Wilmington, Del.

People news: Insulet, Brightree and more

Patrick Ryan, former COO of Insulet, has resigned to “pursue other interests.” Other changes: Mark Licari has been promoted to vice president of global manufacturing and operations; and David Colleran, who joined Insulet June 29, will succeed Anthony Diehl as vice president and general counsel. Diehl also resigned. Licari and Colleran will report directly to Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO…Brightree has appointed two new executives to support growth at the company: Lori Jones as executive vice president and general manager of home health, hospice and private duty; and Shaw Rietkerk as executive vice president and general manager of revenue cycle management…Jodi Clarkhas been named assistant director at Johnstown, Pa.-based Walnut Medical. Clark will assist in managing the day-to-day operations of the provider’s four locations…Bob Fary, vice president of strategic alliances at Inogen, has been selected to join AAHomecare’s board of directors. “Bob brings years of industry experience and knowledge to the board and has served diligently for years on our Regulatory Council working on industry issues,” stated AAH President and CEO Tom Ryan in a press release.

Short takes: Therafirm, ACHC and more

Therafirm’snew Ease brand of compression legwear was named Most Innovative Retail Product of 2015 as part of the “Retail Idol” competition at The VGM Group’s recent Heartland Conference. During the competition, manufacturers demonstrated their products and answered questions from a judging panel and audience members…The Accreditation Commission for Health Care’s sleep accreditation program has been accepted by PacificSource Health Plans. This allows ACHC-accredited sleep providers in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana to access PacificSource’s network of 275,000 covered lives…The National Home Infusion Association will hold its 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition March 21-24 in New Orleans. The event features networking and education.