In brief: WellSky deal, Medtrade registration, Spiro CFO

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Friday, October 16, 2020

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - WellSky is buying CarePort Health from Allscripts in a bid to improve patient care transitions across the continuum and drive better outcomes. 

With the addition of CarePort, WellSky is positioned to manage the acute-care discharge process, track patients across post-acute care settings, apply patient and population level analytics, and support EMR-based care, the company says. 

“Together with CarePort, WellSky will establish new, meaningful connections between historically disparate settings of care,” said Bill Miller, CEO of WellSky. “We have the exciting opportunity to bring care coordination to more providers in service of delivering more informed, personalized care. Through this agreement, we’re ensuring our clients have the intelligent technology they need to do right by their patients, collaborate with payers, and succeed in value-based care models. It’s WellSky’s mission to realize care’s potential, and this moves us that much closer to achieving it.” 

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. 

CarePort’s platform bridges acute and post-acute EHR data, providing visibilities into the entire patient journey for providers, physicians, payers and ACOs. Its network comprises thousands of providers connected across the U.S. 

Virtual reality: VGM, MAMES, AAHomecare 

VGM is offering a low-cost virtual conference platform to help state associations hold virtual conferences. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to force associations to cancel in-person events, a primary source of income for many of them. “We are trying our best to fill the hole created by COVID-19,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations. “Online events can’t compare to the in-person events, but we can certainly continue to learn, share ideas and network with each other virtually.” The virtual platform is being managed through VGM Education and allows associations to customize their events...The MAMES Virtual Fall Conference brought together more than 750 attendees from around the country for eight sessions and 70 exhibits. MAMES announced in July that its annual in-person event was going virtual and partnered with 18 state associations to hold the event, which took place Oct. 6-9. The event is still open through Oct. 31 on the MAMES virtual conference platform, Virtual Event Place...AAHomecare will host its first-ever virtual Stand Up for Homecare via Zoom on Oct. 29. Two sessions, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., will offer virtual rooms that will allow attendees to catch-up and converse in smaller groups. Space is limited; the cost is $75. Register here

Medtrade registration opens 

ATLANTA – Registration is now open for the Medtrade Virtual Event on Nov. 4-5. The two-day event offers more than 20 sessions. The cost is $79 and attendees will have access to all sessions for six months. Medtrade recently announced it would cancel its in-person event. To register for the virtual event: https://www.medtradevirtual.com/ 

McMorris Rodgers event provides opportunity to say thanks 

OLYMPIA, Wash. – More than 20 HME providers attended a virtual visit with industry champion Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., on Oct. 14. The event was hosted by Norco, PAMES, AAHomecare, Pride Mobility and VGM. Attendees had the opportunity to address issues regarding the budget neutrality requirement and rural reimbursement, and to thank her for her work on two industry bills. McMorris Rodgers in September introduced H.R. 8158, a bill that would waive the budget neutrality offset for stationary oxygen products. She is also spearheading H.R. 2771, a bill that would make permanent the 50/50 blended reimbursement rates in rural areas and would introduce a 75/25 rate for non-rural, non-bid areas. H.R. 2771 currently has 79 co-sponsors. 

Freeus recognized as fast-growing company 

OGDEN, Utah – Freeus has been named to the MountainWest Capital Networks 2020 Utah 100, the state’s annual list of the state’s fastest growing companies for the third year in a row. Freeus ranked No. 36. “We are honored to be recognized on the Utah 100 list of fastest growing companies by MountainWest Capital Network for the third year in a row,” said Freeus President and COO, Brock Winzeler. “We are so proud that our lifesaving products and services are trusted by our valued network of authorized dealers and over half a million subscribers.” Freeus was also recently recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies for the second year in a row. 

CMS expands list of telehealth services 

WASHINGTON – CMS has added 11 new services to the list of telehealth services that it will pay for during the public health emergency. 

These new services include certain cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services. Since the beginning of the PHE, CMS has added more than 135 telehealth services to the list. 

The agency is also providing support to state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs to expand telehealth services. A preliminary snapshot of Medicaid and CHIP data shows that more than 34.5 million telehealth services were delivered between March and June. 

“Responding to President Trump’s executive order, CMS is taking action to increase telehealth adoption across the country,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This revolutionary method of improving access to care is transforming health care delivery in America.” 

Spiro Health names CFO 

SANDWICH, Mass. – Spiro Health has named Ridgely Cromwell as CFO. He has more than 30 years of experience, most recently as operations/COO for OJ Medtech. “I am very excited to join Spiro Health, as we see great opportunity for the company to complement its organic growth in the sleep therapy, respiratory and DME markets with a continued acquisition strategy,” said Cromwell. “We are building a strong regional platform initially in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast as we achieve operational scale and implement best practices across the Spiro platform, including leveraging our combined purchasing power across all aspects of the company.” Spiro Health debuted* earlier this year, when Cape Medical Supply, Health Complex Medical and America’s HealthCare at Home combined under one umbrella. 

SoClean partners with Extend 

PETERBOROUGH, N.H., and SAN FRANCISCO – SoClean has a new partnership with Extend, a company that provides extended warranties and protection plans. SoClean now has the ability to offer an “up-leveled extended warranty experience, while also increasing their bottom margins and bottom-line profits,” according to a press release. Extend provides a way for companies to integrate an extended warranty program into e-commerce platforms like Shopify and into custom solutions through APIs. 

SoClean reorganizes staffing 

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – SoClean is reducing staff in its call centers, but it’s looking to grow staff in R&D and other areas of the company, CEO Bob Wilkins has told the Monadnock Ledger Transcript. The company, citing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has laid off 23 call center employees here and in Montana in recent weeks, according to the newspaper. Sleep centers have been restricted during the pandemic, weakening referrals for CPAP therapy, a key indicator for sales of SoClean’s CPAP cleaner. Wilkins told the newspaper the company is reorganizing to focus on its Air Purifier and Device Disinfector, new products that don’t require as much call center support. 

Top gov’t officials to speak at NCPA’s virtual event 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association’s Annual Convention will take place virtually this year on Oct. 18 and 19. The event will feature big-name speakers like Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for the health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, the surgeon general; Leslie Rutledge, the Arkansas attorney general; and Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020. “This will be the most convenient and affordable NCPA Annual Convention we’ve ever had, showcasing the quality education sessions, one-stop exhibition, and top-notch programs and speakers our meetings are known for,” said Brian Caswell, NCPA president. “With it being virtual this year, there’s no reason to miss it.” 

NSM adds health care industry veteran to board 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility and its private equity owner, Cinven, have appointed Gregory Roth, a health care industry veteran, to the company’s board of directors. Roth is a former CEO of TeamHealth, a medical outsourcing company that has become one of the largest integrated care providers in the country. He also served as president of HCA Healthcare’s ambulatory surgical division. “Gregory brings a wealth of valuable industry experience to our board of directors,” said Bill Mixon, CEO of NSM. “His robust leadership experience with renowned health care organizations will be a strength in guiding the company’s ongoing expansion and commitment to service excellence.” Roth’s background leading geographically diverse national health care entities includes a focus on financial operations, technology infrastructure, portfolio management, governance, compliance and business development. 

Gov’t charges 345, revokes billing privileges for 256 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, along with state and federal law enforcement partners, has conducted a national “telefraud” takedown involving more than $6 billion in alleged losses. 

The fraudulent activity has resulted in charges for 345 defendants, including telemedicine companies, DME companies, genetic testing labs, pharmacies and more than 100 medical practitioners, in 51 judicial districts. Health care billing privileges have been revoked for 256 medical professionals. 

The biggest loss in connection with the case involved $4.5 billion in allegedly false and fraudulent claims submitted by more than 86 criminal defendants in 19 judicial districts. 

In this case, telemedicine execs allegedly paid medical practitioners to order unnecessary DME, genetic and other diagnostic testing, and medications, either without any patient interaction or with only a brief telephone conversation with patients they had never met or seen. 

Often, the DME, test results or medications were not provided to beneficiaries or were worthless to patients and their primary care doctors and the misdirection, fake diagnosis and unneeded tests misled patients and delayed their chance to seek appropriate treatment for medical complaints, according to the OIG. 

The proceeds of the fraudulent scheme were allegedly laundered through international shell corporations and foreign banks for the benefit of the telemedicine execs. 

The OIG says it has seen an increase in “telefraud” since 2016. 

CMS approves NABP for home infusion accreditation 

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. – CMS has approved the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s Home Infusion Therapy Accreditation. The approval means NABP is a national accrediting organization for home infusion therapy providers that want to participate in the Medicare billing program. The NABP’s accreditation is designed to meet a new CMS requirement for providers billing home infusion therapy services: Starting in January, CMS will require they’re accredited. During the approval process, NABP underwent a thorough review of its accreditation program standards, survey and accreditation process. The organization has been a CMS-deemed DMEPOS accrediting organization since 2006.