In brief: NGS details reasons for denials, TiLite shakes up representation

Friday, November 8, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – Prior authorization requests submitted as part of the PMD demo are being denied because of conflicting information in face-to-face exams and other medical records, and insufficient face-to-face exam information, National Government Services (NGS) announced in a recent bulletin. The list of reasons covers denials as of Oct. 24. NGS says face-to-face exams often do not specify: how a PMD will sufficiently improve the beneficiary’s daily life; what are the beneficiary’s mobility limitations (his or her ability to get into and out of a PMD); what is the beneficiary’s mental or physical ability to operate the device; or what is beneficiary’s ability to stay stable while using the device. Other face-to-face exams neglect to include the beneficiary’s weight, NGS says.

TiLite announces new rep agreements

PASCO, Wash. – TiLite, a manufacturer of titanium and aluminum wheelchairs, has announced new U.S. sales representation agreements that will take effect Dec. 1. Permobil will represent TiLite in Florida and Puerto Rico; The Roho Group will represent the company in Illinois and most of Wisconsin; and Target Medical will represent it in Tennessee and Mississippi, according to the Oct. 30 news release. “We are excited to extend our partnerships with these top players in our industry,” stated TiLite CEO David Lippes in the release. MSL Associates will continue to serve these areas until Nov. 30, according to the release.

Conference news from Medtrade Spring, NCART

Early bird rates for Medtrade Spring start Nov. 12 and stay in effect through 2013. Medtrade Spring takes place March 10-12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. FMI: ... The second annual National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference will take place April 29-May 1, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. Contact NRRTS or NCART for more details.

Alpine branches out into Idaho

SALT LAKE CITY - Alpine Home Medical Equipment is expanding into Idaho with the acquisition of Eagle Rock Oxygen and Medical Equipment in Idaho Falls, the company announced Nov. 4. Alpine says Eagle Rock’s staff will continue to serve patients from the same location. In business since 1997, Alpine Home Medical has nine branches in Utah.

AxelaCare acquires SCP Specialty Infusion

LENEXA, Kan. – AxelaCare Health Solutions, a specialty home infusion services provider, has acquired SCP Specialty Infusion, the parent company of Sirona Infusion, which provides acute home infusion, the company announced Nov. 5. The buy doubles AxelaCare’s number of pharmacies, according to a release. “We are excited that Chris (York), an industry leader in home infusion, and his team at Sirona are joining us to build a ‘best in class’ home infusion company,” stated Ted Kramm, AxelaCare CEO, in the release. “Their strength in acute infusion, great geographic coverage in the west and growth profile complements our strengths in IVIg and chronic care, and also expands our platform to provide innovative patient outcomes technology.”

Carex acquires ThermiPaq

NORWELL, Mass. – Carex Health Brands has acquired the ThermiPaq Hot & Cold Therapy brand and other assets from the Springfield, Ill.-based Thermionics Corp., according to a Nov. 4 news release. Carex offers hot/cold pain therapy, including the Bed Buddy moist heat ThermaTherapy and TheraMed brands, and home medical equipment. “This acquisition further solidifies our leadership in the market and allows Carex to improve service to our existing customers through an expanded hot/cold portfolio,” stated Matt McElduff, president of Carex Health Brands, in the release. 

Insulet posts third quarter results

BEDFORD, Mass. – Insulet’s revenues reached $61.1 million in the third quarter compared to $54.8 million during the same period last year, a 12% increase, the company announced Nov. 7. The medical device company’s gross profit for the period was $27.4 million, also a 12% increase. Insulet’s revenues in the first nine months of the year were $178.6 million vs. $153.5 million for the same period last year, while gross profit was $79.4 million vs. $67 million. Increased operating expenses were due to the settlement of a patent-infringement dispute with Medtronic involving Insulet’s OmniPod.

Hasco launches new TV ad campaign

ADDISON, Texas – Hasco has begun airing new TV ads in central Florida, hoping to raise awareness of the wheelchair-accessible transportation options that are available to a growing baby-boom population, the company announced Nov. 8. “This will help them make better-informed decisions as their needs change,” stated Hal Compton, Hasco Medical CEO, in a release. “We also expect this to help increase our fourth quarter sales and trade-ins on modified vehicles.” Similar commercials will soon air in other areas served by Hasco’s Ride-Away stores, like Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

ARI acquires Duo Web Solutions

MILWAUKEE – ARI Network Services, a website, software and data solutions provider, has acquired Duo Web Solutions, a social media and online marketing services provider, the company announced Nov. 5. “This acquisition is in direct alignment with our strategy to grow the digital marketing services side of the business,” stated Roy Oliver, ARI president and CEO, in a release. “Duo Web Solutions’ proven social media services, including reputation management and SEM services, will now be available to dealers, distributors and manufacturers in all the verticals we serve.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Involve community pharmacists in COPD care, study says

OXFORD, England - COPD patients working with community pharmacists stick with their medications and have improved inhalation techniques, a recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggests. Patients in the study’s intervention group learned about their disease, medication and how to use inhalers. They also discussed disease management, quitting smoking and adherence. “This trial should encourage community pharmacists to engage in COPD care aiming to sustain an effective and safe pharmacotherapeutic treatment in patients with COPD,” study authors wrote. While patients working with pharmacists stuck with their medication and improved inhalation techniques, investigators did not find that they decreased their moderate exacerbation rate, dyspnea or smoking habits.

Short takes

CMS has approved the Accreditation Commission for Health Care for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for hospices that wish to participate in Medicare or Medicaid. ACHC’s recognized status will last through Nov. 27, 2019…November is COPD Awareness Month and Inogen is offering a $500 discount shopping card to the winner of its “Share for COPD Awareness Giveaway,” it announced Nov. 7. To enter, the oxygen therapy company asks people to share their success stories about living with COPD... Ottobock debuted the film “Limitless” at the ReelAbilities Disabilities Film Festival on Nov. 3. “Limitless” is an original film featuring Ottobock employee Leslie Pitt Schneider, who lost a limb early in her life…It’s been 45 years since Al Thieme invented the Amigo power operated vehicle or scooter in his Bridgeport, Mich., garage. “The reason for starting Amigo Mobility was to ‘find a better way’ for a family member to stay active,” said Theime, in an Amigo Friendly Wheels newsletter in November. The company has expanded to a 55,000-square-foot facility and has manufactured more than 222,000 Amigo scooters.

People news

John Dudash, president and CEO of MITY Enterprises, will take the helm of Broda Seating, the company announced Nov. 6. MITY is the parent company of Broda Seating, and was acquired by Prospect Capital Corporation in September…Scot Dube is now president and CEO of Sigvaris North America. Dube succeeds Charles Handschin, who retired from Sigvaris after serving more than 14 years as president and CEO.