In brief: Rotech ‘ready to assist,’ Universal Software makes buy

Friday, March 25, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech Healthcare announced last week that it has received contract offers for general HME and standard mobility for all 117 competitive bidding areas as part of the Round 2 re-compete.

The national provider has also received offers for respiratory equipment for 116 CBAs.

The offers are a bittersweet, Rotech says.

“While we are excited about winning oxygen and CPAP in 116 CBAs, we are also disappointed bid pricing rates continue to reach levels that are devastating to the industry,” said Tim Pigg, CEO, in a press release.

CMS released new single payment amounts for the Round 2 re-compete on March 15, doling out cuts that range from a few percentage points to up to 20% above and beyond the original Round 2. It plans to announce contract suppliers this spring and apply new pricing July 1.

Rotech says it expects the reimbursement cuts to force providers to close their doors, resulting in “extreme” access to care issues.

“Rotech will be ready to assist patients stranded by their current provider,” the company stated.

Universal Software acquires document management system

DAVISON, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions has purchased Metridoc, the content management and document imaging asset of Certerline, Mich.-based Titan Solutions.Metridoc provides a flexible application programming interface for both web-based and premise solutions, allowing third party components to be added for further enhancements, such as OCR, 2D and 3D barcode recognition, document conversions, translation services and handwriting recognition. “With the addition of this product, in very short order, it will soon evolve into a tightly integrated component within HDMS and will greatly improve the end-user experience within a single system,” said Christopher Dobiesz, president of USS, in a release. USS will assume the ongoing customer service to the current users of Metridoc as it develops additional functionality. The Metridoc name will remain the property of Titan Solutions; a new product name has not been officially announced. 

WHILL targets Medicare market

SAN FRANCISCO – WHILL has received FDA clearance for its Model M, paving the way for doctors to prescribe the power wheelchair as a medical device. WHILL already offers its Model A for cash sale. Model M keeps the four-wheel drive, patented all-direction wheels and sleek design of the Model A, but also offers customizable features like arm and back supports, and ankle huggers. WHILL also plans to apply for a HCPCS code for Medicare reimbursement. “FDA clearance is inline with our mission to change the perception of mobility devices, such as wheelchairs and scooters, which are often stigmatized for having a clinical appearance,” the company stated in an email.

Apothecary by Design buys pharmacy

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Apothecary by Design, a specialty pharmacy, has acquired Warrenville, Ill.-based Healy Pharmacy. Both pharmacies specialize in infertility treatment, serving complementary geographic markets with little overlap. The deal allows them to share resources to better serve patients and prescribers, they say. "In addition, the partnership blends each pharmacy's unique areas of expertise, such as Healy's strength in oncology and ABD's experience in infectious and inflammatory diseases," said ABD CEO Mark McAuliffe in a release. The Braff Group originated the transaction, and served as the exclusive mergers and acquisitions advisor to Healy Pharmacy.

ASAA receives funding for study

WASHINGTON – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors has approved a three-year, $2.5 million demonstration project called the O2VERLAP Study, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) has announced. The multi-partner demonstration project will compare the effectiveness of proactive care (web-based peer coaching education and support intervention) versus reactive care on improving adherence to nocturnal oxygen and CPAP therapies in patients diagnosed with both COPD and OSA. It will also compare the effectiveness of the two intervention groups on patient-centered outcomes, including sleep quality and symptoms. The award has been approved pending completion of a business and program review by PCORI staff, and issuance of a formal award contract.

Mediware extends reach of new tool

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems and its business intelligence partner, Rock-Pond Solutions, have released real-time BI reporting for current HME, home infusion and specialty pharmacy CPR+ customers. Once incorporated into CPR+, the BI suite will allow users to analyze trends, track current performance and anticipate future needs. “The new reporting suite is designed to help CPR+ customers save time managing their data every day with real-time custom reporting, easy-to-follow dashboards and ad-hoc analysis,” the company states in a release. “Providers will also have access to automated exception reporting that instantly notifies staff when key performance metrics are above preset limits.” Mediware recently released a BI solution for Fastrack customers.

PMDRX launches seating evaluation tool

GLENDALE, Ariz. – PMDRX has launched the Therapist Functional Mobility and Seating Evaluation tool. The cloud-based tool will enable therapists to assess all parameters of clinical assessment to determine patient-specific seating and mobility needs, according to a press release. Upon completing the evaluation, therapists can auto-format the completed exam into a CMS-compliant report of the assessment, and can electronically authenticate and sign the final documentation with their password-protected electronic signature.

Study: Patient monitoring limits adverse drug effects

NEW ORLEANS – Close monitoring of patients receiving infusions of infliximab prevented adverse drug events, according to a new study from Option Care. The study included 291 Option Care patients who received 1,866 infusions of infliximab, an immune system suppressant used to treat a variety of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Among the study’s findings: None of the infusions were associated with a severe ADE; 13 were associated with a moderate ADE, such as fever; and 65 were associated with a mild ADE, such as a headache. “Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that home infusion administered by a high quality provider is safe and effective,” said Kendra Curry, PharmD, corporate director of Option Care Specialty Infusion Programs, in a release.

Arkansas recognizes BOC for licensure

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Arkansas is the latest state to recognize Board of Certification/Accreditation examinations for licensure of providers in the orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic professions. The Arkansas Department of Health made the rule change in January following a recommendation by the Arkansas Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics Advisory Board. CMS, Veterans Affairs and other states have recognized BOC credentials to ensure requisite knowledge and competence to provide quality care. The Arkansas decision follows similar recent decisions in Iowa and Pennsylvania. “This will help reduce some of the unintended consequences of licensure, and allow well-established O&P professionals to relocate and continue practicing in these licensure states,” stated Claudia Zacharias, BOC president and CEO, in a press release.