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In brief: Provider sues Philips, AZ MediQuip supports Ukraine, VGM launches tracker

In brief: Provider sues Philips, AZ MediQuip supports Ukraine, VGM launches tracker

PHILADELPHIA – Baird Respiratory Therapy has filed a lawsuit against Philips, claiming it and other DME suppliers are owed refunds for recalled respiratory devices containing PE-PUR sound abatement foam, according to Law360.  

The complaint, filed March 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeks class action status on behalf of all similarly affected suppliers, arguing that Philips breached its warranty and misrepresented the risk related to the foam found in its CPAP and BiPAP devices.  

"As a direct and proximate result of Philips' breaches of express warranty, plaintiff and members of the class have been damaged because they purchased recalled products that they are unable to resell," the complaint states. "Plaintiff and members of the class did not receive the benefit of the bargain and suffered damages at the point of sale stemming from their overpayment for the recalled devices."  

Baird believes the aggregate class claims will exceed $5 million.  

The complaint also argues: 

  • That Philips delayed its recall, which was issued in June 2021, even as it received complaints on message boards and YouTube about black particles building up in the device airways.  
  • That Philips misrepresented to sellers that the devices were safe for use. 

Baird, based in Glendale, Pa., is represented by Jonathan Shub of the Shub Law Firm, based in North Haddonfield, N.J. 

AZ MediQuip to support Ukraine efforts 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – AZ MediQuip of Arizona has partnered with Project C.U.R.E. to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. 

AZ MediQuip has selected a range of wound care products that customers may purchase at any AZ MediQuip location and donate to the people of Ukraine. The company will match this donation dollar for dollar.  

“Many of us see the events in Ukraine and are not sure of how we can help,” said Mark Nicotera, founder of AZ MediQuip. “This is a great opportunity for both the community and our company to give much-needed supplies to the people of Ukraine. We are proud to partner with a wonderful organization such as Project C.U.R.E., as they have a strong history of supporting communities around the world. This is our time to do what we can to support them and others.” 

All collected items will be brought to Project C.U.R.E. Arizona for packaging and distribution to Ukraine. 

AZ MediQuip, which has eight locations in Arizona, is also donating 20 hospital beds and a pallet load of bandages to procure C.U.R.E. 

CQRC warns of possible access issues 

WASHINGTON – Patient access to in-home respiratory care may be negatively impacted if a shortage in semiconductor chips is not addressed, warns the Council for Council for Quality Respiratory Care. 

In a March 15 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, CQRC and nine other respiratory care stakeholders urge the administration to use its authority to help address the shortage of semiconductor chips used in home respiratory care equipment. 

 “We ask that the departments prioritize allocating chips to manufacturers of home respiratory devices and ensure that medical device manufacturers receive sufficient chips to meet the medical needs of patients who rely on these devices,” the letter states. “The administration has rightly prioritized expanding access to home medical treatments, but the chip shortage places this expansion at risk.” 

In addition to CQRC, the letter was also signed by AAHomecare, Alpha 1 Foundation, American Association for Respiratory Care, COPD Foundation, Dorney-Koppel Foundation, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Respiratory Health Association, U.S. COPD Coalition and VGM & Associates. 

AASM favors switch to permanent standard time 

DARIEN, Ill. – The American Academy of Sleep Medicine applauds the U.S. Senate for passing the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would eliminate twice yearly time changes, but it says establishing a permanent standard time would be a better option. 

The Senate on Tuesday passed the bill to make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023. 

AASM in 2020 issued a position statement supporting the elimination of seasonal time changes. It says data show the sudden change from standard time to daylight saving time in March is associated with significant public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders and motor vehicle crashes. 

The statement was endorsed by more than 20 medical, scientific and civic organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National PTA, National Safety Council, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and World Sleep Society. 

ResMed survey outlines what’s keeping Americans up at night 

SAN DIEGO – About 52% of Americans reported snoring or being told they snore, but only 33% are concerned about the associated health implications, according to ResMed’s 2022 Global Sleep Surveys. 

“Sleep quality can be impacted by lifestyle changes and poor habits, but many people are struggling with undiagnosed conditions that may be the root cause,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., ResMed’s chief medical officer. “Sleep apnea is a serious health concern, but very few people are screened for the condition, which impacts more than 54 million people in the U.S.” 

ResMed conducted the survey of nearly 25,000 respondents in 12 countries in conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week (March 13-19) and World Sleep Day (March 18).  

Only 22% of Americans said they’ve been tested for sleep apnea, according to the survey. 

Other highlights: 

  • 38% of Americans cited depression and anxiety as the reasons they don’t sleep well at night. 
  • 45% of Americans who work from home said they get more sleep compared to working in an office. 
  • 23% of Americans said they binge-watch TV shows to help them fall asleep. 
  • 29% of Americans said they use traditional medications or alternative sleep aids such as aromatherapy or tea to help them fall asleep. 

“Getting good quality sleep is a struggle for people across the globe for many different reasons,” Nunez said. “It is clear that the pandemic has caused an increase in poor quality sleep due to stress, depression and anxiety, but our survey found that in most countries, nearly half of respondents say they’ve never sought professional medical help to improve their sleep or address underlying issues.” 

Brightree enhances pharmacy solution 

ATLANTA – Brightree has implemented more than one dozen major enhancements to its Brightree Business Management Solution for Pharmacy that will allow home infusion pharmacies to automate critical daily tasks and reduce manual burdens on staff. Enhancements include: 

Comprehensive patient intake – New customizable, role-driven workflows guide each staff member through their portion of the patient intake process, with indicators for required information at each stage. 

Discharge and patient status mechanisms – These features help organizations maintain accurate records of patient on service, share discharge summaries with prescribers and trigger necessary actions that must be completed once a patient is discharged. 

Contract pricing – This revenue cycle tool allows providers to establish rule-based pricing that reflects unique payer contracts. 

“Home infusion pharmacies have to navigate a series of complex processes to get reimbursed for servicing their patients,” said Nupura Kolwalkar, chief product officer at Brightree. “With the updates announced today, Brightree Business Management Solution for Pharmacy helps connect those otherwise disjointed workflows to revolutionize organizational efficiencies and pave the way for greater gains with fewer complications.” Brightree plans to build on these enhancements throughout the year. 

Florida: MCO legislation fails to cross finish line 

TALLAHASEE, Fla. – Language that would have required managed care organizations in Florida to reimburse at no less than 100% of the state’s current Medicaid DME schedule was not included in the final version of an appropriations package, according to AAHomecare. “While we didn’t accomplish our top goal this time around, I am convinced that the extensive work engaging legislators, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Governor’s office, the Florida Association of Health Plans, and other Florida payers has increased understanding about the challenges HME suppliers face in the current market environment,” said Laura Williard, AAHomecare vice president of payer relations. “We’ve raised awareness of the value of HME and need to support our part of the health care continuum in Florida, and I believe that will pay dividends as we continue to fight for better policies and reimbursements here.” House Bill 1165 and Senate Bill 1540, introduced in January, would also have required that Medicaid beneficiaries be allowed to pick their provider and would have prohibited managed care plans from self-referrals.   
AAHomecare joins stakeholders seeking extension of sequestration relief 

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare joined 50 other major health care groups in a Feb. 28 letter to Congressional leaders seeking to extend the current moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequester to the end of the public health emergency. Without further action, the sequester will resume at a 1% cut for April through June of this year and increase to 2% starting July 1, 2022.  A continued pause to the sequester would be welcome relief for HME suppliers and other health care providers who are facing rising product and operational costs, says the association. In late 2021, Congress passed legislation to pause the cuts through March 2022. 

AAHomecare: Lake Court Medical signs on as Bronze Corporate Partner 

CRYSTAL CITY, Va. – Lake Court Medical Supplies is now an AAHomecare Bronze Corporate Partner. “For three decades we have lobbied alongside AAHomecare and other industry groups for the provider community” said Charlie Elliott, president & CEO of Lake Court Medical Supplies. “We have made incredible contacts with top leaders in Congress including both House Representatives and Senators, and now will tie our efforts together with AAHomecare.” Lake Court Medical Supplies, founded in 1991, is a wholesale distributor of respiratory, durable medical equipment and disposable supplies. Its four strategically located distribution centers allow it to provide customers with same day shipping and next day just-in-time delivery throughout the Midwest and Florida, with the ability to also ship to anywhere in the continental United States. 

Soleo Health asks Medicare to expand access to Alzheimer’s treatment 

FRISCO, Texas – Soleo Health is urging CMS to allow certain monoclonal antibodies to be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. “Patient access to innovative therapy treatments is critical to supporting our aging population, including the recent FDA-approved monoclonal antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s patients,” said Drew Walk, CEO. “We believe new therapeutics for those patients in need could prove extremely beneficial to their well-being and quality of life, while helping manage the overall impact of this devastating disease.” Soleo Health’s position is in response to a recent CMS Decision Memo CAG-00460N limiting coverage of monoclonal antibody treatment, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for Alzheimer’s Disease. The company also expressed its opposition to a requirement that designates CMS-approved clinical trials be limited to hospital-based outpatient facilities. This requirement creates additional, unnecessary barriers for patients who otherwise could obtain this important therapy, Soleo Health says. Providing broader access to care delivered in the home or at alternate infusion sites is critical for patients who qualify for this therapy, the company says. 

Medtrade East: Last call for presentations 

ATLANTA – The deadline to submit presentation ideas for Medtrade East is March 25. Prospective speakers are asked to select specific topics within the following suggested categories: audits, business operations, contractor updates, federal legislative and regulatory, leadership, legal, payer relations, products, services, sales and marketing, state legislative and regulatory, retail and technology. Medtrade East takes place Oct 24-26, 2022, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. FMI: taps e-commerce leader for board 

HOUSTON - Investment firm Cathay Capital and, an e-commerce retailer of sleep apnea equipment, have announced that Jay Steinfeld has joined the company’s board. Steinfeld is well known in the retail industry for building transformational direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands. “Jay’s experience in building ecommerce and retail brands will be key to as we work to evolve and grow the company,” said Johnny Goodman, co-founder and CEO of  “We're honored and thankful to have the opportunity to learn from and grow with one of the best, and we look forward to partnering with Jay as we work to enhance our customer engagement.” Steinfeld, founder and CEO of was an early mover in -ecommerce. In 1993, he bootstrapped and turned it into the top online window coverings retailer globally. In January 2014, he sold’s holding company, Global Custom Commerce (GCC), to The Home Depot, where he continued for more than six years to lead GCC as its CEO. In addition, he joined the Home Depot Online Leadership Team where he integrated GCC’s proprietary technology and sales platforms into Home Depot’s enterprise systems.   

PBE marks workplace safety milestone 

DUNBRIDGE, Ohio – Principle Business Enterprises has gone three years and 2 million hours worked without an Occupational Health and Safety Lost-Time Accident. “Our goal remains zero injuries every day,” said David Kisor, PBE Safety Supervisor. “We continually raise the bar for safety standards across the organization to ensure our Associates return home safe to their loved ones.” The family-owned manufacturer of high-performance absorbent products credits its culture of safety, including an enhanced safety training for new hires; partnered with the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio to provide a 20-hour intensive training certification for Production Supervisors through the SAF Frontline program; and developed a rigorous COVID-19 risk-aversion program that involved expanding its facilities team and vendor partnerships to maintain a clean and safe work environment 

Breg names new president/CEO 

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Breg, an orthopedic and billing services company, has announced that its board of directors has appointed Kevin Hobert president and CEO. Hobert, who will succeed Brad Lee, who is retiring, will spearhead the next phase of the company’s expansion. “We conducted a robust national search, and Mr. Hobert stood out based on his successful career in health care leadership, his deep industry knowledge and his commitment to customer experience," said Stuart Simpson, chairman of Breg's board of directors. "He has demonstrated his ability to disrupt entrenched market leaders and grow market share through new medical technologies, and we have full confidence that he will accelerate Breg's growth and capture more leadership share in the DMEPOS space." Hobert's career spans nearly three decades at global medical device and health care information technology (IT) companies. Prior to joining Breg, he served as CEO and a member of the board of directors of Carestream Health, where he grew digital revenue, increased gross margin and aligned 8,000 employees across 170 countries to create a strong culture of customer focus and accountability. 

Pharmacare Hawaii signs with Inovalon to manage patient care 

HONOLULU – Pharmacare Hawaii, a diversified pharmacy company serving thousands through community pharmacies, a home infusion pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy and a long-term care pharmacy, has signed a multi-year contract with Inovalon, a provider of cloud-based platforms. Pharmacare Hawaii will use ScriptMed Cloud, an eight-module, end-to-end solution powered by the Inovalon ONE Platform, to manage patient care across its rapidly growing specialty and infusion pharmacy network. “We’re a diversified pharmacy with ambitions to expand our services to better help patients across Hawaii,” said Byron Yoshino, CEO of Pharmacare Hawaii. “Inovalon’s platform is built for the complexities of specialty and infusion pharmacies, and their technology and expertise will enable us to fulfill our longstanding commitment to delivering care the right way.” ScriptMed Cloud provides the single system of patient identifiable data and tools across eight modules to rapidly qualify new patients and better manage interventions for existing patients to ensure their safety and therapy adherence. The platform is built specifically for the complexities of specialty and infusion pharmacy, with modules like Clinical Care Management that help clinicians develop and oversee customized care plans for each patient. 

VGM launches legislative tracker 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Government Relations has added a new feature to its website that tracks state and federal legislation. In 2020, VGM purchased the Fiscal Note program to track DME and women’s health issues by keyword searches and over the past year it has been working on a product that it could share with members and state and regional associations. The Legislative Tracker allows users to select a state from a map to see a list of DME-related bills and links with more information. VGM is now working to future enhance the tool with a list of congressional contacts and health legislative aids for each congressional member. 

NorthShore publishes ‘best of’ list 

GREEN OAKS, Ill. – NorthShore Care Supply has published its annual guide to its best adult diapers to help consumer quickly identify the best incontinence products for their specific needs. Each year, the company evaluates its products based on absorbency, style and customer favorites. “We are excited to announce the 2022 Products of the Year recommendations and help individuals managing incontinence find the best products,” said Adam Greenberg, president and founder of NorthShore. “What makes our Best for 2022 products so trusted is our commitment to empowering people to live their lives to the fullest, backed by over 2.5 million Americans who have helped over the years.” The Best for 2022 list includes NorthShore flagship products like MEGAMAX Adult Diapers with Tabs and GoSupreme Protective Underwear. 

RESNA opens registration for annual conference 

ARLINGTON, Va. – Registration is open for RESNA’s virtual conference on July 13-15. The annual conference, which has the theme “Driving the future of assistive technology,” brings together like-minded professionals from a wide variety of disciplines to exchange ideas about the latest innovations and research in technologies that help people with disabilities lead independent, healthy lives. RESNA made the decision earlier this year to stick with a virtual format in 2022 due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Permobil re-ups Vicair partnership 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Permobil has renewed its exclusive distribution agreement with Vicair, a manufacturer of wheelchair cushions. “The inclusion of Vicair in our product line is key to meeting the varied needs of individuals and complements the ROHO and Comfort cushion options,” says Chuck Witkowski, president of Permobil Americas. “Permobil and Vicair have a shared commitment to end users and we are happy to continue providing this unique seating solution to the Americas market.” Vicair cushions are available in three styles: Adjuster O2, Active O2 Low, and Vector O2. Within each cushion there are hundreds of SmartCells working together for pressure redistribution with minimal adjustments and for temperature and moisture regulation. Permobil has been the exclusive distributor of Vicair to the U.S. market since 2007 through its Comfort Company brand.


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