In brief: It's conference time, bid petition launches
WASHINGTON - The HME industry plans a big push for the market-pricing program during AAHomecare's Legislative Conference this week, with more than 200 meetings with lawmakers scheduled. To complement the conference, NAIMES will launch a "Virtual Capitol Hill Conference" on Feb. 16 for providers who can't attend the event but who still want to contact their lawmakers. NAIMES asks that providers log their calls at this link. Additionally, The VGM Group will host a reception for industry supporter Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Provider launches bid petition
SCARBOROUGH, Maine - National Sleep Therapy last week launched an online petition at change.org, asking beneficiaries and their caregivers to support repealing competitive bidding. The New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association and AMEPA last week urged HME providers to sign the petition and share the link with others. Online petitions have grown in popularity due to their success in gathering a large number of signatures in a short time. A recent petition against the Stop Online Piracy Act, for example, collected 7 million signatures. At press time, the petition had 500 signatures.
AAH puts a good word in for MPP
WASHINGTON - AAHomecare last week sent letters to each member of the bipartisan House-Senate conference committee asking them to include the market-pricing program (MPP) in the doc fix and tax relief bill. Committee members are tasked with resolving the differences dividing Congress on the legislation and are expected to be influential in what gets included. A short-term patch to the bill expires Feb. 29, and industry stakeholders say it is likely that Congress will approve another short-term extension.
AmMed Direct to cease operations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mail-order diabetes provider AmMed Direct plans to sell assets to Coral Springs, Fla.-based Arriva Medical and lay off 223 employees. Last summer, AmMed shut down its pharmacy operations and laid off 60 employees, and in 2010, it laid off 80 employees. A local newspaper last week reported that Arriva plans to employ about 90 in a call center it plans to open in Nashville. Last month, Arriva acquired Sunrise, Fla.-based Direct Diabetic Source for $5 million. Direct Diabetic had about 25,000 active customers.
Home Health Depot
INDIANAPOLIS - Home Health Depot announced Feb. 1 that it has acquired Advanced Rehab Technologies, a complex rehab provider with locations in Des Moines and Iowa City, Iowa. The deal marks Home Health Depot's first foray into Iowa. Advanced Rehab's entire staff, including its three owners, will continue to manage day-to-day operations.
Citycare Medical chases VA accounts
WASHINGTON - Citycare Medical Supplier announced last week that it will apply for a GSA Schedule 65 to actively pursue federal contracts. The provider of home oxygen therapy and durable medical equipment says it's motivated by the continued needs of returning veterans. "For a small business, the opportunity to service government and VA accounts opens up significantly more markets throughout the country," stated John Thompson, vice president. Citycare Medical formed in 1986 and serves the metro Washington, D.C., area.
Short takes: Brightree, Responsive Respiratory, Invacare, Mada
Brightree announced last week that it has successfully implemented Brightree Interactive Voice, a patient management software application. The application extends Brightree's billing and business management platform with IVR technology...Responsive Respiratory last week launched its new website, www.respondo2.com. The new site features a secure ordering portal for credit card and corporate purchase orders...Invacare has appointed Ellen O'Kane Tauscher as a new independent director to serve on its board of directors. Tauscher recently retired as the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security...Mada International has hired Rafel Bassi as international sales manager for Latin America. Bassi has 10 years of sales experience.