In brief: Rowheels ‘redefines’ distribution channel, Heartland registration opens

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Friday, February 28, 2020

MADISON, Wis. – Rowheels has launched RehabPulse.com, an online marketplace for rehab equipment from the top manufacturers and brands.

To start, the site will initially offer manual and power wheelchairs, ramps, braces and compression, and aids to daily living. It will eventually expand to include other products, as well as service and repairs.

“We want RehabPulse.com to become the leading global technology platform to meet the complex demands of people with mobility challenges,” said Gaurav Mishra, CEO of Rowheels. “At Rowheels, we not only reinvented the wheelchair technology but also redefined the distribution channel and the whole customer experience.”

For sellers, RehabPulse.com features a seller dashboard, offering product and inventory management, pricing control and marketing management.

For customers, the website brings together the best rehab products in one place, while offering great deals, financing options, and access to the latest community news, guidance and videos.

McKesson, Compass Health, Ki Mobility, Merits Health, Motion Composites and WHILL are among the companies that have already signed up.

"We believe this site will revolutionize the industry for vendors and customers alike,” said Todd Aiazzone of Merits Health.
AAH: Walmart removes CPAP devices from website

WASHINGTON – Walmart has removed CPAP devices from its website, after hearing concerns from AAHomecare. Last week, the association had sent a letter to Walmart, reminding the retail giant that both federal and North Dakota laws prohibit the sale of CPAP devices without prescriptions. AAHomecare wrote the letter after a provider in the state, Sanford Healthcare, reported being approached by someone who had purchased a CPAP device from Walmart.com. North Dakota also requires that clinically trained professionals set up CPAP devices. The North Dakota Board of Pharmacy had opened an investigation into the matter.

Sunrise Medical acquires Oracing

FRESNO, Calif. – Sunrise Medical has acquired Oracing, a Spanish manufacturer of sports, made-to-measure wheelchairs and E-Mobility power products sold primarily in Europe. “Sports and E-Mobility are exciting yet still very fragmented market spaces with great growth potential,” said Thomas Babacan, group CEO at Sunrise. “Oracing complements and strengthens our portfolio. They have achieved impressive growth with their expertise and passion.” Babacan said the two companies have good synergies in product, R&D and processes. Oracing will continue to be run by its current team under the Oracing brand.

Registration now open for Heartland

WATERLOO, Iowa – Registration is open for VGM’s annual Heartland Conference, which takes place June 15-17 in Waterloo, Iowa. Early Bird Pricing is available to those who register before April 17. Passes are all-inclusive and include access to this year’s pre-conference sessions, as well as all conference education, meals, entertainment and access to products and business solutions offered by VGM's vast network of vendors. “We’re pleased to announce that registration is now open for Heartland 2020,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “We have an exciting lineup of speakers this year. When you combine the unbeatable education with the outstanding social events we have planned, this year’s conference is going to be one of the best Heartland experiences yet.” To learn more and register: vgmheartland.com.

Insulet reports year-over-year growth

ACTON, Mass. – Insulet Corp. reported revenue of $738.2 million for 2019, a 31% increase compared to 2018.

The company reported full-year revenue of $673.5 million for the Omnipod, broken down by U.S. revenue of $420.2 million and international revenue of $253.1 million, a 30% and 47% increase, respectively.

Insulet reported revenue of $209.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, a 27% increase compared to the same period in 2018. Operating income was $18.2 million.

"2019 was a remarkable year for Insulet, marked by disciplined execution of our strategy that allowed us to deliver consistent financial outperformance and strong operational results," said Shacey Petrovic, president and CEO. "With a solid foundation, pipeline of innovative technologies and proven strategy firmly in place, we made progress investing across our global organization to drive sustainable, long-term growth.”

Earlier in February, Insulet and DexCom announced they have partnered to combine current and future Dexcom CGMs with Insulet’s tubeless insulin delivery Pod into the Omnipod Horizon System.

GEC issues senior notes

WALTHAM, Mass. – Great Elm Capital has issued $30 million in 5% convertible senior notes due 2030.

Interest on the notes will be payable semiannually, in kind or in cash at the company’s option. The notes may initially be converted at the investors’ option at $3.4722 per share. Investors on the notes include the company’s largest existing shareholders, funds managed by Imperial Capital Asset Management and Northern Right Capital Management.

“We are pleased to have completed the notes offering, which we expect will allow the company to pursue additional acquisition opportunities,” said Peter Reed, Great Elm’s CEO. “We are thrilled to further our business affiliation with Imperial and its affiliated businesses.”

Great Elm also announced that Jason Reese, chairman and CEO of Imperial, and Eric Scheyer, partner at Magnetar Capital, will join its board of directors. H. Steven Wilson has resigned from the board.

Medtrade Spring transitions to Medtrade West

PHOENIX – Medtrade Spring will become Medtrade West and move from Las Vegas to Phoenix in 2021, show organizers have announced.

Organizers made the changes after a lengthy analysis of a survey conducted by an outside firm.

“Las Vegas has continued to be expensive for us as a show producer, as well as for attendees and exhibitors,” said Mark Lind, show director. “Phoenix showed up as one of the cities of interest in our survey, and it’s a great city to host a tradeshow.”

Medtrade West will take place April 12-14 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

In addition to the name and venue change, organizers also plan to change the format of Medtrade West to include more dedicated hours for the expo and conference.

“The schedule we’re looking at would have 75% of the expo time with no overlap of the conference,” said Sarah Varner, senior director of marketing. “We have other things to announce later.”

Medtrade will also change its name to Medtrade East in 2021.

ACMESA announces new board members

CARY, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Medical Equipment Services Association has announced its 2020 board of directors: President Craig Rae, Penrod Medical Equipment; Vice President Brian Wilson, Commonwealth Home Health Care; Secretary Kimberly Lynn, Carolina Apothecary; Treasurer Frank Trammell, Carolinas Home Medical Equipment; and Immediate Past President, Brad Heath, Family Medical Supply. At-large directors are Pam Long, National Seating and Mobility; Laura Williard, AAHomecare; Chris Burgess, Med Emporium; Tyler Kiser, TLC Group Medical; Regina Gillispie, Best Home Medical; and as associate director, Jeff Powell, ResMed. ACMESA held its 2020 Winter Meeting Feb. 5-6 at the Durham Convention Center.

WellSky Foundation honors outreach group

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The WellSky Foundation has awarded $50,000 to Mobile Loaves & Fishes, an Austin, Texas-based outreach for the homeless. MLF will use the donation to expand its Community First! Village, a master-planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for people coming out of homelessness. “Building empowered, supportive communities is vital to our mission of lifting our neighbors out of chronic homelessness,” said Alan Graham, founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. “We firmly believe that providing housing alone won’t solve homelessness, but building communities will. Partnering with the WellSky Foundation means we can continue growing the programs we provide, strengthening our relationships with Community First! Village neighbors, and helping more of our friends experiencing homelessness get the care, compassion, and community support they need to heal.” WellSky in 2019 launched WellSky Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life by removing social barriers to better health outcomes.

Industry thought leaders issue white paper

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Joey Graham and Ty Bello have published a white paper “2021 & Beyond: From Surviving to Thriving.” Content includes: an overview of past industry struggles; outlook on future industry success; guidelines for success in a new era; and tips to create a robust 2021 budget. “HME providers have operated in one way over the last 16 years: survival mode,” says Graham, executive vice president and general manager at Prochant. “We can’t expect providers to thrive in our industry without guiding them through this important paradigm shift.” Bello is CEO at Team@Work.

van Halem Group, Ossur partner to improve O&P documentation

ATLANTA – The van Halem Group will provide clinical prescreen reviews and appeal services for custom orthotics and prosthetics provided by Ossur’s customers.

The services will include, but will not be limited to, a prescreen review of documents to determine if all coverage requirements have been met prior to submission for reimbursement, as well as access to the van Halem Group’s team of clinical experts.

“We know all too well the challenges and hurdles our customers face when submitting claims for reimbursement,” said Wayne van Halem, president of the van Halem Group. “Our primary goal is to assist Ossur’s customers in making sure they get paid without the risk or concern of having it recouped down the road.”

The Reykjavik, Iceland-based Ossur develops, manufactures and sells non-invasive orthopedic equipment, including bracing and support products, compression therapy products and prosthetics.

DarioHealth to offer diabetes system through Albertsons

NEW YORK – DarioHealth has launched its digital therapeutics solution for managing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension on Albertsons Marketplace. Dario will offer its “Membership-in-a-Box” package, which includes a Dario blood glucose meter, test strips and lancets. “Dario believes its presence on Albertsons Marketplace will create more consumer awareness of its technology and related benefits of helping individuals better manage their chronic diseases,” said Rick Anderson, president and general manager. “This agreement underscores the significant interest in our technology that we are seeing in the retail channel.” After starting their membership, the member will receive unlimited test strips and supplies based on their personal consumption recorded via their meter. They will also have access to a personal coach for education, support and motivation. Albertsons Companies is one of the largest retailers in the country, with more than 2,000 grocery stores and more than 1,700 in-store pharmacies.

PHS expands footprint with RSVP

ROSEVILLE, Minn. – Pediatric Home Service has announced a partnership with RSVP Home Care, a pediatric specialist group that serves patients in Ohio and Kentucky, and Pulmonary Partners, its adult division. “We are looking forward to bringing additional resources to our population, including PHS’s in-depth education materials,” said Mike Downing, founder of RSVP Home Care. “This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen and, over time, expand our services.” For the next six to 12 months, RSVP Home Care will carry a co-brand with PHS, before transitioning to a unified brand under PHS. Pulmonary Partners will retain its name.

eSolutions enhances DME platform

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – eSolutions has released an enhancement to its DME Eligibility platform called DME Same or Similar. The enhancement verifies all Medicare HCPCS codes, including A, L and V codes, for same or similar equipment items, helping providers to prevent denials, decrease write-offs and improve cash flow. “With this launch, we have substantially bolstered our DME provider suite of eligibility products,” said Chris Hart, vice president of product and strategy.” eSolutions says that, while other programs allow providers to check for HCPCS codes like E, B and K, they lack the technology to also verify A, L and V codes. “We could not check L codes anywhere except for the CGS website or by calling the IVR system on Medicare, but we never could get access,” said Michael Eddleman, orthotics manager at Britkare Home Medical. “Checking the L codes with eSolutions’ DME Same or Similar has helped tremendously with billing Medicare bracing patients.”

Bonafide launches solution to reduce bad debt

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Bonafide Medical Group has launched Eligibility Plus, a patient responsibility estimator that integrates with its workflow management software. It generates real-time estimates of the patient’s out-of-pocket responsibility at the point of service, allowing providers to more explain what is owed and why. This, in turn, lowers the potential for bad debt write-offs and improves staff efficiency and productivity. “Navigating health care costs with patients can be uncomfortable and stressful for everyone,” says Scott McDaniel, chief commercial officer. “Bonafide’s Eligibility Plus makes these conversations easier because it provides transparency and educates patients while optimizing the bottom line.”

Golden upgrades distribution

OLD FORGE, Pa. – Golden Technologies has expanded its distribution capabilities with a new facility in Laflin, Pa. The facility covers more than 170,000 square feet, and is equipped with state-of-the-art warehousing equipment and systems for faster order fulfillment. “The need for the products we offer is immediate,” said Rich Golden, CEO. “We are continuously looking for ways to provide a faster and more efficient experience to our retailers and customers. It is our goal to continue to improve as we work to grow our operations.” More than 110,000 square feet of the new facility are dedicated to finished goods, with the remainder dedicated to raw materials. The finished goods are stored in a six-level high racking system able to hold more than 20,000 boxed chairs. The racking system is organized with scanned locations for each item and uses a wire-guided forklift picking technology. The new facility also allows Golden to consolidate three outside warehouses.

NSM expands in Louisiana

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Functional Mobility Systems in Baton Rouge, La. The acquisition increases complex rehab services for pediatric patients across the southeast portion of the state, NSM says. “This partnership brings additional pediatric care experts and respected industry veterans to our growing team,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. Functional Mobility Systems has been owned and operated by Mark Tucker and Sean Reed, both ATPs. They will join the NSM team and continue to serve patients from the Baton Rouge branch.

Short takes: RESNA, Jackson Medical Supply, Infiniti Medical, Quality Biomedical, Foot Solutions, NorthShore Care Supply

RESNA’s board of directors seeks nominations for the annual RESNA awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the field of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering or their service to RESNA. Nominees are recognized at the RESNA Annual Conference. Review criteria here. Deadline is April 24…Jackson Medical Supply has been named Best Medical Supply Company by readers of the Daily Republic. The Vacaville, Calif.-based provider was opened by Wendy and Dallas Jackson…Infiniti Medical Solutions has been accredited by ACHC…Quality Biomedical has released version 3.0 of its Q-Connect equipment management platform. The new release features a user-friendly interface and dramatically improved speed…Foot Solutions, a retailer offering comfort shoes and custom orthotics, has been acquired by a group of private investors. The company oversees more than 150 franchised stores in 14 countries…NorthShore Care Supply has released its list of the best incontinence products for 2020, based on absorbency level, style and sizing, and features like odor control, comfort and breathability. The Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based provider and manufacturer was also named Newsweek’s “One of the Best Online Shops 2020.” The list ranks the top 1,000 shops across eight industries and 39 categories.

People: KeyCare Medical, Oventus

Bonnie Mattern has been named director of Minot, N.D.-based KeyCare Medical. Mattern has more than 20 years of health care management experience…Jake Nunn has joined the Oventus board as non-executive director. Nunn is a U.S.-based specialist health care investor who has been a partner with New Enterprise Associates, one of the world’s largest venture capital firms.