In brief: Verus rolls up sleep biz, Hoveround ups certification

Friday, July 18, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Verus Healthcare has acquired its 85th CPAP business, it announced last week. The provider, which holds competitive bidding contracts nationwide, now serves more than 40,000 patients and processes 10,000 new orders per month, according to a press release. Verus, formerly Sleep Nation, got its start in sleep when it acquired CPAP Care Club in 2012 and used it as a platform to roll up other businesses. "When we bought this platform two years ago, attrition among the patient base was very high," said Richardson Roberts, CEO of Verus. "We've grown the patient base seven-fold, while decreasing our monthly attrition to approximately 1% per month.” The company changed its name earlier this year.

Hoveround ups certification

SARASOTA, Fla. – Hoveround has been certified in ISO9001 and, for the first time, ISO13485, the company announced this month. A team of ISO experts surveyed the company at its manufacturing, distribution and administrative facilities in April 2014 to determine its compliance with industry standards. The team found Hoveround met the “highest level of excellence in the design, manufacture, delivery, distribution and service of motorized wheelchairs, scooters and mobility related products and accessories,” according to a press release. Hoveround has been ISO9001 certified since 1997. New with the ISO13485 certification: the inclusion of rehab technology specialists in the field. Third-party certifiers will audit these specialists to ensure they meet standards, according to the release. “We have no doubt that adding ISO13485 will only help us enhance our quality of service,” stated President and Founder Tom Kruse.

Bill watch: competitive bidding, audits

WASHINGTON – A bill that would require providers to obtain bid bonds as part of future rounds of competitive bidding had 21 co-sponsors at press time on Friday. H.R. 4920, introduced in June, would also require providers to prove they meet licensure requirements before they submit bids…A bill that would require CMS contractors that perform audits to reinstate clinical inference and judgment to reduce error rates has six co-sponsors at press time on Friday. Other components of H.R. 5083, introduced last week, include reducing the document review period for all audits from five years to three years and excluding providers with low error rates from some or all audits during a two-year period.

New audit website serves as ‘rallying point’

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has launched to serve as one-stop shop for audit reform, the association announced this week. The cornerstone of the new site: H.R. 5083, The Audit Improvement and Reform Act (AIR Act), which was introduced by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., on July 11. “The new site will serve as a rallying point for the HME community to come together in support of the AIR Act, which will apply common sense fixes to one of the most pressing challenges facing our industry today,” said AAHomecare President/CEO Tom Ryan. The site brings together AAHomecare’s multi-platform fight against audits, including its new HME Audit Key, educational resources and Share Your Audit Story.

Home Care Medical lands insurance contract

NEW BERLIN, Wis. – Home Care Medical has reached an agreement with Dean Health Plan to be an in-network provider for members in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. Home Care Medical will offer infusion and enteral therapy, high-tech rehab equipment, respiratory care, HME and supplies, and bracing and compression garments to the plan’s 250,000 members. The provider has been actively seeking private pay contracts, including Network Health in October.

DME MACs issue policy reminder for CPAP

WASHINGTON – The DME MACs issued a policy reminder about CPAP therapy last week after a review of recent appeals identified denials associated with lack of compliance with requirements for continued coverage after the first three months of rental. At the end of the initial rental period, additional requirements must be met for rental and payments to continue: the treating physician must meet the beneficiary in person between the 31st and 91st days after initiating therapy for a re-evaluation documenting the benefits from PAP therapy and the physician must include objective evidence of the beneficiary’s adherence to the therapy in the medical record. Beneficiaries who fail the 12-week trial may re-qualify if they have a face-to-face re-evaluation to determine why they didn’t respond to therapy and if they repeat a sleep study. Also in the reminder: If an E0601 device is ineffective, substitution with an E0470 does not change the length of the trial if there are fewer than 30 days remaining; if there are more than 30 days remaining, the re-evaluation must be done between the 31st and 91st days and documentation of adherence to the E0470 device must be completed before the 91st day.

MIT completes re-org

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – MIT Holding, a holding company with subsidiaries in infusion and DME services, has completed a turn-around, according to a release. The company, which eliminated millions in non-profitable revenues, says its subsidiaries are now operating with objectives of a 32% net profit. MIT now turns its attention to expansion and growth. “We have come through the re-organization with a company that now has strong, industry-respected management, and is lean and nimble enough to pivot and evolve to meet the demands of the daily changes in the healthcare industry,” stated CEO Walter Drakeford.

Short takes

A “Dear Colleague” letter that calls on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to review the competitive bidding program before it is expanded in 2016 had been signed by 117 lawmakers by press time. The deadline for signing the letter was Friday…ResMed CEO Michael Farrell sold 3,200 shares of company stock on the open market July 15. The stock was sold at an average $49.22 for a total transaction of $157,504, according to news reports. Farrell now owns 106,655 shares of ResMed stock, worth about $5.2 million…AmeriCare Medical has been accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) for nursing and staffing, specialty pharmacy, and medical equipment and supply. AmeriCare has three subsidiaries: AmeriStaff Nursing Services, Sun Medical Equipment and Rx IV Infusion Pharmacy.

People news

Shawn Stacyhas been promoted to CEO of Hometown Oxygen in Charlotte, N.C. Stacy has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and management in the HME industry. Previously, he led the sales and customer service operations at Hometown Oxygen. He has also worked at ResMed, Fisher & Paykel and American HomePatient…Chris Wilson is now chief marketing officer at Finnegan Health Services in Little Rock, Ark. Wilson will help the company promote itself to customers and healthcare professionals statewide, and assist its affiliated company, Finnegan Medical Supply, with a startup e-commerce venture. He was most recently director of public relations for the Arkansas Farm Bureau…Nonin Medical has named Ash Keswani vice president of marketing. Keswani has more than 20 years of experience marketing disposable medical devices, implantable devices and pharmaceuticals…BioScrip has appointed Thomas Pettit senior vice president and COO. Pettit succeeds Richard Jenkins, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, who has served as interim COO since November 2013. Jenkins will continue as a consultant to the company to ensure a smooth transition. Pettit has nearly 20 years of experience in operational management in several industries, with expertise in supply chain logistics and lean initiatives.