In brief: Settlement dampens Liberator Medical's earnings, senators ask CMS to backpedal on accessories

Friday, August 14, 2015

STUART, Fla. – Liberator Medical Holdings has reported net revenues of $20.4 million for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2015, a 9.7% increase compared to the same period last year.

It reported a net income of $1.7 million vs. $2 million, a 15.8% decrease.

The increase in revenues was due primarily to Liberator Medical’s continued emphasis on its direct response advertising campaign to acquire new customers.

The decrease in income was due to a one-time expense of $600,000 associated with an agreement to settle a civil qui tam lawsuit in which the company, among others, was charged with violating the False Claims Act for engaging in illegal kickback arrangements with Coloplast. The other defendants named in the lawsuit are Hollister, 180 Medical, A-Med Health Care Center, Byram Healthcare Centers, CCS Medical, RGH Enterprises, d/b/a Edgepark Medical Supplies, and Shield California Health Care Center.

Liberator Medical has reported net revenues of $60.3 million for the first six months of 2015, a 9.9% increase over the same period last year. It reported a net income of $5.8 million vs. $5.7 million, a 1.2% increase.

Senators ask CMS to backpedal on accessories

WASHINGTON – A bi-partisan group of 23 senators sent a letter to CMS last week asking the agency to rescind its plan to apply competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex rehab wheelchairs. The letter was lead by Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “The conversations with these offices over the past week, and with those who were not able to sign on at this time, have created an important increase in Senate awareness and support on this issue,” said Don Clayback in a bulletin to members. “We will need that as we move ahead.” In the House of Representatives, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would provide technical correction to prevent CMS from applying competitive bidding pricing to accessories for complex rehab.

NHIA seeks feedback on outcomes elements

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association is accepting stakeholder comments on newly revised Definitions for Patient Outcomes Data Elements to be used in the collection of data to assess the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of home and specialty infusion care. Providers, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, payers, accreditors and other healthcare professionals can submit feedback on NHIA’s website. The revised definitions are part of the association’s ongoing efforts to establish field-specific demographic, operational and clinical quality benchmarks. The latest iteration of definitions builds upon and updates previous definition established in 2012. Revised definitions include adverse drug reaction, ER use, unscheduled hospitalization, access device events, medication error and therapy complete.

ACHC gets accepted by Highmark Health

CARY, N.C. – The Accreditation Commission for Health Care’s sleep accreditation program has received acceptance by Highmark Health, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Effective this month, the approval allows ACHC-accredited sleep providers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia to access Highmark Health’s network. Highmark Health and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans serving 53 million members in those states.

RESNA revises position on tilt and recline

ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA has released an updated position paper on tilt, recline and elevating legrests. “Since the original publication in 2010, there’s been additional scientific evidence for various functional uses for tilt, recline and elevating legrests,” said lead author Brad Dicianno, medical director at the University of Pittsburgh. RESNA states that these features are often medically necessary, allowing users to realign posture, improve respiration, bowel and bladder function, redistribute and relieve pressure, and manage edema. To keep up with changing technology, research and clinical best practice, RESNA’s position papers are reviewed every five years.

MedForce, Universal Software integrate

SUFFERN, N.Y., and DAVISON, Mich. – MedForce Technologies and Universal Software Solutions have developed an interface that enables automated transfer of patient demographics, documentation and other information. The integration streamlines workflows, eliminates duplicate data entry and ensures instant access to information at all times, according to the companies. “In health care, it is critically important that software systems work together for providers to realize the improvement in productivity they’ve been promised,” said Nathan Apter, chief technology officer at MedForce, in a press release. MedForce provides document and process management solutions; Universal Software provides a practice management solution known as Healthcare Data Management System or HDMS.

Attendance at AZMESA event tops charts

PHOENIX – The Arizona Medical Equipment Suppliers Association saw record attendance at its annual conference held Aug. 6 in Phoenix, according to a press release. The association has also seen its ranks grow for the fifth consecutive year. It now represents 44 companies in the state with 80 member contacts. “We are still a small association, but we are seeing more and more interest and recognition here,” said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of the association. “We are aggressively moving to attract a larger number of providers in the state.” More than 65 people attended the conference to hear sessions from VGM’s John Gallagher, AAHomecare’s Jay Witter and others.

HME industry leaves imprint on Inc. 500 list

Brightreehas ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row. “This achievement recognizes the talent, dedication and passion of our employees in creating innovative solutions for the post-acute healthcare market,” said Dave Cormack, president and CEO, in a release. The list ranks companies according to percentage revenue growth between 2011 and 2014. In that timeframe, Brightree has grown 128%, reporting a revenue of $96.6 million in 2014…Carolina’s Home Medical Equipment also made the list for the fourth consecutive year. The company ranked in the top 15 healthcare companies in North Carolina. “Having experienced a 50% reimbursement cut from most payers over the last three to four years, it is clear to me that the relationships we have with our customers and referral sources made this possible,” said Frank Trammell, president and CEO, in a press release. “This could not have happened without an extremely proficient staff that is dedicated to the notion of extreme customer service.”…Cape Medical Supply also made the list for the sixth time. Claiming No. 4,003 this year, the company has experienced 73% revenue growth over the past three years, has added 25 new jobs and has continued to expand its geographic reach.

Inogen gets new board member

GOLETA, Calif. – R. Scott Greer has been appointed an independent director to Inogen’s board of directors. Greer has also been appointed to the company’s Audit Committee. He will serve as a Class I director, with a term expiring at the annual meeting of stockholders on Oct. 14, 2015. Greer, who is a director of Sientra and numerous biopharmaceutical companies, replaces Timothy Petersen, who served on the board since 2010. Previously, Greer was chairman of Inogen’s board of directors from 2005 to 2007.