In brief: Sleep providers report volume increases, Essity lists on Nasdaq

Friday, June 23, 2017

NEW YORK – Sleep patient volume grew 4.4% in the last 12 months and is expected to grow 5.1% in the next 12 months, according to respondents to the second quarter 2017 HME Sleep and Oxygen Survey conducted by Needham and HME News.

That’s up significantly from 0.8% and 2.5%, respectively, in a prior survey.

Flow generator prices declined 1.8% in the last 12 months (vs. a decline of 3.8% in a prior survey), and mask prices declined 3.1% (vs. 4.4%), according to respondents.

“This represents a reversal of the worsening price declines seen in our prior two surveys that followed the 2016 Medicare reimbursement cuts and seems to indicate that pricing declines are returning to the historical range,” Mike Matson of Needham wrote in his report highlights.

Respondents indicated that interest in travel CPAPs is on the rise: They reported 5.5% of their sleep patients purchased travel CPAPs in the last 12 months and 10.6% are expected to purchase the devices in the next 12 months.

ResMed’s and Philips Respironics’ flow generators were rated equal by respondents, while ResMed’s masks were rated highest, with Respironics’ very close behind, according to the survey.

Respondents expect ResMed’s share of flow generator purchases to decrease 2.3% and its share of mask purchases to decrease 3.6% in the next 12 months. They expect Respironics’ share of flow generator purchases to decrease 1.1% and its share of mask purchases to increase 2%.

On the oxygen side of the market, respondents expect portable oxygen concentrators to increase from 16.6% of the ambulatory oxygen market to 21.4% over the next 12 months, which implies 29% growth, down from 45% in a prior survey. They rated a private label POC from Inogen highest.

New company Essity lists on Nasdaq

PHILADELPHIA – Essity, a global hygiene and health company, listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm on June 15. The listing follows SCA Group’s decision to split into two independently listed companies: forest products company SCA, and Essity. Essity says it plans to continue to expand on the market growth of the Tork, TENA and JOBST brands. “With the launch of Essity we have a new name and an even stronger sense of purpose—improving well-being by providing leading hygiene and health solutions,” said Don Lewis, president, Professional Hygiene, said. “Our hygiene and health focus will allow us to bring new innovations to market while offering our customers and consumers the insights, knowledge and best practices that can only come from one of the world's leading hygiene companies.” Tork and TENA consumers and customers will begin to see the SCA branding phased out from the hygiene business over the next two years and replaced with new Essity branding.

Upstep launches orthotics service

NEW YORK – Upstep is launching an online custom orthotics service in the U.S., the company announced in a press release. Customers simply place an order online and receive a footprint kit at home. The customer then follows instructions to make a foot imprint and send it back to the company. Upstep uses 3D technology to scan the footprint and create a customized orthotic based on that customer’s particular needs.

USS streamlines A/R

DAVISON, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions has added a Collections & Denials Module to its Healthcare Data Management Software, the company announced in a press release. The automated software will streamline accounts receivables by generating prioritized work lists sorted by criteria into an electronic grid. “This module enables HME billers to be far more efficient and focused on their high value billing claims and denials,” says Christopher Dobiesz, president. “It also allows for a shared cooperative work space between billing staff and managers.”

Court sides with Fairview HME

ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has upheld the dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed against Fairview Health Services alleging its HME division made unauthorized telemarketing calls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The court ruled that Samuel Zean, who filed the complaint in Minnesota, had given prior express written consent to receive calls. The TCPA prohibits any person from making “any call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service.” Fairview provided documents with Zean’s signature, giving the company permission to contact him by phone, including by cell phone. Fairview Health Services is a nonprofit corporation that operates hospitals and clinics in Minnesota and sells HME under the name Fairview Home Medical Equipment.

Celebrations: Orchid Medical, Peritech Home Health, RRI

Orchid Medicalin Orlando, Fla., is celebrating its 15-year anniversary. The company was established in 2002 as a regional DME provider to the workers’ compensation market. Among the company’s achievements in the past 15 years are a new DME retrospective repricing program, and an expansion beyond DME into ancillary services, including home and vehicle modifications…Peritech Home Health in Wyomissing and DuBois, Pa., is celebrating its 25-year anniversary. The company started as a DME provider that serviced pregnant women with high-risk diagnosis of pre-term labor. From there it has evolved into a full-service maternal child home health agency that services pregnant women, women after delivery and children…Responsive Respiratory, Inc. celebrates 15 years in business as a manufacturer and distributor of high-pressure home oxygen equipment and supplies this year. Over the last decade and a half, RRI has grown from a regional startup to a national manufacturer and distributor.

Convaid names new ambassadors

TORRANCE, Calif. – Convaid | R82 has added two new ambassadors to represent its growing population of product enthusiasts. Joining ambassadors Cesar, Emerson and Andrew are Jax and Z’Mya. The ambassadors are community volunteers who serve one-year terms representing Convaid at community events, engaging online and participating in other activities. "The Ambassador Program is an important part of our community outreach. Not only are our ambassadors faithful brand fans, they are the Convaid | R82 eyes and ears on the ground,” said Nanneke Dinklo, director of marketing. “They contribute valuable product and community insights, which we use for research and development to deliver improvements and new products.” Jax and Z’Mya will make special appearances at Abilities Expos in their respective regions, write blog posts, share videos, contribute to product case studies and engage on an ongoing basis with the Convaid | R82 online community.  Convaid established the ambassador program in 2015.

Convaid | R82 align discounts

TORRANCE, Calif. – Convaid | R82 now have the same primary discount, 30%, according to a press release. Secondary discounts will change accordingly, to reflect the same or slightly different total discount customers used to receive on R82 products. For more information, customers should contact their sales rep or call 844-876-6245. Convaid and R82 have slowly been combining functions since Convaid was sold to Etac in 2015.

Short takes: Golden Technologies, Mediware, Home Care Medical

Rich Golden, CEO of Golden Technologies, was recently honored by Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the annual Business Hall of Fame Dinner & Awards Ceremony. Golden launched the company in 1985 in a one-care garage. Today, it encompasses a large facility dedicated to manufacturing lift chairs. “I attribute the tremendous growth and success of Golden Technologies to the continued hard work and determination of our employees, many of whom have been with us for a very long time,” Golden said. “We’re just in a bigger garage.” Junior Achievement provides programs to students teaching work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy…Mediware has announced that Biologic Infusion Pharmacy has chosen Mediware Reimbursement Services for fullly outsourced billing and collections services. Biologic Infusion Pharmacy was founded in 2013 and specializes in infusion therapy for patients throughout southern California. After recent staffing changes in its reimbursement department, the company’s president began evaluating billing and collections options, looking for ways to get the job done without the hassle of hiring and training new staff…Home Care Medical has reaccredited by the Joint Commission. The New Berlin, Wis.-based provider became the state’s first accredited HME provider in 1990. Serving southeastern Wisconsin since 1974, Home Care Medicare provides enteral nutrition, rehab technology, respiratory services, HME and bracing.