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In brief: Discontinued devices, freight surcharges, rehab expansions

In brief: Discontinued devices, freight surcharges, rehab expansions ‘The ability to transition the manufacturing space away from CPAP will allow us to raise our output of oxygen products'

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare will discontinue its DV5 and DV6 series of CPAP devices as of December 2021, citing raw material shortages, difficulty securing needed parts and increased component pricing. 

The company will continue to focus on its oxygen products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Over the last two years, Drive DeVilbiss has been a major supplier of critical oxygen products during the largest respiratory pandemic in history,” said Derek Lampert, CEO. “It has been our duty to provide essential therapeutic oxygen products to the global market. We have taken that responsibility very seriously and have focused our resources to that end. With the most recent resurgence of COVID-19, we continue to run at maximum capacity. The ability to transition the manufacturing space away from the CPAP lines will allow us to raise our output of these critical medical devices.”  

Drive DeVilbiss will no longer accept orders for the DV5 and DV6 series of CPAP devices, but it will continue to support warranty commitments on the devices and the sale of accessories such as chambers, filters and patient tubing to support continued therapy by users. 

Philips recall: Senator pushes for answers 

WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sent a three-page letter to Vitor Rocha, the CEO of Philips North America, on Aug. 24, asking him to answer seven questions, including, when does Philips expect to have repaired or replaced all impacted devices? 

Blumenthal writes that he has heard from constituents with concerns about the lack of information surrounding a recall of certain Philips CPAP devices and ventilators announced in June. 

“The current situation is untenable, unacceptable and must be immediately rectified,” he writes. “I look forward to reviewing your answers to these questions. In the meantime, I urge Philips to continue its outreach to impacted patients, immediately expedite its replacement and repair program, submit a mitigation plan with sufficient evidence to FDA for authorization and work to ensure that such a mass recall does not occur again in the future.” 

Blumenthal’s other questions: 

How many devices have been impacted by this recall, and how many patients are believed to have been impacted by this recall? 

  • What percentage of impacted patients have used the Philips established registration process to register a recalled device? Please also provide the total number of impacted patients who have registered. 
  • How has Philips reached out to affected patients to alert them to this problem and how is Philips continuing to ensure all affected patients learn of this problem? 
  • What percentage of impacted patients who have registered their device have received a response from Philips regarding their recalled device? Please also provide the total number of impacted patients who have received any response. 
  • What percentage of impacted patients have had their recalled device repaired or replaced by Philips’ “comprehensive repair and replacement program”? Please also provide the total number of impacted patients who have had the issue completely resolved through replacement or repair. 
  • When does Philips expect to submit a mitigation plan to FDA for authorization to permanently resolve this problem? If it has done so, has it provided FDA with sufficient evidence to show that the mitigation plan eliminates the product defect and the product is now safe and effective for use? 

Blumenthal asks for answers to his questions by Sept. 7. 

Invacare implements new surcharges 

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare informed its provider customers in a letter last week that it will be implementing surcharges on a select group of products effective Aug. 30 to help defray increasing freight rates. 

On Oct. 11, the company will also be implementing a 10% price increase on select bed and manual wheelchair spare parts. 

“Like all manufacturers around the globe, we have experienced numerous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Joost Beltman, senior vice president and general manager of North America, in the letter. “Inbound and outbound freight rates are near record levels, North American steel has more than tripled in price, and severe shortages in resins and electronics are making some materials available only to the highest bidder. We recognize the necessity of our products in the lives of patients and are working hard to continue to delivery these goods. These efforts, however, come with additional costs.” 

The surcharges range from $125 for three-position recliners and $75 for beds to $15 for bed rails and front riggings. 

Additionally, effective Aug. 26 through Oct. 11, Invacare says it reserves the right to refuse or modify an order that exceeds a provider’s monthly historical purchase levels of the affected surcharged products. 

“All other terms and conditions of your purchasing agreement with Invacare remain in effect,” Beltman wrote. “We will continue to manage volatility as best we can in these unprecedented times.” 

Inogen recently announced that it also plans to increase prices in the “low double-digit range” on all products Sept. 1 due to supply chain constraints. 

NHIA submits comments on home health rule 

WASHINGTON – The National Home Infusion Association has submitted comments to a final rule saying it is disappointed that CMS has not revisited the Medicare Part B home infusion benefit. 

The CY 2022 Home Health Rule outlines proposed coverage and policy changes for home infusion and other post-acute services.   

The NHIA’s key concern with the current benefit: the requirement that a nurse or other health care professional be present in the patient’s home for the home infusion provider to be paid for those services. That has led to low participation in the benefit by home infusion providers, the association says. 

In its comments, NHIA requested that CMS modify the definition of infusion drug administration calendar day to remove the in-person requirement and ensure that home infusion providers are reimbursed for each day the patient receives an infusion medication, consistent with the intent of the 21st Century Cures Act and with practices in the commercial market.  

NHIA also expressed concern over the lack of comprehensive standards for ensuring the quality and safety of home infusion and urged CMS to require standards for compounding and other components of the service found in the commercial sector. 

Reliable Medical enters Texas market 

MINNEAPOLIS – Reliable Medical, a partner of Seven Hills Capital, has acquired Complex Rehab Technologies, Inc., in Texas, expanding the company’s footprint into a new geographic area. 

Rose Espinoza, CEO of CRT, will become part of the Reliable Medical team as a region vice president. 

“We are pleased to welcome CRT to the Reliable family,” stated Katie Stevens, CEO. “As a company, we are committed to focusing on intentional growth for the right reasons by targeting companies who share the people-centric approach that has led to Reliable’s success. Our ongoing partnership with Rose and the CRT team will serve as a paramount example of intentional growth and our commitment to people-first cultures.” 

Seven Hills Capital recapitalized Reliable Medical in November 2018. 

Reliable Medical last made an acquisition in April 2020: A&A Medical Supply in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. 

NSM expands in Canada 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Canada Care Medical Group, the country’s second largest provider of home medical equipment and mobility services. With the acquisition, NSM acquires 10 locations in four new provinces in Eastern Canada, bringing its total number of locations in Canada to 22. “Helping individuals gain personal independence through custom mobility and accessibility solutions is the foundation of NSM,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “Each acquisition and expansion broadens our reach to help more people in need. We are excited to expand into the Eastern Canada area.” The family-owned Canada Care was founded in 1969. Team members Martin Lavergne, BJ Meloche, Sylvain Bujold, Hans Kristensen and Alison Meloche will remain in key leadership positions for NSM.  

NSM expands in Ohio 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Senior Safe Solutions, a home accessibility provider in Ohio, expanding its services to clients in the area. “Through this acquisition, NSM is now better positioned to assist clients throughout Northeast Ohio gain solutions that lead to greater independence,” said Bill Mixon, CEO. Senior Safe Solutions, which was founded in 2009 and led by Dave Morris, primarily serves the Cleveland and Akron areas. Zach Kracker at Senior Safe Solutions will join the NSM team. 

OIG: Medicare COVID patients experience host of serious issues 

WASHINGTON – Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced a wide range of complex conditions, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General. Almost half were treated for acute kidney failure or acute circulatory issues; nearly two-thirds treated for endocrine, nutritional or metabolic issues; and one-third for sepsis. The findings were part of the OIG’s examination of hospitalizations during surges in six localities. More than 50% of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with COVID-19 received intensive care or mechanical ventilation, the OIG found. Additionally, dually eligible, Black, Hispanic or older beneficiaries were disproportionately hospitalized with COVID-19 relative to the Medicare population in these localities, according to the report. 

Rehab Medical expands Texas footprint 

INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical has acquired Austin Wheelchair Company, a full-service DME provider that has been in business for more than two decades. “We are excited to welcome the team at Austin Wheelchair Company to the Rehab Medical family,” said Kevin Gearheart, president of Rehab Medical. “When we look at growth through acquisition, it is critical to find the right fit. Specifically, we look for providers who are just as passionate about service excellence and the patient experience as we are. Austin Wheelchair exemplifies those characteristics, and we are looking forward to building on the great foundation of care that is currently in place.” Austin Wheelchair’s eight employees, including two ATPs, will transition to Rehab Medical. Rehab Medical now operates in three major metro markets in Texas and has a total of 28 offices nationwide. 

Invacare education receives IACET designation 

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare’s educational program has received the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) designation. Effective immediately, all courses that offer continuing educational units from Invacare, Motion Concepts, Matrx, Alber and Pindot will carry IACET accreditation. “We are honored and excited to further expand our educational programs by offering accredited training to our providers and clinicians on a wide range of content,” said Joost Beltman, senior vice president and general manager, North America. The application process, which included extensive evaluation by the IACET Commission, took a year to complete. IACET is a global board that ensures the quality and consistency of educational CEUs through guidelines. Accreditation is good for five years. 

Oventus Medical reports growth 

BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus Medical booked revenues of $1.1 million for the 12 months ended June 30, an increase of 160% over the prior period. “FY21 was Oventus’ best year for device sales on record, despite what remained a highly challenging patient treatment environment for in-person clinical settings, which were heavily tampered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company stated. Contributing to Oventus’s growth in the year: lab-in-lab sites that remained operational and the expansion of telehealth within that program; an increase in direct sales to dentists; and the launch of a direct-to-consumer model through its websites (, and, supported by telehealth. In fiscal year 2022, the company says it will expand its lower-cost, virtual lab-in-lab program in collaboration with new and existing national partners. 

NorthShore named top retailer 

GREEN OAKS, Ill. – NorthShore Care Supply has been named a Top 1000 Digital Retailer for the sixth year in a row. The company has moved up to 716 on Digital Commerce 360’s annual list, a comprehensive ranking of the leading 1,000 online retailers headquartered in North America. After collecting hundreds of data points from each retailer, Digital Commerce 360 performs a detailed analysis of industry benchmarks, including mobile sales, average order value, website features and functions, source of website traffic, payment methods, conversion rate and search engine optimization. Digital Commerce 360 also recognized critical on-time delivery issues during COVID-19 and automation. "NorthShore encountered quite a few challenges in 2020, just like other retailers, including product supply issues, delivery delays and worker safety concerns, to name a few," says Adam Greenberg, president and founder. "We found partnering with different manufacturers throughout the world helped us ensure overall product volume and fulfillment so our customers continued to receive medically necessary incontinence supplies as needed." 

Caregivers likely to invest in connected health, according to research 

DALLAS – Seventy-three percent of caregivers are likely to buy an independent living solution for their loved one, according to new research from Parks Associates. Among those caregivers, 28% are planning to acquire a smart watch, 25% a PERS solution, 25% a professionally installed home sensor system and 22% a smart speaker/display solution. “Smartphones and connected smart devices hold the potential to transform health care for millions in America and billions around the globe,” said Renee Dua, former chief medical officer for Heal. “Health equality can be achieved through innovation.” The new research will be discussed at the virtual “Connected Health Summit: Consumer Engagement and Innovation,” hosted by Parks Associates and sponsored by, Essence and Everise.  

Gov’t settles with SuperCare 

OAKLAND, Calif. – California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced a $3.31 million settlement against SuperCare Health for allegedly billing Medicare and Medi-Cal for servicing ventilators that were no longer necessary. The proposed settlement resolves allegations that the Downey-based company submitted fraudulent claims to Medi-Cal in violation of the state and federal False Claims Act. Per the proposed settlement, SuperCare will pay $3.31 million to multiple government plaintiffs, with California receiving approximately $327,000. A whistleblower alleged that SuperCare, which serves patients in Southern California and Nevada, continued to service non-invasive ventilators that were no longer being used by patients and were not medically necessary and, therefore, no longer eligible for Medi-Cal reimbursement. A subsequent three-year investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA), working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Nevada Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, found that claims submitted by SuperCare from May 2013 through October 2019 validated the whistleblower’s claims. 

DME owner sentenced to two-plus years in prison 

RALEIGH, N.C. – Shelly Phillips Bandy, co-owner of A Perfect Fit For You, a DME company based here, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release on a charge of Making Material False Statements Relating to Healthcare Matters. In December, Bandy admitted to submitting fraudulent claims to Medicaid on behalf of A Perfect Fit.  Specifically, she admitted that on Jan. 1, 2016, she billed Medicaid for 43 fraudulent claims, totaling $626,773.79, with Medicaid subsequently paying $374,809.92 for the claims. Bandy is also liable for a civil judgment of about $34.7 million arising from the same conduct. 


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