In brief: Medtrade cancels, Invacare grows, CRT gets support

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Friday, October 2, 2020

ATLANTA – Medtrade has cancelled its in-person event scheduled for Nov. 2-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. 

Show organizers will instead hold the Medtrade Virtual Conference Nov. 4-5. 

“Continued developments and uncertainty have made it impossible to bring our community together safely and successfully in Atlanta,” said organizers. “This is due to the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest government data, measures and guidelines on phased reopening plans in the U.S.; current restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by the state of Georgia and other government and public health authorities; and the various company imposed travel restrictions on employees, affecting attendees and participating companies.” 

Medtrade’s next in-person show will be the newly rebranded and relocated Medtrade West, which takes place April 12-14 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz. 

“We are working with the venue and planning to ensure we host a productive, safe and healthy event for our customers,” said organizers. 

More information on the Medtrade Virtual Conference will be available soon. 

Invacare sets plan for growth 

CLEVELAND – Invacare expects to add 45 new positions at its manufacturing site in Elyria as part of its launch of a new oxygen concentrator. 

The company plans to build a 10,000-square-foot clean room within its Taylor Street facility to enhance its manufacturing capabilities to produce its new Platinum NXG stationary oxygen concentrator to meet the rising demand for respiratory equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, Invacare has had a long and successful history in Elyria,” said Matthew Monaghan, chairman, president and CEO. “We are pleased with the high-quality associates with strong manufacturing experience available in the area, and we look forward to expanding and strengthening our presence for many years to come.” 

Invacare is also evaluating other opportunities that could result in about 100 additional jobs at its Elyria/North Ridgeville campus over the next three years. 

Complex rehab letter draws support from 41 representatives 

WASHINGTON – Forty-one members of the House of Representatives have signed a congressional letter urging CMS to permanently stop applying competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs. 

Reps. John Larson, D-Conn., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., began circulating the letter in August. 

“Our sincere thanks goes to Reps. Larson and Zeldin for their continued leadership in protecting access to CRT for people with disabilities and to their 39 colleagues,” wrote Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We also thank all the organizations and individuals who reached out to their representatives asking them to add their signatures. If you representative has signed on, please thank them and give them a plug through social media.” 

Late in 2019, Congress passed a bill that included language suspending bid pricing for these accessories for 18 months starting Jan. 1, 2020. 

Stakeholders will follow up with CMS staff and congressional staff to continue the push for change. 

LifeScan expands into e-commerce 

MALVERN, Pa. – LifeScan has launched the OneTouch Amazon storefront and introduced the OneTouch Verio 30-count Test Strip value pack. 

Consumers will be able to purchase their OneTouch diabetes testing supplies using whatever purchase methods they typically use with Amazon, including funds from a flexible spending account. 

“By offering an official, OneTouch branded source on Amazon to purchase authentic OneTouch supplies, we're continuing to make it easy for them to find and get the brand they've trusted for over 35 years," said Raymond Liu, vice president of marketing and digital solutions for the Americas region, LifeScan. "This expansion into e-commerce is another example of how LifeScan strives to make the process of self-management safe, simple and seamless." 

State round up: Florida, Louisiana, Ohio 

AAHomecare has submitted a letter to Sunshine Health and Wellcare in Florida, expressing its concerns with the consolidation of services under one company and the state’s history of failure with such an arrangement. The letter cites inequities in fee schedules; the elimination of patient choice; and the risk of network collapse as primary concerns. AAHomecare has also asked that Centene exclude self-referrals in its request for proposal to the state to cover the management of HME and home health for all of the Centene and Wellcare plans in Florida...AAHomecare’s payer relations team has pushed back against a cap on non-invasive ventilators after 10 months proposed by BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana. In response, BCBSLA has agreed to modify its policy, allowing DME providers to maintain ownership of the ventilators, increasing the monthly rental rates, and paying for a licensed respiratory therapist to inspect, service and maintain the equipment, as well as pay for additional component(s) that need replacement… AAHomecare and NCART joined the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) in supporting the expanded use of telehealth for Ohio Medicaid. Their comments urge that DMEPOS providers, respiratory specialists, and ATPs be included in a list of eligible providers under the rule, and highlight how telehealth activities by DMEPOS/CRT providers can align with the work of other health care professionals, improve patient outcomes, and reduce Medicaid program costs. 

VGM Insurance Services recognized 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Insurance Services has been named one of Business Insurance magazine’s Best Places to Work for 2020. The annual Best Places to Work in Insurance program recognizes employers for their outstanding performance in establishing workplaces where employees can thrive, enjoy their work and help their companies grow. “We are humbled to once again be recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the insurance industry,” said Mike Kloos, president of VGM Insurance. “It’s a testament to our team of employee owners that foster a culture encouraging collaboration and professional growth, which ensures exceptional service for our customers.”     

Numotion launches ATOM 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has launched the Assistive Technology Outcome Measure, a peer-reviewed measure to provide insight into the effectiveness of complex rehab technology. The data collected in the national ATOM survey will be applied in a number of different ways, including determining areas for the clinical team to focus on during the evaluation, providing a better understanding of client needs for applicable reimbursement, and creating a comparison of client satisfaction and function with telehealth vs. in-person evaluations. The survey will be ongoing for applicable clients with results and insights available early next year. “ATOM is a high-quality outcome measure,” said John Pryles, Numotion’s executive vice president of sales and an ATP. “As the largest provider of CRT in the country, we expect to collect a clinically meaningful number of responses in a short period of time, which is generally difficult to come by in a niche focus area like CRT. The data and information being collected is critical to end-users, providers and clinicians, and will help to shape interventions with individuals with complex mobility needs.” 

Quantum offers new clinician app 

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has released Quantum Clinician, a new app that features serial and order number look up, 360-degree product views, basic operating instructions, owner’s manuals and more. Password-protected technical videos are also available. “We are excited to release this app as part of our efforts to reach our providers and clinicians in a way that meets today’s technological demands and provides a great user experience,” said Kate Pencek, senior director of IT & enterprise architecture at Pride Mobility/Quantum Rehab. The app is available for download via the Apple Store and Google Play. It replaces the Quantum Professional app. Click here to check out a video of the new app. 

CPAP Store USA launches brand 

LAS VEGAS – CPAP Store USA has launched its own CPAP Store USA brand, including wipes, tubing, filters and travel bags. CPAP Store USA aims to provide affordable options for all major CPAP brands, such as ResMed, Philips Respironics, Transcend and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. "This is an exciting change for us, a major step forward and marks a strategic pivot in our future direction," said Marina BerBeryan, ambassador for CPAP Store USA. "CPAP store USA brings forth an expanded commitment to all of our customer and CPAPers. In the spirit of evolution, we will continue to bridge new gaps, while simultaneously expanding our resources, solutions and our store across the nation and the CPAP community." 

LUCI hires seasoned exec to grow biz 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LUCI has named Tom Borcherding senior vice president of business development. A seasoned complex rehab exec, Borcherding will oversee LUCI’s business development and growth strategies, using his established relationships and reputation in the industry to make the company’s technology available to more wheelchair riders across the country. “Tom is one of the most respected and widely know professionals in our industry, and we’re honored for him to join our small but growing team,” said Barry Dean, CEO and co-founder of LUCI. “Along with his 30 years of experience and intimate understanding of the CRT ecosystem, he also brings a passion for the user experience and an understanding of how to lead through change from his experience at ROHO and most recently Permobil.” Borcherding was president of ROHO from 2008-15, initiating and leading the company through its successful sale to Permobil in 2015. After launching earlier this summer, LUCI is in the final stages of preparing its product for public availability in the fourth quarter of 2020. The hardware/software platform mounts onto a power wheelchair to help users avoid collisions and drop-offs, while maintaining driving control. It can also monitor and alert users and caregivers to low battery, possible tipping scenarios and other updates. 

MSC adds M&A exec 

CLEVELAND – Medical Service Company has added Matt Moebius as a mergers and acquisitions account executive. Moebius has the last 20 years working with provider and vendors in the HME industry, focused on sleep therapy. “MSC is excited to leverage Matt’s experience and network to find meaningful partnerships to offer our sleep program and enhance patient care everywhere,” the company stated in an announcement. Right now, MSC offers its sleep therapy program to more than 50,000 patients across the Midwest and Northeast. 

PlayMaker boosts Medicare Advantage referrals 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – PlayMaker Health has launched new Medicare Advantage Data Sets with Physician and Payer Insights solution. Users now have the ability to grow their MA referral revenue, evaluate existing referral potential and increase their market share, the company says. “As Medicare Advantage quickly gains momentum, plans are actively pursuing the partners that rely on data to deliver service in their respective market,” said Gregg Boyle, CEO. “Full visibility into the MA data set gives (users) the insights they need to validate growth plans.” PlayMaker counts more than 2,300 home health, HME and infusion providers and long-term care agencies as users. 

EZ-Access opens up commercial market for providers 

ALGONA, Wash. – EZ -Access has released a commercial-grade ramp system exclusively for DME providers. The Pathway  HD Code Compliant Modular Access System meets compliance standards set by the ADA, IBC and other local codes, and is appropriate for schools, businesses, hospitals, libraries, museums, churches, polling places and other public establishments, the company says. “You asked and we answered,” said Don Everard, CEO and co-owner of EZ -Access. “By providing this system, our dealer-based access experts can now secure the commercial projects they encounter in their local area, allowing them to grow their business by tapping into this additional revenue stream.” The all-aluminum ramp system offers safety features and a design that makes for quick and easy installation, the company says. 

sovaSage debuts software to manage sleep therapy patients 

PITTSBURGH – sovaSage has released TherapyAssist software to help home care providers manage their sleep apnea patients remotely. The patent-pending software assists respiratory therapists in managing CPAP, BiPAP and Auto-PAP therapies using artificial intelligence and novel computer vision, and leverages more than three years of research, development and field tests. The company says the software has the ability to: triple the number of patients that RTs can see in one day; reduce the number of mask exchanges due to improperly selected or sized CPAP masks; and increase patient satisfaction and compliance. It also points out that because it is not a manufacturer, the software “impartially selects the best available mask for each individual, regardless of brand.” 

Adaptive Switch Lab receives RESNA award 

ELYRIA, Ohio – Adaptive Switch Laboratories, a division of Invacare, has received a RESNA Leadership Award. The award recognizes an agency, company, association or university for its significant contributions to the advancement of the field of assistive technology and rehab engineering. “I am pleased that ASL has been recognized by our peers as a leader in leveraging technology to make meaningful improvements in the lives of those with disabilities,” said Joost Beltman, Invacare’s senior vice president and general manager, North America. “The entire ASL team contributes to our powerful innovation culture and should be proud of the leadership they provide, both to the industry and our end users.” ASL designs products, including driver controls, electronic switches, headrests and other products for daily living, specifically for those who can’t access the environment through conventional means.