In brief: Sunrise Medical makes buy, U.S. Rehab supports outcomes tool

Friday, May 8, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. – Sunrise Medical has strengthened its presence in the high-end sports wheelchair market by acquiring RGK Wheelchairs. “The attractive and innovative RGK daily chair lines add an additional facet and choice to Sunrise’s own Quickie and Sopur premium active wheelchair product brands,” the company stated in a press release. The U.K.-based RGK was founded in 1988. It develops, designs, manufactures and distributes high-end, fully tailor made, court-sports and basketball wheelchairs. Sunrise says the acquisition is part of a mid-long term strategy to connect the various active wheelchair and sports product user groups in their social media communities via the company’s social media presence.

U.S. Rehab gets behind outcomes tool

WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab has negotiated an exclusive license agreement with the University of Pittsburgh to give its members access to an up-and-coming outcomes tool. Developed by Mark Schmeler and Margo Holm, both professors at UPitt, the Functional Mobility Assessment tool tracks data on the ability of patients to function with their assistive devices like walking aids, prosthetics and wheelchairs. “Eventually, we will be able to track patient outcomes and prove that better equipment provides more patient healthy days, which leads to a better quality of life,” stated Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group, in a press release. “Better equipment will help manage disease states, which will reduce the overall life cost of patients over time.” U.S. Rehab and UPitt are currently conducting a pilot project, but they hope to roll out the tool to U.S. Rehab’s entire membership in 2016. UPitt has already collected preliminary data from other pilot studies, but the agreement with U.S. Rehab will “take this to a large level,” stated Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP.

Verus Healthcare grows 1,000%

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Verus Healthcare has grown its CPAP business by 1,000% in three years, the company announced this week. Verus, which entered the market in 2012 when it acquired CPAP Care Club, now serves the resupply needs of about 50,000 patients, processing nearly 14,000 new orders per month. “When we bought this company three years ago, the systems and processes weren’t in place to scale,” stated Richardson Roberts, CEO of Verus. “We’ve invested $1.5 million developing our proprietary software called SNAP and built a highly experienced management team. The results have been excellent, but we still have a lot of runway in front of us.” So far, Verus has purchased assets from more than 100 DME companies throughout the U.S. and says, “deal flow continues to be strong” as the industry consolidates.

NSM opens two branches, moves one branch

NASHVILLE – National Seating & Mobility has opened branches in New Redding, Calif., and Cleveland. The New Redding branch, the company’s 14th in California, serves complex rehab patients in the Redding and Chico area. The Cleveland branch, its fourth in Ohio, serves patients in the Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown regions. Additionally, NSM has relocated its Iowa City branch to a larger facility at 4172 Alyssa Court in response to increased business.

Study promotes primary care for sleep apnea patients

LLEIDA, Spain– A new study has found that monitoring patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) in a primary care setting is equally effective as monitoring them in sleep units.  The study was conducted by Respiratory Research Group and led by Dr. Ferran Barbé, head of respiratory at the University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova (HUAV)in Lleida, Spain. For six months, 101 patients with OSA received primary care management at one of eight primary care centers in Lleida, while 109 patients received sleep unit management atthe University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova. Both groups consisted of predominantly middle-aged obese men with severe OSA. At the end of six months, the mean CPAP compliance for the primary care group was 4.94 hours per night, while the mean CPAP compliance for the sleep unit group was 5.23 hours per night. The study also revealed that primary care monitoring resulted in 60% savings. On average, the total cost per patient in the primary care group was €144 ($162), while the total cost per patient in the sleep unit group was €356 ($401). The cost difference was related to the monitoring performed by specialist nurses in the sleep unit.

Golden maximizes space

LAFLIN, Pa. – Golden Technologies has installed five sets of racks, each 100 feet long, at its primary lift chair distribution center here to improve efficiency. “With our new system of power conveyors, racking and re-organization of the entire floor, movement of product through the building will be much more efficient and faster,” said Dave Leiby, vice president of finance, in a release. Before the renovation, employees walked between 17 to 22 miles a day moving lift chairs from freight trucks to the floor and then loading docks. Now they are able to use a special forklift to select the desired chair. Golden moved into the 100,000-square-feet location a year ago.

NCART, NRRTS, RESNA join forces

ARLINGTON, Va. – NCART, NRRTS and RESNA will co-host a single conference next year, July 12-15 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. The theme: "Promoting and Protecting Access to Assistive Technology.” “Through our combined efforts, we can offer a unique conference experience that will bring tremendous value to our members” said Michael Brogioli, executive director of RESNA, in a statement. “We will also be able to bring a larger contingent of the assistive technology community to Congress and the administration, and a louder voice on critical issues such as access and funding.” The conference will feature clinical education and poster sessions, professional development and leadership training, instructional courses, exhibit hall, student competitions and visits to Capitol Hill.

Alliqua raises $34.5M

LANGHORNE, Pa. – Alliqua BioMedical, a provider of advanced wound care products, has raised $34.5 million through a public offering. The company, listed on the NASDAQ as ALOA, sold about 6.6 million shares of its common stock at a price of $4.55 per share. Alliqua plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to “fund the commercial expansion of its marketed products, to opportunistically pursue additional product platforms, and for working capital and general corporate purposes,” according to a press release.

Insulet loses ground in first quarter

BILLERICA, Mass. – Insulet, maker of the OmniPod insulin management system, reported revenues of $61.2 million for the first quarter of 2015, an 11% decrease compared to the same period last year. Net loss was $11.8 million vs. $6.1 million. "With our U.S. OmniPod business on track, in spite of some unevenness in our first quarter performance in our other product areas, we remain on track to achieve our originally-stated full-year revenue expectations and we are excited about the promising opportunities ahead of us," stated Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO, in a release. "We recognize that we have work to do, however we are achieving important milestones in executing a strategy to ramp Insulet's sales and marketing efforts, enhance access to our innovative and differentiated technology, and further improve our global footprint. I am confident that we have the right talent to lead Insulet and position the company for sustained accelerated growth over the long-term." Insulet recently appointed a highly experienced CFO and has made other executive appointments across sales, marketing, managed care, customer support and investor relations. For the second quarter, it expects to generate revenues of $67 million to $70 million, and for the full year, it expects to generate revenues of $305 million to $320 million.

Short takes: Roll on Capital Hill, NovaSom, NCPA, Univita, United Spinal Association

Jenny Lieberman, an OT, and Erin Michael, a PT, hope to raise $12,000 to help cover travel costs for a half a dozen disability advocates to attend the United Spinal Association’sRoll on Capital Hill, June 7-10 in Washington, DC. At press time, the team has raised more than $5,000 through Indiegogo, a crowd funding website…NovaSom will be featured in an upcoming episode of Innovations with Ed Begley Jr. During the segment, viewers will learn about the company’s AccuSom home sleep test, which features continuous patient support and next-day test results and interpretation…The National Community Pharmacists Association is partnering with CW Publishing Group on a consumer magazine, Matters of Health. The biannual print and digital magazine will feature topics like coping with chronic conditions, managing heart disease, taking steps to a healthier lifestyle, and managing medications. The first issue will be released this summer…Univita Health has earned accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board of the Accreditation Commission for Health Care for sterile compounding of prescriptions. The accreditation is recognized as an independent audit of an organization’s commitment to delivering quality care and services in compliance with nationally recognized (USP) 797 standards…The United Spinal Association has partnered with Myomo to raise awareness of the benefits of the MyoPro myoelectric upper limb orthosis. The orthosis is designed for individuals with spinal cord injury, brachial plexis injury, stroke, MS, ALS and other neuromuscular disorders.