In brief: Judge deals setback to Arriva Medical, BioScrip reports earnings

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Friday, May 5, 2017

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Arriva Medical on April 25 lost an appeal seeking to reinstate its Medicare billing privileges, according to news reports.

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the provider of diabetes testing supplies told HME News, “Arriva is in the midst of the administrative appeals process, with an appeal pending before an administrative law judge.”

An administrative law judge for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has now ruled Arriva Medical’s admission that it shipped supplies to nine beneficiaries despite knowing they were deceased was enough to “demonstrate an abuse of billing privileges,” according to Boston Business Journal.

Arriva Medical blamed those shipments on “consumer fraud” and believes they do not merit a ban on reimbursement, the journal reported.

CMS revoked Arriva Medical’s billing status in 2016, alleging the provider submitted 211 claims for decreased patients between April 15, 2016, and April 25, 2016.

The setback follows a decision by Abbott Laboratories earlier this month to move forward with its acquisition of Alere, the parent company of Arriva Medical, albeit for a reduced price of $5.3 billion vs. $5.8 billion. Abbott and Alere have been in and out of court for months, with Abbott trying to back out of the deal.

The ALJ’s decision will not affect the pending acquisition, the journal reported.

BioScrip earnings ‘in line’ with expectations

DENVER – BioScrip reported net revenues of $217.8 million for the first quarter of 2017, reflecting a core revenue mix of 72% compared to 60% during the same quarter in 2016. Net loss was $19 million and adjusted EBITD was 5.2 million. For the full year 2017, BioScrip expects to achieve adjusted EBITDA in the range of $45 million to $55 million. “I am pleased with our company’s first quarter performance, which was in line with our plan,” said Dan Greenleaf, president and CEO in a press release. “Our sales team met our revenue target for the quarter and continued to increase our core revenue mix.”

CHME secures $4M term loan

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Pacific Mercantile Bank has extended a $4 million term loan to CHME, an HME provider. CHME, originally California Home Medical Equipment, was referred to Pacific Mercantile Bank by Unique Investment Corp., CHME’s private equity sponsor. “With the knowledge they gained, they were able to structure a loan that meets our financing needs and allows us to increase our working capital to support the growth opportunities we are seeing,” said Bernie Zimmer, president of CHME. “Pacific Mercantile Bank also presented us with a solution that helped us streamline our banking relationships, make us more efficient, and take costs out of the business.  With their support, we have a stronger foundation for generating profitable growth." Located in San Francisco, CHME specializes in respiratory equipment, custom power mobility and seating products, and DME. It has been in business for more than 30 years.

AOPA asks RAC to rescind review

ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association has sent a letter to Peformant Recovery expressing concern that the national RAC contractor was not in compliance with its statement of work when it announced an automated review for L5845. In the April 28 letter, AOPA President Michael Oros outlines the criteria required to initiate such a review and asks for the review to be rescinded. Performant has not issued a formal response, but the announcement has been removed from its website, according to AOPA.

Universal Software outgrows corporate office

NOVI, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions has added a second office here. The company says business has grown so much in the past few years that it has outgrown its corporate office in Davison, Mich. “In the past few months, we have added many new programming, customer support and training staff,” said Dave Golen, vice president. While Universal Software Solutions will keep its corporate office in Davison, it moved its training, sales and marketing departments to the Novi office in April. A big reason business has grown: several large national healthcare providers have started using the company’s solution. “We will be adding all the necessary staff of all types to support, train and implement hundreds of new users,” said Christopher Dobiesz, president. Universal Software Solutions provides a practice management solution called Health Care Data Management System for the DME, home infusion, pharmacy and mail-order markets.

BOC to move into larger digs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) will nearly double it space, from 3,600 to 5,183 square feet, when it moves its headquarters in June to accommodate growth. BOC, founded in 1984, offers certification programs for orthotic fitters, mastectomy fitters and DME specialists, as well as facility accreditation for O&P practices and DME providers. “BOC’s main focus remains on our customers,” notes President & CEO Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE. “We are looking forward to the move to a larger space, where we will deliver the same award-winning customer service as we continue to grow.” To accommodate the move, BOC will close June 1 and reopen June 6.

ABC releases pedorthist survey

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American Board for Certification in Orthotics Prosthetics and Pedorthics will use the results of a recent survey to ensure that its pedorthist credentialing exam is relevant, and to identify content for in-service or continuing education, according to a press release. “The survey results will help define the certification, education and training of future pedorthists, in the development of valid and reliable examinations and convey to others outside our disciplines the scope of services provided by certified pedorthists,” said Dennis Dillard, C.Ped., CTO, chairman of the ABC’s Practice Analysis Task Force. The overall return rate for the survey was 27%.

MAMES highlights awards, changes

OMAHA, Neb. – The Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services announced its “Above and Beyond Award” winners at its Spring Excellence in HME Convention & Exhibition, April 26-28. Lelia Wilkerson, a director at Heritage Medical Equipment and Supplies in Burlington, Iowa, won the association’s highest honor as a provider; and Golden Technologies in Old Forge, Pa., won as a manufacturer/vendor. Other highlights from the event include record attendance during the educational sessions; and votes by the board of directors to add a Retail Committee and change the association’s DBA to the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment, Services & Supplies.

Events: United Spinal, VGM Heartland

The United Spinal Association will host Andrea Dalzell, Ms. Wheelchair New York 2015, at its 6th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 11-14. Dalzell, who was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis at age 5, will advocate for providing greater access to complex rehab technology. More than 150 wheelchair users and advocates are expected to attend this year’s ROHC…VGM Heartland will host an inaugural meet-up for the HME Young Professionals Group in Waterloo, Iowa, during its Heartland Conference. HME YP will offer HME professionals under 40 the opportunity to network and share best practices with their peers. The conference takes place June 12-15. Visit www.vgmheartland.comfor more information.

Vendor short takes: Invacare, Permobil

Invacarehas introduced Invacare Outcomes by Design, a suite of programs designed to assist post-acute care facilities in improving clinical, financial and patient satisfaction outcomes. The suite currently consists of three modules: safe patient handling, pressure management and facility design…Permobil has the exclusive distribution rights in Canada for SoftWheel’s in-wheel shock absorption system for manual wheelchairs. Numotion is the exclusive distributor for SoftWheels in the US.

Short takes: Head over Wheels, power soccer

Bryan Anderson, Kiel Eigen and Mark Smith of Quantum Rehab have made a short film, “Head Over Wheels,” and entered it into the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. As part of the challenge, filmmakers spend 48 hours writing, filming and producing a five-minute film addressing disability in a unique light. This year’s theme was “family comedy.” The films are judged on the number of views, shares and media exposure they receive through May 8…The U.S. Power Soccer Association and sponsor MK Battery are gearing up for the World Cup in Kissimmee, Fla., July 5-9. It’s the first time the event will be hosted in the U.S., with the previous two World Cups held in Tokyo in 2006 and Paris in 2011. The U.S. National Power Soccer Team is the only U.S.-based soccer team to ever win back-to-back World Cups. The U.S. team kicks off the event with a match against Denmark on July 5.

People: Kucka, Randolph, Ramcharan

George Kucka will receive the AAHomecare/Mal Mixon Legislative Advocate Award at the association’s Washington Legislative Conference later this month. Kucka is president of Fairmeadows Home Health Center in Schererville, Ind., and serves on AAHomecare’s board of directors, and chairs the HME/RT Council…Robin Randolph has joined technology startup Metamason as its chief marketing officer. Randolph has nearly 30 years of experience in the sleep industry, most recently as marketing manager for North America at Fisher & Paykel…Jeannette Ramcharan, president of Resplife Medical Solutions in Lanham, Md., will be featured in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare published by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. Ramcharan, an RRT, has practiced for more than 16 years.