In brief: POCs on the rise, therapeutic shoe bill introduced

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Friday, June 29, 2018

BOSTON – HME providers will continue to increase adoption of portable oxygen concentrators, to the tune of about 30% over the next 12 months, according to a 2Q 2018 survey on oxygen and sleep trends from Needham & Co.

Applied Home Healthcare’s OxyGo Fit and OxyGo were the highest rated POCs at 5.9 and 5.8 out of 7, followed by Inogen’s G4 and G3, both at 5.7, and Respironics’ SimplyGo Mini at 5.1.

Survey respondents identify an average of 42% of their ambulatory patients as candidates for POCs, a number Needham expects to increase.

Asian inroads

3B Medical is gaining traction in the U.S. CPAP market, the survey found, although their product ratings were lower than major manufacturers in all categories.

3B Medical’s share of flow generator purchases is expected to increase from 1.7% to 2.2% and its share of mask purchases to increase from 1.6% to 3% over the next 12 months, according to the survey.

Shifting shares

ResMed looks to be losing market share, with their flow generator purchases expected to decrease by 2.1% and mask purchases to decrease by 5.8%, the survey found

Respironics’ share of flow generator purchase is expected to increase by 1.3% and their mask purchases by 3.5%, according to the survey.

Sleep growth

On average, survey respondents said their sleep patient volume increased by 5.7% in the past 12 months and expect it to grow by 7% in the next 12 months.

Of the respondents, 21% saw a decline in sleep patient growth in the past 12 months and 16% expect a decline in the next 12 months.

Sales of travel CPAPs are expected to grow 7% in the next 12 months, which Needham attributes to Respironics’ recent entry into the market.

Senate bill would increase access to therapeutic shoes

WASHINGTON – Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have introduced a bill that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify diabetes patients’ need for therapeutic shoes. “Therapeutic shoes are a proven method for preventing costly and painful complications related to diabetes, yet current Medicare regulations force patients to endure a time consuming process to obtain them,” said Collins, the founder and co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus. “Our bipartisan legislation would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify their patients’ need for this important treatment method.” The “Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act,” S. 3067, is endorsed by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners American Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Podiatric Medical Association, according to wire reports.

PHS places in Top 10 workplaces

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pediatric Home Service has been recognized for the eighth straight year in the Star Tribune’s annual ranking of the Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota. PHS was named the ninth best of 109 mid-sized companies. The list recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on a confidential employee survey that ranks factors like alignment, effectiveness, connection, employee engagement, leadership and basic pay, benefits and flexibility. “We know that every employee, no matter their role, contributes to the overall mission of the company,” said Kelli Ramirez, human resources manager for PHS.

Idaho providers meet with representative’s representative

POCATELLO, Idaho – Maag’s Prescription and Medical Supply and Big Sky AMES hosted Josh Sorenson, the field director for Rep. Michael Simpson, R-Idaho, recently. Meeting attendees talked about rural access issues in southeast Idaho. Simpson, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, has not signed onto H.R. 4229, which would extend a retroactive delay of a second round of reimbursement cuts and address the oxygen “double dip,” or H.R. 3039, which would stop competitive bidding-related cuts for accessories for complex manual wheelchairs. The bills currently have 153 and 109 cosponsors, respectively.

Soleo Health tapped to distribute two new drugs

MCKINNEY, Texas – Soleo Health has been selected by Genetech to dispense two limited distribution drugs, Hemlibra for patients with hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors; and Ocrevus for patients with a relapsing or primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Soleo Health has extensive experience treating these patient groups. “Being part of manufacturer limited drug distribution networks expands Soleo Health’s clinical service offering for patients, providers and payers, and helps fuel our continued rapid growth,” said Craig Vollmer, executive vice president and Soleo Health, in a press release. “This is a testament to our reputation and commitment to providing outstanding patient care, as well as our dedication to improving clinical outcomes.”

Calling all speakers: Medtrade Spring wants you

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring organizers seek speakers and panelists for the 2019 show, scheduled for April 17-18 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Submissions are sought on the following topics: business operations, legal issues, regulations and compliance, sales and marketing, executive leadership, Medicare updates, retail and cash sales, and strategic planning. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Aug. 24. For guideline submissions, click here. Questions? Contact Toni Ward at antoinette.ward@emeraldexpo.com. For the upcoming Medtrade, Oct. 15-17 in Atlanta, organizers also remind potential attendees that the SmartSaver rates expire this Friday.

BOC seeks Newberry nominations

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) is accepting nominations for the Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service. The award, named for longtime BOC member and practitioner Jim Newberry, recognizes outstanding individuals who perform extraordinary service to BOC and its community of stakeholders. “We look forward to seeing this year’s nominations as we continue to honor Jim’s amazing legacy,” said Wayne Rosen, BOCP, BOCO, FAAOP, chairman of BOC’s board of directors. “BOC is fortunate to work with a wide variety of dedicated individuals.” Last year’s inaugural award recipient was Harry “J.R.” Brandt. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 7. To submit a nomination, click here. Questions? Email info@bocusa.org or call 877-776-2200.

United Spinal hands out awards

WASHINGTON – Two lawmakers were recognized for their work on behalf of people with disabilities and veterans during the United Spinal Association’s Roll on Capitol Hill this week. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., received the 2018 James J. Peters Distinguished Veterans Legislator Award; and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., received the 2018 Outstanding Congressional Leadership Award. Two other awards were handed out at the event: Gretchelle Dilan received the 2018 Outstanding Community Service Award; and Earle and Kathy Powdrell received the 2018 Finn Bullers Advocates of the Year Award. During the ROCH, more than 100 wheelchair users and advocates conducted more than 200 visits with lawmakers, advocating for, among other things, protecting the rights of air travelers with disabilities, and opposing the ADA Education and Reform Act.

InfuSystem named distributor for infusion line

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – InfuSystem, a national provider of infusion pumps and related services, has been tapped by Smiths Medical, a manufacturer of specialized medical devices and equipment, as an official distributor of CADD products. Smiths Medical recently announced a strategic decision to serve its non-hospital-based infusion customers through a new distribution model that its says simplifies the way providers order, receive and deliver care with CADD products. As a result, CADD will now be available to non-hospital-based infusion providers through a limited number of distributors, including InfuSystem. “Alternate site customers of Smiths Medical, such as home healthcare providers, physician-based infusion centers, ambulatory infusion centers and other non-hospital infusion facilities, can now opt for the service of InfuSystem for the full line of CADD infusion pumps and supplies,” said Richard Dilorio, CEO of InfuSystem. “We are pleased to be partnering with Smiths Medical in servicing this important segment.”

StripSupply secures funding

BOSTON – StripSupply has secured seed round funding led by LaunchByte Ventures, alongside a group of serial entrepreneurs, physicians and angel investors. StripSupply, which seeks to disrupt the $11 billion glucose test strip market, provides FDA-approved strips on a subscription basis for up to 85% less than major retail pharmacies, it says. “The retail price for diabetic test strips at major pharmacies can be more than $100 for a 50-count vial; however, the manufacturing cost doesn’t typically exceed 15 cents per strip,” said Jay Hastings, CEO and founder of StripSupply. “That’s $600 a month for a person with diabetes that needs to test their glucose levels nine to 10 times a day to say health and avoid serious complications like blindness, amputation or death.” In conjunction with the investment, Tan Kabra, founder and managing director of LaunchByte Ventures, and Cindy Ngugen, CFO of Circulation, will be added to the board of directors.

Generex taps Thompson as COO

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Generex has named Terry Thompson as COO to lead the company’s efforts in building an end-to-end solution for patients. Thompson has extensive experience in pharmacy benefits management, network administration, claims processing, and distribution and logistics for drugs, DME and infusion therapy. His prior leadership experience includes a stint as CEO of Closer HealthCare, a DME and diabetic supply company. “Acquisitions of up-and-coming platforms and leaders will drive our strategic plan, focusing on building partnerships with hospitals, physicians, employers and patients to offer comprehensive, consumer-centric solutions for optimal health outcomes at reduced costs to the system,” he said.

VGM: Tell us your delivery costs

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group seeks responses to a delivery cost survey. The goal of the survey: to highlight the differences in the costs of delivering care to various geographic areas. The survey asks suppliers to provide information on time spent traveling to patient homes, estimated setup times, location of business and other items. “It is critical that we get as much feedback as possible to help give a stronger argument to legislators,” VGM stated in a bulletin on Tuesday.

FRESCA Medical joins sleep therapy market

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted FRESCA Medical’s de novo request to market its CURVE Positive Airway Pressure delivery system for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. “FDA clearance of the CURVE System for obstructive sleep apnea is our first step toward becoming a recognized innovator in sleep apnea,” said John Cox, president and CEO. “This market is already one of the largest applications for cloud-based patient monitoring and engagement, and our goal is to leverage the latest connected health technology to treat, delight and engage patients and providers, while reducing healthcare costs.” The key to the Curve System, FRESCA says, is a patented SmartValve technology that allows the treatment of OSA with far less airflow than conventional CPAP systems. The company says the system has the potential to solve many of the complaints that cause sleep apnea sufferers to abandon therapy or refuse to event try it. It says the results from a prospective, controlled, randomized, crossover, evaluator-blinded trial demonstrated that the system was non-inferior to CPAP, the current gold standard in the treatment of sleep apnea. It says patients treated with the system showed significant improvement in baseline values for the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) and the Oxygen Desaturation Index (ODI), both within the normal range (i.e., AHI 2.9/hr, ODI 1.4/hr).

Motivo launches Tour nationwide

MILWAUKEE – Motivo now offers its Motivo Tour Walker nationwide, the company announced June 25. The company launched the Tour in limited release last year. The Tour, which is available at www.motivolife.com starting at $499, features, among other things, a stow-away seat design that allows users to walk upright inside the frame, rather than hunched over behind it, helping to relieve back and neck pressure by 60%. Motivo announced earlier in June that it had completed nearly $1 million in Series A financing, allowing the company to further develop and scale its new in-house manufacturing capabilities, and support its national launch and advertising campaign. The company has raised nearly $5 million in all.