In brief: Option Care taps new CEO, medical device tax back in effect

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Friday, January 5, 2018

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. – Option Care has appointed John Rademacher as CEO and COO, effective immediately, the company announced Jan. 4. Rademacher had been serving as the interim CEO. Rademacher has more than 25 years of health care related experience, and has held executive positions including at Cardinal Health where he served as president and general Manager for both the Ambulatory Care Division and the Nuclear and Pharmacy Services Divisions, and at Cigna Corporation where he served as president of CareAllies and chief operating officer for the CIGNA Behavioral Health business. “I am honored and excited to be given the responsibility to lead Option Care,” said Rademacher in a press release. “We have such a proud heritage given all the great work over our 35-year history. With our national scale and highly qualified team, we are uniquely positioned as the market leader to continue to deliver high-quality, low-cost care to our patients and drive significant growth.”

Medical device tax goes back into effect

WASHINGTON – A 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers went back into effect on Jan. 1 after a two-year hiatus, according to news reports. The tax initially went into effect in 2013 as a way to pay for expanded health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The $150 billion medical device industry, representing everything from catheters to artificial joints, has fought the tax hard. Congress agreed to suspend the tax for 2016 and 2017, with an eye toward abolishing it before 2018, but several efforts to repeal the ACA have failed. Trade groups estimate that the tax will shave the industry by $20 billion over the next decade. Most, but not all, HME has been excluded from the tax.

TwelveStone, VirtueRN tackle fragmented post-acute care market

CHAPIN, S.C. – TwelveStone Health Partners and VirtueRN have joined forces to develop a post-acute care technology platform to address the fragmented market for medical equipment and medication services. The platform is expected to streamline workflow processes and increase the level of communication across the continuum of care. “Technology offers the opportunity to ensure that patients get what they need faster and more efficiently,” says Shane Reeves, CEO of TwelveStone Health Partners. “Our understanding of the players and shortcomings regarding post-acute medication service delivery, combined with VirtueRN’s technology prowess and knowledge of the post-acute care market, makes the combination a natural partnership opportunity.” TwelveStone says VirtueRN has a head start in creating the platform, allowing the two companies to get to market more rapidly and reduce overall project investment.

MobilityWorks hits 72 locations

RICHFIELD, Ohio – MobilityWorks, a provider of wheelchair accessible vans, has acquired Concord, N.C.-based Accessibility Mobility Center. The acquisition expands MobilityWorks’ presence in North Carolina, where it already has a van showroom and service center in Charlotte. Dan Plondke, the former owner of Accessibility Mobility Center, will oversee operations in Concord. “Becoming part of the MobilityWorks family will provide enhanced resources and increased opportunities to allow us to continue to find the best solutions for our customers,” he said. MobilityWorks now has 72 locations in 24 states. In addition to selling new and pre-owned modified vans for wheelchair accessibility, MobilityWorks and Accessible Mobility Center will also provide rental vans and adaptive equipment, such as hand controls, turning seats and scooter lifts.

Boas Surgical buys Wyoming Valley Prosthetics and Orthotics

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Boas Surgical, a provider of prosthetics and orthotics, has acquired Wyoming Valley Prosthetics and Orthotics in Swoyersville, according to The Morning Call. Boas Surgical will continue to operate the Swoyersville location under the Boas Surgical name, adding six employees from Wyoming Valley Prosthetics and Orthotics to its roster, for a total of 38 employees, according to the newspaper. Boas Surgical, headquartered here, has a total of eight locations in Pennsylvania. It also has a location outside Phillipsburg in New Jersey.

Study: Hospitals can help diagnose sleep apnea

SAN DIEGO – A ResMed-funded study makes the case for hospitals screening patients for sleep apnea before they’re discharged to improve their chances of long-term survival. As part of the study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, more than 5,000 hospitalized patients were screened for sleep apnea and 18.7% were estimated to have the condition. Those who tested positive were placed on CPAP therapy post-discharge, and those who were adherent in the first three months improved their chance of survival over the next 20 months compared with those who were not adherent. “We have a profound opportunity to identify and help tens of thousands of hospitalized patients who don’t know they have a dangerous but treatable sleep condition,” said Sunil Sharma, the study’s principal investigator. “These results show just how important a hospital can be in addressing these issues.”

Zimmer steps down, Barranti steps up

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – Industry veteran Bernie Zimmer is retiring as president and CEO of CHME, a DME company based here. His successor: Lauren Barranti, who most recently served as the company’s executive vice president. “Lauren very much appreciates the business model that CHME has created and understands our market approach and is excited to help our company continue to expand our business and service even more patients in need,” said Zimmer of Barranti, who came to CHME from Apria Healthcare, where she was vice president of managed care. Zimmer will remain active in CHME as a member of the board of directors. Since joining CHMA, Barranti has implemented a number of operational initiatives with a focus on improving cash flow and profitability for the company, including a company wide contract optimization project.

Gov’t launches loan program for DME

SHERMAN, Texas – The Texacoma Council of Governments, a voluntary organization of local governments in Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties, in collaboration with the Salvation Army of Grayson County, Areli Medical Supply and Grayson County Health Clinic, has launched a loan program for DME, according to the Herald Democrat. The program, which is funded by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission, has two goals: collect and refurbish reusable DME; and loan it out to individuals in need. The program’s inventory includes wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, canes, portable commodes and shower chairs. To access the program, a referring agency and an individual’s doctor must complete referral and medical necessity forms.