Respironics retools ventilator

Sunday, February 29, 2004

MURRYSVILLE, Penn. - Eight years after Respironics acquired home ventilator vendor, Life-Care, the company has overhauled its flagship ventilator, the PLV-100.

The new ventilator - the PLV Continuum - can be used as either a volume ventilator that requires intubation or a non-invasive option. That, says Respironics, will help providers cut inventory and simplify ventilator training.

Where the old power source was piston-driven, the Continuum is driven by a blower, which both lightens the unit and makes it easier to maintain.

A third new feature does away with the need to bring caregivers up to speed on how to change settings.

“Some physicians will order one setting for the day, and something else for night,” said Cheryl Needham, product manager home ventilation. “Before you had to change every dial, every parameter. Now, all they have to do is hit one button and it will immediately move to the other set of parameters.”

The Continuum weighs in at 20 pounds, 10 pounds less than its predecessor, and takes up about half as much space. Its internal battery life is one hour.

Nationally, manufacturers generate about $40 million in revenues from sales of home ventilators to home respiratory providers. Medicare pays about $850 per month for the E0450 vent, and $1,300 for the E0450. CMS has yet to issue a coding decision on the Continuum.