In brief: Pride Mobility goes all in, four sleep companies merge

Friday, October 14, 2016

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products has begun manufacturing its lift chairs in a wholly owned, vertically integrated manufacturing plant in Pontotoc, Miss.

Pride’s lift chairs are manufactured from start to finish at the plant, called Pride Mississippi.

“We realize that the only way to achieve a win-win for all is to stay true to our 30-year roots in lift chairs and evolve our wholly owned, vertically integrated manufacturing here in the U.S. via Pride Mississippi,” said Joe O’Brien, senior vice president of global manufacturing at Pride Mobility Products.

At the plant, which currently employs 100, Pride Mobility Products is using state-of-the-art computerized cutters to form each of the lift chair’s engineered inner structures, while master craftsmen add the springs, upholstery and lift mechanisms.

Providers will begin receiving models built in the plant as of Nov. 7. The majority of lift chairs will be built there by Jan. 1, 2017.

“We’re proud to demonstrate through three decades of manufacturing lift chairs that wholly ‘Made-in-the-USA’ creates superior product outcomes,” said Patrick Ramey, director of manufacturing at Pride Mississippi.

Four sleep companies merge

GREENVILLE, S.C. – SleepWorks and MedBridge Home Medical, both subsidiaries of MedBridge Healthcare, have completed their acquisition of Active Healthcare’s CPAP business and its IntegraSleep sleep lab business.

“We are thrilled that our award-winning diagnostic sleep and CPAP supply program is going to a great home that values the tremendous goodwill we have built up in our community,” said Lisa Feierstein, president of Raleigh, N.C.-based Active Healthcare, which will now focus on asthma therapy and diabetes care.

Active Healthcare’s CPAP business and IntegraSleep operated as the Sound Sleep Institute, an integrated, nationally recognized program providing sleep testing and CPAP equipment and supplies.

SleepWorks, a provider of sleep laboratory management services, already performs more than 60,000 sleep studies annually across 21 states.

“Both SleepWorks and IntegraSleep place great emphasis on a patient-centric approach to sleep medicine,” said Robert Miller, vice president of operations for SleepWorks. “Their focus, like ours, is to provide the best possible care for patients with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Together, we will continue to provide innovative solutions and proactive care for people in the greater Raleigh market.

MedBridge Home Medical, like Active Healthcare, offers treatment for sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions.

In addition to SleepWorks and MedBridge Home Medical, Greenville, S.C.-based MedBridge Healthcare owns and operates sleep centers under the names Precision Diagnostic Services, Sleep Services of America, and Southeast Sleep; and HME companies under the names Sleep Easy Therapeutics, CPAP Solutions and Palmetto Oxygen.

Invacare to SCI patients: ‘You’re not alone’

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has launched a new digital community for spinal cord injury patients called Roll Revolution.

Roll Revolution will serve as a hub for resources and education on how to thrive and connect after an SCI. It will feature clinical, product and lifestyle tips and tricks, including first-hand advice from SCI patients.

“There are more than 12,000 new spinal cord injuries each year,” said Maegen Hurtado, digital marketing manager at Invacare. “By providing resources and education to let patients know they are not alone and that yes they can be as active as they want, we hope to shorten the knowledge acquisition phase during an SCI.”

Roll Revolution has a website,, that will publish two new blog posts each week, and has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Having a robust presence on social media was important, Hurtado says, because more than ever, that’s where people turn to share stories, get advice and interact with those like them.

“Roll Revolution is meant to help SCI patients get social about their SCI early on and learn about all the opportunities available to them,” she said.

Email updates from Roll Revolution are available at

Avid Rehab goes to market

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Avid, the new complex rehab division of Merits Health Products, has launched its first power wheelchair and has added two industry veterans to its team to promote the product.

"The Vector couldn't have a more timely launch,” said Dave Jones, who has been named national rehab sales manager. “The market needs complex rehab products with the right features that are economically sound. With reimbursement cuts, manufacturers must develop products that meet the needs of end users but can be delivered cost competitively.”

In addition to Jones, Merits has hired Mike Pennington as its eastern regional sales manager to build out Avid.

Merits follows in the footsteps of Shoprider, which created a complex rehab division named ROVI Mobility Products in 2013 and began shipping its X3 power base with Motion Concepts power positioning in 2015.

Avid is now accepting orders for the Vector. 

Bronson at Home shifts business

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Bronson at Home will close its retail store for oxygen and medical supplies on Nov. 1, opting instead for home delivery. The provider, which serves 12 counties across southwest and south central Michigan, blames changes in Medicare reimbursement for the shift. Bronson at Home will store and deliver supplies at its 165 N. Washington Ave. location in Battle Creek. It will still offer CPAP equipment at its 5161 B Drive South location in Battle Creek. Bronson at Home is the result of a merger last year between Lifespan and Bronson Home Health Care.

Melissa Cross awarded first ever Van Miller Award

ATLANTA – AAHomecare will present Melissa Cross, vice president of the homecare division for O.E. Meyer, with the Van Miller Homecare Champion Award at the association’s Stand Up for Homecare reception on Nov. 1. The award honors AAHomecare members who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community throughout their careers. This year, the award has been renamed to reflect the characteristics of an HME visionary, Van Miller, past CEO and founder of the VGM Group, who passed away in October of 2015. Last year, the association honored Joey Tart and Billy Tart of Family Medical Supply.  

HME Woman of the Year finalists announced

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has named the four finalists for the inaugural HME Woman of the Year Award. They are: Rose Schafhauser, owner of Association Management, who serves as executive director for MAMES, AZMESA and WAMES; Dr. Kirsten Davin, owner and president of Precision Seating Solutions; Laurie Tomaszewski, chief sales and marketing officer for Handi Medical Supply; and Patricia Mastandrea, COO of MedCare Equipment Company. The award seeks to honor a woman who has made “increasingly significant contributions throughout her career to both her company and the home medical equipment industry.” VGM received 37 nominations for the award which was first announced in June at the VGM Heartland Conference. The winner will be announced at Medtrade.

Compass Health Brands integrates with Brightree

CLEVELAND – Compass Health Brands has partnered with Brightree as an integrated electronic purchasing partner. The arrangement allows HME providers to streamline their workflow by ordering equipment and supplies from Compass Health directly through the Brightree Integrated e-Purchasing Platform. Now, when a provider creates a purchase order in the Brightree platform, a transmission is sent through a secure FTP connection to Compass Health, linking the two systems and enabling providers to view item availability and pricing in real time. Providers can also perform one-touch drop shipments, receive automatic confirmations and submit purchase orders directly to Compass Health.

Mediware integrates with IMS

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems is now an integrated solution provider with Integrated Medical Systems, a specialty distributor for the home infusion, specialty pharmacy and respiratory markets. Mediware customers will now have the option to streamline their inventory and order management processes with IMS directly using their CareTend system. “CareTend home infusion and specialty pharmacy customers will be able to simplify electronic purchasing, shipping, and inventory replenishment through automation that will save time and ensure that providers never run out of supplies,” Mediware stated.

…goes mobile with CareTend

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems will launch the CareTend Anywhere mobile application at Medtrade later this month. The app allows customers to access Mediware’s CareTend software application from any location, regardless of the device they are using. “Providers will see firsthand how using mobile delivery tools can speed delivery times so that patients receive their supplies sooner and staff have more time to complete new orders,” said Paul O’Toole, vice president and general manager of Mediware’s Home Care Solutions division. Medtrade takes place Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 in Atlanta.

Providers adopting mobile technology, Apacheta and Brightree say

MEDIA, Pa. – Apacheta Corp. and Brightree have seen close to a 60% compound monthly growth rate in customer adoption of mobile technology since they began a partnership two years ago. Apacheta, a provider of mobile business solutions, and Brightree, a provider of cloud-based clinical, business management and billing software solutions, partnered in June 2014 to provide an integrated mobile delivery management solution to HME providers. Customers who have adopted mobile technology have seen, among other benefits, a 25% reduction in overhead costs by streamlining their order and delivery processes, the companies say. Apacheta and Brightree plan to continue and expand on their partnership.

Industry vets launch VirtueRN

CHAPIN, S.C. – Two industry veterans have developed and launched VirtueRN, a hospice-HME workflow solution. VirtueRN is the brainchild of Jason Jacobs, former vice president and general manager of a division of Chart Industries, and Gibran Ameer, former COO of Jaysec Technologies. It offers real-time visibility for better decision-making, AutoSync Billing Technology for end-to-end billing, and an executive dashboard for information at a glance. “Although we designed this solution with the needs of both the hospice and the HME in mind, the HME provider is our client,” said Ameer, CEO, in a release. “We really listened to the home medical equipment market when they asked for a solution that was a bridge between them and the growing hospice market.”

Convaid gives again

TORRANCE, Calif. – Convaid and R82 will participate in the United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwestern Washington 17th Semi-Annual Family Support Conference on Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Disabilities. Rob Proracki, business development representative, will present a lightweight, compact folding pediatric wheelchair to a family chosen by the UCP organization. The conference will be held Oct. 21 and 22 in Portland, Ore. In April, Covaid announced it planned to ramp up its donations to United Cerebral Palsy.

‘The Retail Doctor’ to present at Medtrade

ATLANTA – Golden Technologies will sponsor an exclusive presentation by Bob Phibbs, known as “The Retail Doctor,” at Medtrade. Phibbs will present at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Room C111; seating is limited to 300. He will discuss how to engage customers and increase sales; how to increase value through people, not price; and how to grow margins using easy retail tools. Phibbs is an expert retail speaker, award-winning author and in-demand motivational speaker. Old Forge, Pa.-based Golden Technologies is a manufacturer of lift and recline chairs that emphasizes retail sales.

New hire to grow new markets at Ottobock

AUSTIN, Texas – Ottobock North America has appointed Chris Nolan vice president of the orthotics business unit. He will help lead the company’s strategic efforts in O&P and provide guidance into growing new markets. Nolan comes to Ottobock from Endolite, a Miamisburg, Ohio-based company that manufactures lower limb prosthetic feet, knees, ankles, limb systems and liners, where he was vice president and general manager. Before that, he held positions at DJO in Vista, Calif., and Ossur in Foothill Ranch, Calif. Nolan currently serves on the board for the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association as chairman of the National Assembly Committee.