In brief: Invacare responds to possible loss of purchase option, Pride races

Thursday, August 12, 2010

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare has launched a new program designed to help HME providers "finance and service their consumer power fleet in a way that will enhance their business operations," the company stated in a press release last week. The Consumer Power Rental (CPR) Program, Invacare's response to the possible elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs on Jan. 1, is a five-step approach that includes financing, repairs and extended warranty. "Reimbursement changes are forcing providers to restructure their approach to consumer power," said Carl Will, senior vice president of Invacare Homecare. "The CPR program gives providers the tools they need."

Pride works to remove mobility 'stigma'

EXETER, Pa. - Pride Mobility Products provided scooters as a courtesy to race fans with mobility impairments at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 race the weekend of July 30. "Over 1,000 people rode our scooters, and to have our products seen and tried by so many people in a fun, non-intimidating way, goes a long way toward removing stigmas toward those with disabilities who rely on mobility products," said Mark Smith, Pride's consumer research manager. A lot of perceptions were changed for the better."

Congress seeks transparency

WASHINGTON - Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Ralph Hall, R-Texas, were able to collect 135 signatures for their letter requesting that CMS release the names of the providers whose bids were used to calculate the competitive bidding amounts. CMS doesn't plan to release the names until sometime in September.

VGM schools Harkin

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group hosted Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, last week. Harkin visited VGM's headquarters here for a tour and educational presentations on home care. In addition to meeting with VGM officials, Harkin met with representatives of patient advocacy groups, who described the negative impact that competitive bidding will have on their health and well being, and with the mayor of Waterloo and state legislators, who explained the job losses that will take place due to the program.

SeQual helps out in Gulf

SAN DIEGO - SeQual Technologies will help recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast by donating a portion of its sales revenue to the Play it Forward foundation, which was started by Sean Payton, head coach of the NFL champs New Orleans Saints. "We hope by contributing to this project, we gain the attention of other medical manufacturers--the impact of

the oil spill effects many patients using medical products, as well as the local businesses," CEO Ron Richard stated last week.

'Father of sleep medicine' helps provider launch new sleep site

SAN CARLOS, Calif. - SleepQuest has launched a new website for sleep apnea sufferers, it announced last week. The site,, features news, videos and other educational content. It also features a questionnaire that users can fill out and submit to sleep care specialists to help determine if they have sleep apnea. Dr. William Dement, often referred to as the "father of sleep medicine," helped to develop the site. He's a chief scientific advisor for SleepQuest.

State association promotes code of ethics

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Association of Medical Services (PAMES) is the first state association to unanimously adopt AAHomecare's code of business ethics, AAHomecare announced last week. "We hope that it becomes the 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval' for HME providers," John Shirvinsky, executive director of PAMES, stated in an AAHomecare bulletin. The code includes principles like complying with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.