In brief: Wright & Filippis cracks new market, Aeroflow targets truckers

Friday, January 18, 2013

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Wright & Filippis has expanded into a new geographic market by acquiring a controlling share of North Charleston, S.C.-based Carolina Orthotics & Prosthetics (O&P). The deal is Wright & Filippis’ “first foray into this kind of relationship outside of Michigan,” Mike Murray, director of marketing and communications for the company, told Crain’s Detroit Business. Carolina O&P has six locations in South Carolina. It will continue to operate independently, with C. Ralph Hooper remaining at the helm as president. Wright & Filippis operates 35 locations and employs more than 900. It specializes in manufacturing and fitting custom orthotic and prosthetic devices. In addition to O&P, Wright and Filippis also provides HME; respiratory products; medical supplies; women’s health products; and lifts, elevators and ramps.

Aeroflow partners with insurance company

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare, a provider of sleep testing and treatment, has teamed up with Enrollment First, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based health insurance company, to launch a new sleep apnea management program geared toward truckers, according to a press release. The program will give Enrollment First clients access to Aeroflow’s sleep disorder solutions. Both companies hope the move can mitigate some of the common health threats to truck drivers and others in the transportation industry, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which if untreated can cause hazards on the road. In conjunction with new treatment and testing solutions, the companies plan to launch a sleep apnea educational campaign.

Date change for complex rehab event

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Complex rehab stakeholders have had to shift their plans, but the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference will go on. NRRTS and NCART will hold the conference April 9-11 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. They had planned to host the conference later in April, but Congress had other ideas. “The congressional calendar changed, so they wouldn’t have been in session,” said Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS.  That would have impeded a major tradition for stakeholders: visiting with lawmakers to lobby for a separate benefit for complex rehab.  With the new dates in place, the game plan for the conference, which will have the theme “Promoting the Future of CRT,” will remain the same: a CRT Leadership Day for presentations and breakout sessions; a National Medicaid Summit; and CELA for Hill visits. Registration information will be available the week of Jan. 21 on the NRRTS and NCART web sites.

Philips Respironics offers customized commercial

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – HME providers can now customize a new TV commercial for the SimplyGo, a portable oxygen concentrator from Philips Respironics, by adding their company’s name, logo, phone number and website. The commercial features product user Mark Junge, a retired historian from Cheyenne, Wyo., who is seen bicycling, sightseeing and hiking. By customizing and airing the ad, providers can direct interested viewers to contact them.

Webinars offer Medtrade Spring warm-up

LAS VEGAS ­– A series of educational webcasts is slated to begin Jan. 30 in advance of Medtrade Spring, according to a press release. “We are looking to get the education started even sooner this year through late January and February webinars that offer real expertise from recognized experts,” stated Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. Though the educational webinars will run before Medtrade, which will take place March 19-21 in Las Vegas, the final installments will take place at the actual show. The first webinar is titled, “Basics and Competitive Bidding Review,” led by Mary Ellen Conway, president of Health Care Information Consultants (HCIC).


Worldwide demand for HME to increase, study says

NEW YORK ­– Global demand for home medical equipment is forecast to increase 7% yearly to $28 billion in 2016, according to a new study from Freedonia, an international business research company. The United States will remain the world’s largest market based on “its extensive network of home health care providers, high health care spending intensity, widespread insurance coverage for the treatment and management of chronic diseases, and shifting patient care strategies toward home settings,” according to the study. The BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China—are expected to be among the fastest growing markets for HME, due in part to greater economic prosperity. Overall growth for HME markets in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and other developed countries will decelerate and remain below the global average, as national health insurance plans impose tighter restrictions on benefit coverage and product reimbursement rates, according to the study. 

Moderate growth expected for diabetes market, study says

TORONTO – The U.S. market for diabetes care devices is expected to grow to nearly $16 billion by 2017, according to a new study from Millennium Research Group, a research organization specializing in medical technology market intelligence. The moderate growth is attributable to the continued increase in the prevalence of diabetes, and the expansion of insurance coverage as a consequence of U.S. healthcare reform. Products expected to exhibit the strongest growth are insulin pumps, pens and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, the last of which saw growth of just under 20% in 2012. Traditional self-monitoring blood glucose devices (SMBG), including meters, strips and lancing devices, will experience less pronounced growth due to their emergence as commoditized products, which has led to strong price competition and the proliferation of low-cost competitors, according to the study.

Provider short takes

Medline Industries has named Kristofer Howard CFO, according to a press release. Howard joins the company after more than a dozen years in finance and accounting at Baxter and KPMG. At Medline, Howard will be responsible for the company’s global finance and accounting organization…CarePoint Partners set aside $5 for every referral it received during the holiday season, raising $14,000 for the national “Toys for Tots” campaign, according to a press release.

Vendor short takes

NovaSom’snew cloud-based portal, designed by Infosys, will reduce the time from test completion to report generation for sleep apnea diagnosis by two days, according to a joint press release. Novasom, a provider of home testing kits for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), will leverage the Meditrack portal to speed up order-to-delivery of devices, to process diagnostic data more efficiently, and to better manage insurance claims…The Glooko’s Logbook Charts, an app that enables users to visually analyze glucose data from their smartphones, has received FDA approval, allowing the company to expand distribution and sell the product over the counter, as well as directly to consumers, in the U.S. Prior to the clearance, the product was available only in Europe…ACHC and IMCO, a Daytona, Fla.-based co-op for medical supply distributors, have entered into a partnership whereby IMCO members will receive discounted ACHC accreditation, according to a press release.