SeQual scores bundling deal

Monday, March 31, 2008

BARRIE, Ontario – After Microsoft bundled its operating system with the shipment of new PCs, Windows emerged as the dominant platform worldwide. On a smaller scale, Home Care Southmedic is shipping its software—in this case a cannula and a mask—with SeQual’s concentrators.
“This helps Southmedic increase our brand awareness and visibility for the products’ many Southmedic

benefits to both the homecare provider and LTOT user worldwide,” said Bob Mogue, director of Home Care Southmedic.
Prior to the Southmedic bundling deal, SeQual didn’t select one cannula or mask over another when shipping its Eclipse or Integra concentrators. But the science of compliance sold them on Southmedic’s OxyArm (cannula) and OxyMask products as a leg-up for patients who weren’t making do with traditional cannulas.
“This is very similar to the CPAP market,” said SeQual’s Ron Richard. “If the patient does not get a comfortable mask interface, they really struggle with complying with their therapy and may become frustrated and discontinue use.”
The problem with basic nasal cannulas? Sores on the nose and ears, and hence lower levels of compliance, according to SeQual.
The OxyArm and OxyMask both offer an open oxygen system design that eliminates the irritating aspects of wearing a nasal cannula and reduces or eliminates the costs associated with having to provide numerous masks, said Mogue.
“The OxyArm helps eliminate face contact, a common source of irritation associated with traditional nasal cannulae,” he said.
Southmedic is aiming sky-high. Before they get there, of course, it’ll be necessary to affect a sea-change in a market where no-name cannulas have been the norm for ages.
No other concentrator manufacturer is bundling its concentrators with Southmedic’s soft goods. Most manufacturers either ship a cannula with their hardware, or leave the choice up to the HME supplier.
Under the new agreement, SeQual will ship the Southmedic products at no additional cost. Medicare has reviewed the company’s cannula and mask, and assigned HCPCS codes (A4615 and A9900) to the products, but no reimbursement has been approved. HME