In brief: Rotech, Aerocare strike again

Friday, January 23, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech has made its second acquisition in as many months: the respiratory equipment assets of a company in Natchitoches, La. The name of the company was not disclosed. “This purchase is another step in Rotech’s aggressive expansion plan,” stated Tim Pigg, CEO, in a press release. “We will be continuing to further leverage and expand our presence in existing and new markets with the support of our long-term oriented investors.” In December, Rotech acquired the assets of a specialty medical services provider in Cody, Wyo.

AeroCare expands in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – AeroCare has acquired Plant City, Fla.-based Matrix Medical, a provider of home medical equipment, supplies and respiratory equipment with nine locations throughout Florida. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We’re looking forward to working with them to pursue opportunities and to care for our patients," AeroCare founder and CEO Steve Griggs said in a local news article. In late December, a planned merger between AeroCare and MergeWorthRx fell through.

VGM Insurance launches ‘Quarter Century of Caring Campaign’

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Insurance Services plans to donate $25,000 to charities nationwide to mark 25 years in business. In what it is calling its “Quarter Century of Caring Campaign,” VGM Insurance will award $1,000 to a handful of providers each month from March to December; providers, in turn, will donate the $1,000 to local charities. VGM Insurance will award 25 $1,000 donations in all. Providers can participate by nominating their local charities at the VGM Insurance website: “We’ve made it easy for HME businesses to participate and make their case for donating to their local charities,” stated Mike Kloos, president of VGM Insurance, in a press release.

PMD claims without G code are suspect, OIG says

WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) calls into question claims for power mobility devices (PMDs) without corresponding G-code claims in a new report. CMS introduced G0372 in 2005 for physicians to establish and document the need for PMDs. The OIG found that for PMD claims with corresponding G-code claims, Medicare paid the claims in accordance with federal requirements for face-to-face requirements of beneficiaries. It found for claims without corresponding G-code claims, however, that Medicare did not always pay the claims in accordance with federal requirements. Of 100 sample claims, the OIG found 53 claims met the requirements and 47 did not. On the basis of physician interviews, the agency concluded that many physicians are unfamiliar with the G code and the face-to-face requirements. The OIG recommends that CMS (1) adjust the 47 sample claims representing overpayments of $115,000 (2) require physicians to use the G code when prescribing PMDs and (3) require Part B contractors to educate physicians on the use of the G code and the face-to-face requirement.

AdvaCare seeks to bridge care gap

PITTSBURGH – AdvaCare Home Services has launched a program to help hospitals and other healthcare providers bridge the gap between in-patient and home care. The Patient Partner Program will use technology to continuously monitor patients and create detailed, individualized patient care plans and in-home assessments, according to a press release. “The program offers physicians and doctors an additional route that helps save lives and money,” said President Tammy Zelenko. “The focus is not only to help patients adjust to their diagnoses, but to make life-style changes, and educate them on their chronic diseases.”

Provider branches into Missouri

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Alpha 3 Medical Equipment has opened its first location here. The company offers home medical and respiratory equipment and supplies. Alpha 3 has been in business more than 10 years and has additional locations in southern Illinois.

Inogen CEO sells shares

NEW YORK – Inogen President and CEO Raymond Huggenberger sold 25,722 shares Jan. 20 at an average price of $31.63 for a total transaction of $813,586. Huggenberger now owns 6,808 shares of stock for a total value of $215,337.

Permobil hits the road

LEBANON, Tenn. – Permobil has planned 30 stops for its 2015 PowerTrip Revolution Tour. The tour provides an opportunity to test-drive new Permobil and TiLite products, get one-on-one time with product technicians and therapy specialist, and hang out with one of the company’s three road teams (the Sons of Mobility, the Out’Casters and the Wheeled Horseman). Permobil will also select a Club V.I.P. at each stop to help showcase its new products. V.I.P.s will win exclusive PowerTrip swag, and be entered to win a brand new Permobil and a trip for two to Nashville. The tour kicks off in Seattle on March 17 and ends in Minneapolis on June 25.

Maddak kicks off awards season

WAYNE, N.J. – Maddak is challenging occupational therapy schools to compete against each other in product design as part of its Maddak Intercollegiate Challenge. The winning school is determined by the number of student entries received, with extra points given to the school with the student who wins first place. The winner last year: Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Concord, N.C., which submitted 11 student entries. The challenge is part of the Annual Maddak Awards Competition for Product Design. The competition provides a forum for OT professionals and students to share their ideas and product innovations while competing for cash prizes. An awards ceremony will be held at the AOTA’s 95th Annual Conference & Expo in Nashville on April 16.

AARP survey: Aging in place—with help

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Eighty-five percent of registered voters age 45 and older in Oregon say they would prefer to live at home with the help of family caregivers for as long as possible, according to a new AARP survey. The majority (90%) of respondents also said it’s important to have services that allow people to stay in their homes when basic tasks become too difficult to perform; 50% said they are currently providing or have provided unpaid care for an elderly loved one; and 76% said family caregivers needs more resources and training.

People in the news: NRRTS, Inova Labs

NRRTS has hired two new staff members: Mary Blake Vint as association affairs coordinator and Annette Hodges as webinar organizer. Vint will head up renewals and customer service, while Hodges will improve the NRRTS webinar program and interact with presenters and attendees…Inova Labs has hired Dale West as senior vice president of operations. West has 20 years worth of experience in the home healthcare industry, previously holding executive and senior leadership positions at Philips Respironics, Dynamics and Frito-Lay.