In brief: Norco expands footprint, HealthSplash buys DMERX

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Friday, September 15, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – Norco has acquired Freedom Medical Supply in Yakima, Wash., a strategic addition to its existing business in central Washington. Norco will assume ownership of Freedom Medical Supply on Oct. 1. “We are excited to have Norco in place locally to provide a wider range of products, services and experience to our valued customers,” said Mitch Rose, managing owner of Freedom Medical Supply. “We have the same staff and will continue to provide the best service.” Freedom Medical Supply is a family owned business that has served Yakima Valley for five years. Its product offering includes CPAP and oxygen equipment and supplies. Norco, also a family owned business, has more than 70 locations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

HealthSplash buys DMERX

PAOLA, Kan. – HealthSplash, a platform for clinicians, patients and suppliers, has acquired DMERX/PMDRX, a DME documentation compliance solution for prescribing practitioners, therapists and suppliers. The acquisition will allow HealthSplash to help more physicians and suppliers solve documentation challenges and operate more efficiently, according to a press release. “DMERX’s expertise in EHR software, DME supplier operations, physician practices, Medicare billing and documentation compliance will enable HealthSplash to expand its already growing platform and rapidly bring to market new innovative solutions,” said Brett Blackman, president of HealthSplash. HealthSplash says its 360-degree solution combines the latest healthcare technologies with a “Connect to One, Connect to All” approach, allowing providers access to real-time information and enabling decisions based on the most appropriate data.

ProMedica sells pharmacies to CVS, retains HME biz

TOLEDO, Ohio – ProMedica has sold five of its pharmacy locations in Toledo and Sylvania, Ohio, to CVS Pharmacy, according to local news reports. CVS plans to close the pharmacies and transfer all files to nearby CVS pharmacies; however, it expects to hire many of ProMedica’s current employees at the pharmacies. ProMedica will retain ownership of its other outpatient pharmacies at Toledo Hospital, Monroe Hospital and Fostoria Hospital. It will also continue to operate its specialty, adherence and home infusion pharmacies, as well as its HME business. ProMedica is a nonprofit health system that services 27 counties in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

CareCentrix, Medullan to develop virtual tools

HARTFORD, Conn. – CareCentrix has partnered with Medullan, a digital health firm, to develop virtual care tools that connect providers, patients and payers through flexible, mobile technology outside the four walls of the hospital. The alliance marries Medullan’s digital expertise and care experience platform, VARA, with CareCentrix’s HomeBridge technology, according to a press release. “The home is underappreciated as an alternative to other care settings, even though patients want to be there,” said John Driscoll, CEO for CareCentrix. “It is increasingly possible for patients to heal at home, thanks to advances in technology, analytics, and in-home monitoring. Technological advances, however, do not matter if you cannot successfully engage and connect the healthcare team.”

Somnoware launches new module

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Somnoware, a provider of respiratory healthcare software, has launched a Chronic Care Management module to enable pulmonologists to view detailed demographic, diagnosis, co-morbidity, therapy adherence, hospitalization, readmission, and other patient data. The module also features historical data, and allows pulmonologists to visualize emerging trends and obtain predictive analytics on important metrics like hospital admission and CPAP compliance, according to a press release. “Pulmonologists can now get a 360-degree view of the patient, evaluate different engagement and intervention strategies, anticipate outcomes, and take timely actions—all from one screen,” says Subath Kamalasan, CEO.

Soleo Health launches NutriSole

MCKINNEY, Texas – Soleo Health has launched a new specialty parenteral nutrition therapy program. NutriSole offers solutions to patients, providers, health systems and payers that show positive patient outcomes and quantifiable clinical and economic value, the provider says. The program captures pertinent outcome data, including catheter infection rate, hospitalization, trended weight and laboratory results and patient experience, to reduce or prevent therapy-related complications. “NutriSole affords prescribing physicians the confidence necessary to entrust their home parenteral nutrition care plan to Soleo Health,” said Craig Vollmer, Soleo Health executive vice president, in a press release. “In fact, more than 75% of NutriSole’s parenteral nutrition formulations are developed and managed by Soleo’s dedicated nutrition support teams, which allows for a customized nutrition care plan for each patient.”

Hurricane Harvey: FODAC helps manage equipment needs

HOUSTON – Representatives from Atlanta-based Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), which provides mobility aids to people with disabilities, traveled to storm-ravaged Houston this week to help set up and manage national collection and local distribution of DME to those affected in the area. FODAC says more than 813,000 households have requested assistance, many with special needs residents. “DME vendors have been very generous with donations of vital equipment, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds and shower benches,” said President and CEO Chris Brand. “The challenge is to get the equipment into the hands of those that need it.” Brand and Home Modification Coordinator Ruth Rust will be the first FODAC staff members on the ground in Houston, with plans for other staff members to follow. FODAC has provided assistance after earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal; hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Ike and Isaac; and floods that devastated north Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas in 2009. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency appointed FODAC to serve as the statewide distributor of DME and assistive technology in the event of a large emergency situation in 2013.

CMS offers look at new Medicare card

WASHINGTON – CMS has unveiled its newly designed Medicare card. The new card contains a unique, randomly assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number. “The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma, in a press release. CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people in April 2018 and must replace all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. Healthcare providers and people with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

Telemonitoring improves CPAP adherence, study finds

SAN DIEGO – The use of CPAP telemonitoring with automated feedback messaging improved 90-day adherence in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, according to a ResMed-supported study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine. The four-arm, randomized, factorial-design clinical trial enrolled 1,455 patients referred for suspected OSA. Of those, 956 underwent home sleep apnea testing and 556 were prescribed CPAP. Two telemedicine interventions were implemented: web-based OSA education and telemonitoring with automated patient feedback. Researchers found that after 90 days, those in the telemonitoring arms of the trial used CPAP 36 to 60 minutes longer each night. The study was supported by a grant from the American Sleep Medicine Foundation. ResMed supported the study by providing its U-Sleep automated feedback platform, and funding medical writing support and biostatistical support.

Short takes: Philips, 3B Medical, Peter Farrell, Brightree, Professional Medical Supply, PlayMaker

Frost & Sullivan has awarded Philips with the 2017 North American Home Ventilation Product Leadership Award for its Trilogy line of homecare ventilators. Frost & Sullivan presents this annual award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality, gaining rapid acceptance in the market…3B Medical has received FDA clearance for two new CPAP masks. The Viva Nasal Mask and the Numa Full Face Mask are now available for ordering…Peter Farrell has been recruited to the advisory board of BioTech Holdings. Farrell is the founder and chairman of the board of ResMed and also serves on several other boards and councils, including MIT Dean of Engineering Advisory Board and the Executive Council of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Biotech is a company working to enhance the efficacy of stem cells…Atlanta-based Brightree has launched automated resupply enrollment program for patients managed by both Brightree and AirView by ResMed. Now when AirView alerts the Brightree Connect resupply program that a patient has achieved compliance on CPAP therapy, the patient can be automatically enrolled in to the Connect program…Professional Medical Supply has joined AAHomecare’s Corporate Partner program to support the continued efforts to advocate for the success of HME providers across the country. Professional Medical Supply bills itself as “one source specialists for disposable healthcare supplies and DME equipment”…PlayMaker, a sales platform for post-acute care, has added Holly Miller as vice president of sales. “Miller has more than 15 years of healthcare and technology sales experience.