In brief: ResMed acquires Jaysec, study finds access issues
SAN DIEGO – ResMed has acquired Jaysec, a provider of Internet-based solutions for HME providers, it was announced Feb. 10. ResMed will now offer Jayec products, including GoJaysec, an automated resupply program that directs patients to a self-serve portal. "Jaysec's products streamline key business practices, such as resupply, allowing home medical equipment providers to focus on delivering quality care for their patients," said Raj Sodhi, president of ResMed's Healthcare Informatics Global Business Unit. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based Jaysec was founded in 2002 and serves nearly 110 HME providers in the U.S., including a number of national providers.
Study finds access issues for insulin pumps
CHICAGO – Contract suppliers aren’t making insulin pumps and replacement supplies available to Medicare beneficiaries in competitive bidding areas, says the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The AADE surveyed 29 suppliers in the nine initial CBAs to ask about the availability of specific brands and models of insulin pumps and supplies. Of those suppliers, only 17 (58%) reported carrying insulin pumps and only 18 (62%) reported carrying replacement supplies. Of those who offer insulin pumps, many carry only one brand. “This failure to comply with the program results in limited access to necessary equipment for people with diabetes,” said James Specker, director of federal and state advocacy for AADE. “This action has significant and dramatic ramifications for Medicare spending on diabetes, as well as the health of patients who rely on insulin pumps to help manage their disease.” CMS included insulin pumps in the external infusion pump product category as part of the Round 1 re-compete, despite the HME industry’s protests. Contract suppliers are required to provide all products in each category. The AADE recommends that CMS enforce its requirements that suppliers make all Medicare-covered pumps and supplies available; and remove pumps and supplies from the “overly broad” external infusion pump category.
Customer retention pays off at Liberator Medical
STUART, Fla. – Liberator Medical Holdings reported net sales of $20.2 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2014, an 8.5% increase compared to the same period in 2013. The increase was primarily due to the company’s continued emphasis on a direct response advertising campaign to acquire new customers and its emphasis on customer service to maximize reorder rates. “Our growth this quarter was driven by a 10% improvement in revenue from our existing customers,” stated Mark Libratore, president and CEO, in a press release. “Customer retention has been and will continue to be a priority.” Liberator reported net income of $2.4 million, a 14.2% increase. The company also reported cash of $11.95 million as of Dec. 31, 2014, compared to cash of $12.26 million as of Sept. 30, 2014, a decrease of $307,000. The decrease was due to $1.75 million of cash used in investing activities, partially offset by $1.46 million of cash provided by operating activities.
Med Emporium sets stage for growth, acquisitions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Med Emporium, a provider of clinical respiratory services in the Southeast, has completed a minority recapitalization with Culbro, a New York-based, family-controlled private equity firm. The founders of Med Emporium, William Conn, CEO, and Mary Ann Largen, COO, will continue to lead the company. Edgar Cullman and David Danziger of Culbro will join the company in a board capacity. “We are excited to announce our partnership with the team at Culbro, which will enable us to continue our rapid organic growth, while also opening up the possibility of strategic acquisitions,” stated Conn in a press release. Med Emporium specializes in ventilator therapy and services through clinical evaluation, monitoring and treatment of patients with pulmonary, neuromuscular and restrictive disorders.
Associations partner for ‘grander program’
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The Home Medical Equipment & Services Association of New England and the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association will team up to present the Northeast Post Acute Care Symposium, slated for May 11-13 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn. The program will provide an overview of state and federal efforts to shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, including the rise of accountable care organizations. “It is imperative, as associations representing the HME providers, that we create a grander program that will provide both insight into the changing world of government based insurance and align our members to these new entities,” said Carol Napierski, executive director of NYMEP. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org
OIG says New York could save big on DME
WASHINGTON – The New York Medicaid program could have saved $8.9 million in 2011-2012, if it had established a competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. The OIG reviewed 70 DME items and found that for 54 items average Medicare payments rates were significantly lower than New York Medicaid rates. The state disagreed with the OIG’s recommendation to establish a competitive bidding program.
Provider included in new book from Wheel:Life
TAMPA, Fla. – Wheel:Life, an online community for wheelchair users worldwide, has published “Reconnecting: Relationship Advice from Wheelchair Users” as an e-book on Amazon.com. The book features six people who use wheelchairs sharing their perspectives on friends, family and relationships, including Chris Malcolm, the founder of iPush and vice president of At Home Medical Products. “Wheel:Life continuously receives inquiries from people who are seeking advice on relationships with their friends, family, co-workers and loved ones, especially from those who are new to using a wheelchair,” said author Lisa Wells, president of Get Social Consulting. “While Wheel:Life doesn’t have all of the answers, we are thrilled to provide meaningful support by offering this book filled with personalized advice from wheelchair users.”
Oncologix wins with EsteemCare
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Oncologix, a medical holding company, says it has seen increased referrals and revenue growth from its recently acquired subsidiary, EsteemCare, a DME company in South Carolina that is a Medicare contract supplier for respiratory products. New marketing initiatives by EsteemCare have resulted in the company expanding its footprint in two new markets. Additionally, EsteemCare has made changes to its internal operational processes to focus on increased respiratory therapy staffing and enhanced procurement procedures, resulting in a 25% increase in gross margins and an 11% increase in revenues within the first four months of operations. Oncologic acquired EsteemCare in September 2014.
Ricon agrees to consent order
PANORAMA CITY, Calif. – Ricon Corp. has agreed to a consent order that requires the company to pay a $1.75 million civil penalty and to receive increased oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for continuing to sell defective wheelchair lifts even after issuing a recall of the lifts to remedy a potential fire hazard, according to the Department of Transportation. Beginning in September 2012, Ricon recalled more than 4,000 wheelchair lifts that it sold to manufacturers of vans and buses. The recall remedied a defective cable that could spark a fire. In January 2014, however, Ricon informed the NHTSA that it had mistakenly continued to produce and sell the lifts with the safety defect. In March 2014, after an investigation by the NHTSA, it issued another recall for 356 defective lifts.
German court upholds injunction in ResMed vs. BMC
SAN DIEGO – ResMed announced Feb. 12 that the Munich District Court has upheld an injunction against Chinese medical device manufacturer BMC Medical. The injunction prohibits BMC from offering, selling or distributing infringing mask products in Germany. The court has upheld an injunction first rendered in November 2013 that respiratory mask assemblies, such as BMC’s Willing and FeaLite nasal pillow masks, infringe ResMed’s European patent EP 1356842. BMC will not be allowed to sell infringing mask products at least until the German Federal Patent Court addresses BMC’s challenges to the validity of the patent.
Accreditors in the news: ACHC, BOC
The Cary, N.C.-based Accreditation Commission for Health Care has partnered with the Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice. Per the partnership, ACHC will offer special pricing for accreditation to VAHC members, and VAHC will provide educational support for members going through initial or renewal accreditation…The Board of Certification/Accreditation recently earned NCCA reaccreditation for its pedorthist certification program for another five-year period. BOC first received accreditation for the program in 2008. About 275 professionals are currently certified BOC pedorthists.
People and places: Laboratory Marketing, BioScrip and RemZzzs
Ryan McDevitt has joined Anna McDevitt at Laboratory Marketing. Ryan McDevitt will add business development consulting to the company’s brand development services. With Ryan McDevitt on board, the company will transition to Laboratory Tactical Consulting. Previously, Ryan McDevitt was a senior account manager with Brightree…Elmsford, N.Y.-based BioScrip will nominate David Golding, Michael Goldstein and R. Carter Pate to its board of directors at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. BioScrip has entered into an agreement with DSC Advisors and Cloud Gate Capital, which own about 7.2% of the company’s outstanding shares, that will allow Golding to attend all board meetings as a non-voting observer and serve on the governance, compliance and nominating committee. Golding has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry within the home infusion and specialty pharmacy, hospital and retail sectors. He is the former executive vice president of specialty pharmacy at CVS/Caremark…Robert Rutan, developer of the RemZzzs CPAP Mask Liner participated in the NFL Players Association’s 10th annual “Smocks & Jocks” Art Show during the week of the Super Bowl. Rutan is working with Carl Eller, a former player for the Minnesota Vikings and Hall of Famer, on a campaign to promote CPAP therapy success and compliance. Eller, who uses the company’s liners, had two pieces of art up for auction to benefit charities.