PLAINVIEW, N.Y. - With several new products that debuted last month, Fastrack Healthcare Systems began going after HME business that until now had been out of its reach.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

DECATUR, Ala. - ResMed and Letco have married their individual technologies with two key goals in mind: Prove the effectiveness of CPAP therapy and help providers boost their sleep referrals.
The partnership combines ResMed's Apnea Link, a home-based unit that records apneas, with Letco's Internet technology, used until now to transmit overnight oximetry results to independent testing facilities.
"For me, it's about going after the undiagnosed patient group," said Mick Farrell, ResMed's vice president of marketing. "These patients just never would be recognized as having sleep apnea. (Letco) came to us, and we said, 'What a great idea.'"
Letco unveiled the product in August, but Medtrade was its official coming-out party.
The Letco-ResMed partnership works like this: Say a provider has an oxygen patient he suspects may have sleep apnea. He alerts the patient's doctor and gets the OK to have him spend the night attached to an Apnea Link monitor. After picking up the unit, the provider returns to his office, downloads the information and transmits it to a secure Web site maintained by Letco. The patient's doctor logs onto the site, reviews the data and decides whether the patient should be referred to a lab for a full sleep study. If the patient goes in for a test and qualifies, a good chance exists that the provider will get the CPAP referral, Farrell said.
Equally important, Apnea Link establishes a baseline for the patient, said Letco President Mickey Letson. The patient's lab results are also entered into the system, and if the patient goes on a ResMed CPAP, compliance data that's downloaded every 30 days is added to the patient's file.
The compliance data is key, Letson said, not only to monitor the patient's progress but also to prove the effectiveness of CPAP therapy, which could help stave off future reimbursement cuts.
"Most people who go to CMS say 'We'd like to talk about the benefits of this or that therapy,' and they have a few hundred patients," Letson said. "Imagine showing up with 100,000 patients and completely objective data? This is not anyone's opinion; it comes right out of the system. It's going to be very difficult for someone to argue with it."