In brief: Mulvaney comments on IFR, AAH plans response to tariffs

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Friday, April 20, 2018

WASHINGTON – Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said last week that the agency is working to release an interim final rule that would provide relief from Medicare’s competitive bidding program, but he gave no timeline for when that might happen.

“I will say this: I have probably received more calls about this than any other rule put together,” he said during a hearing for the fiscal year 2019 budget on April 18. “Since we’re aware of the urgency to members of both parties, I’m interested in getting it out as quickly as we possibly can. That being said, it’s a fairly complex rule, and it’s absolutely critical that we get it right because of the scope of this rule, so I won’t be able to comment.”

Mulvaney’s comments were made in response to Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., who asked, “Can you share an update where the rule is in this process, and how far away from finalization that might be, and what steps is OMB taking right now to review the rule in a timely manner?”

Mulvaney stated that IFR is currently under review at the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs and said he couldn’t comment further.

The industry has kept the pressure on lawmakers, urging them to contact Mulvaney about the IFR, which has been stuck at the OMB since August. In March, they included language in the omnibus bill encouraging CMS to implement the IFR.

AAHomecare plans response to tariff proposal

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare plans to submit comments to the U.S. Trade Representative in response to a proposed tariff of 25% on medical equipment from China. The association and representatives from several manufacturer members have met to discuss the response. A sudden increase in costs for equipment made in China would cause significant hardship and disruption for HME providers and patients, says AAHomecare.

Quantum Rehab offers peek at manufacturing

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has released “Quantum Experiences are Made in America,” a new video offering an inside look at its U.S.-based manufacturing facility, process and products. Quantum’s complex rehab power wheelchairs are custom built to each user’s needs in a state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Duryea, Pa., along with an additional production facility in Las Vegas, the company says. “We’re immensely proud of the made-in-the-USA foundation we’ve created with Quantum to best serve our customers and engage the tremendous local workforce,” said Joe O’Brien, senior vice president of global operations in a press release.

Wisconsin recognizes complex rehab

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Legislation recognizing complex rehab as a separate benefit category has been passed in Wisconsin and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker, according to a press release from National Seating & Mobility. “We were honored to stand alongside Gov. Walker to witness the adoption of CRT legislation protecting individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin,” said Ryan Peebles, NSM’s director of government affairs. “Our coalition has worked tirelessly for more than 18 months to advance education about the complexity of CRT solutions and the unique needs of individuals with disabilities who are in need of those services and products.” NSM has worked on getting AB-462 passed in the House and SB-381 in the Senate with NCART, Ki Mobility and Comfort Company for 18 months. The legislation helps to protect access to critical products and related services for individuals with significant disabilities by recognizing the specialized nature of complex rehab; and by establishing supplier standards that incorporate beneficiary and program safeguards already in place for Medicare.

Inolife primes ADW to distribute Inojex

TORONTO – Inolife R&D has entered into a letter of intent with ADW Diabetes for the distribution of its Inojex, a patented and FDA-cleared needle-free injection device. With ADW as a new partner, Inolife will have strategic access to one of the biggest insulin markets in the world, according to a press release. “By connecting innovative needle-free insulin delivery technologies to ADW’s diabetic community, we will create new opportunities and synergies that otherwise would not have been available to our companies,” said Michael Wright, president and CEO of Inolife. “Partnering with ADW fits perfectly into our vision that every individual should have the opportunity to receive healthcare that is empowering, safe and respectful.” Company officials say the fear of needles is a leading reason why people with diabetes do not stay on track with their care team’s recommendations for optimum blood glucose management. “Inolife solves that problem,” said Michael Maguire, president and CEO of ADW. “ADW is excited to team up with Inolife so we can delivery comfort and ease to anyone with diabetes.”

Viemed launches new corporate website

LAFAYETTE, La. – Viemed Healthcare has launched a new corporate website to offer quick and easy access to essential information about the company’s medical equipment and respiratory therapist service business. The website, www.viemed.com, also has an investor section with updated company news and events, financial and stock information, regulatory filings and corporate governance information. “We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides customers, investors, partners and media to better understand the Viemed business,” said Casey Hoyt, CEO. “We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and increase our market presence across the United States.” The website will be updated on a regular basis with news of product launches, business activity, corporate milestones, events, and investor and financial information. Viemed operates through two indirect wholly owned subsidiaries: Sleep Management, which focuses on disease management; and Home Sleep Delivered, which focuses on in-home sleep testing.

Research backs use of myAirvo device, F&P says

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Fisher & Paykel Healthcare says new research that has been published in the International Journal of COPD shows significant benefits of nasal high flow therapy for COPD patients using its myAirvo device. A randomized controlled trial in Denmark investigated the long-term effects of nasal high flow therapy for COPD patients already being treated with long-term oxygen therapy. The trial showed statistically significant results, including a significant reduction in the exacerbation rate of patients. It also showed a reduction in hospitalization rates, less breathlessness, better mobility and lower carbon dioxide retention levels for chronic patients. The trial followed 200 patients with COPD on long-term oxygen for 16 hours or more per day over a year. As a result of the positive outcomes of the trial, a larger multi-center trial has begun.

Stratice Healthcare strengthens board of advisors

CARMEL, Ind. – Stratice Healthcare, the company behind the e-prescribing solution suite eOrdersPlus, has tapped Renee Picard Walsh to join its board of advisors. Stratice says Picard Walsh will help the company make inroads in the home health market. “I was completely engaged when I became aware Stratice had achieved universal accessibility to eOrdersPlus via its web-based applications and completed direct EHR integrations offering suppliers direct connectivity to 30% of physician prescribers,” said Picard Walsh. “There is such a need for this solution within home health. Stratice’s technology has revolutionized DME ordering for physicians and it will fill the remaining gaps in home care.” Stratice also has Chad Hammerstrom, executive vice president of business development, championing the company’s e-prescribing solution.