In brief: Obama nominates CMS chief, Circadiance and Rotech make buys

Friday, July 10, 2015

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama last week nominated Andrew Slavitt as CMS administrator, according to news reports.

Slavitt has been acting administrator for CMS since Marilyn Tavenner stepped down in February.

“Since taking the role in February, Slavitt’s focus as acting administrator is on strengthening CMS’s role in helping the healthcare delivery system meet the evolving needs of consumer by transforming the way care is paid for providing the tools to make the system thrive and by fostering simplicity and transparency,” according to his profile on the CMS web site.

Slavitt originally joined the agency in July 2014 as principal deputy administrator.

Reaction to the news of the appointment was mixed, according to reports. Some, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “No one can successfully manage a law as unworkable as Obamacare,” while others, like American Hospital Association CEO Rich Umbdenstock said, Slavitt has a “deep understanding of the US healthcare system and a commitment to improving patient care.”

Previously, Slavitt served as group executive vice president for Optum, where he oversaw the delivery of clinical, technology and operational solutions to healthcare clients and consumers. He was also CEO of OptumInsight.

Additionally, Slavitt was the founder and CEO of HealthAllies, a consumer healthcare service company focused on serving people who are uninsured or underinsured by contracting affordable care on their behalf nationwide.

Circadiance enters global pediatric market

EXPORT, Pa. – Circadiance has acquired the SmartMonitor and NeoPAP product lines, including the infant apnea monitoring and PAP technologies associated with those lines, from Philips Respironics. The move allows Circadiance, manufacturer of the SleepWeaver soft cloth CPAP masks, to enter the global pediatric respiratory market. “Home infant cardiorespiratory monitoring is an established market dominated by SmartMonitor’s proven technology, which offers at-risk infants a smooth transition from hospital to home,” said David Groll, CEO of Circadiance, in a release. “NeoPAP represents the future of respiratory care in neonatal patients with respiratory distress syndrome. It’s an exciting combination that we intend to leverage with future innovation.”

Rotech continues momentum

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech has purchased the respiratory equipment assets of Alert Medical in Fort Myers and Naples, Fla. “The momentum continues,” said CEO Tim Pigg in a release. “We are thrilled to be expanding our footprint in these service areas.” Rotech has made three acquisitions since December, including assets from Specialized Medical Services in Cody, Wyo., and unnamed companies in Natchitoches, La., and the Gulfport, Miss., area. Rotech currently operates in 23 markets in Florida. Duckridge Advisors served as the exclusive M&A adviser to Alert Medical.

Universal Software partners with Prometheus Group

DAVISON, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions has partnered with Prometheus Group, an outcomes-based billing services provider, to help its HME provider customers to better leverage its Healthcare Data Management System. “Prometheus Group has a proven track record of helping DMEs improve efficiencies and overcome industry challenges,” said Christopher Dobiesz, CEO of Universal Software Solutions, in a press release. “We feel their services will help our clients maximize revenues in a constantly changing industry.” Prometheus specializes in delivering staff augmentation, operations consulting and full-service billing in a “new era of value-based care,” according to the release. HDMS is a fully integrated practice management solution that manages critical functions ranging from customer service and inventory to A/R and compliance.

Noridian publishes review results

FARGO, N.D. – Noridian Healthcare Solutions, the Jurisdiction D DME MAC, has published the results of prepayment reviews for a number of products. Oxygen (E1390) had a potential improper payment rate of 31% from March 2015 through May 2015. Group 2 pressure reducing support surfaces (E0277) had a potential improper payment rate of 62% from February 2015 though May 2015, while Group 1 pressure reducing support surfaces (E0181 and E0185) had improper rates of 52% and 63%, respectively, during that same timeframe. Vacuum erection devices (L7900) had a potential improper payment rate of 97% from February 2015 through May 2015. Diabetes testing supplies (A4253 and A4253KX) had improper rates of 50% and 64%, respectively, from March 2015 through May 2015.

Patterson Medical secures exclusive rights

WARRENVILLE, Ill. – Patterson Medical has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with DJO Global to distribute the Chattanooga Fluidotherapy line of products. Effective July 1, Patterson Medical now serves as the sole supplier of the Fluidotherapy models for single extremity and double extremity use. Fluidotherapy is a dry heat therapy that transfers energy to soft tissues through suspended particles. In other news, Patterson Medical has announced that it was recently awarded the Supplier Legacy Award from Premier, Inc., a healthcare performance improvement company that serves an alliance of U.S. hospitals and other providers. Patterson Medical was recognized for its long-standing support of Premier members through customer service and engagement, value creation and commitment to lower costs.

Short takes: VMI, Golden Technologies, Medtrade

VMI honored long-time employee Tiger Desmarais with a Lifetime Achievement award for 20 years of service. Along with a key to the company, Tiger received a new silver 2015 Toyota Sienna…Timothy Robinson has been hired as the new director of digital media at Golden Technologies. Robinson is tasked with producing product sales and training videos, dealer TV commercials and technical repair videos… This year’s Medtrade will mark Shelly Prial’s last appearance at the conference. The 88-year-old Medtrade ambassador has been to all but one event since its inception.