In brief: Providers make their case, WHILL merges with Scootaround

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Friday, August 23, 2019

WASHINGTON – Managed care plans, CRT reimbursement and coverage for breast prosthesis topped the list of concerns HME providers shared at an Aug. 19 Small Business Administration Regulatory Fairness Hearing.

Provider Georgie Blackburn said she’s seen a significant impact on small businesses under Pennsylvania’s managed care model for Medicaid, according to a bulletin from VGM.

“We have witnessed significant barriers to access for recipients in need for durable medical equipment,” said Blackburn. “We have experienced a growing accounts receivable for services authorized and provided. Having contracted with all MCOs in our state, we can compare the effectiveness, efficiencies, and, most importantly, the timeliness of care. MCOs simply do not operate in a similar manner, and states do not effectively monitor comparable activity.”

Provider John Letizia told SBA board members that Medicare reimbursement for CRT accessories is affecting his ability to provide service to power wheelchair users.

Jasmine Jones of Cherry Blossom Intimates and Nikki Jensen of Essentially Women spoke about the importance of requiring Medicare coverage of custom breast prostheses.

The SBA hearings are held regionally around the country and HME providers have regularly testified on industry issues.

WHILL, Scootaround merge

SAN FRANCISCO – WHILL, the makers of the Model Ci and Model A personal electric vehicles, and Scootaround, a provider of rental mobility solutions, have merged.

The new mobility-as-a-service model that will by implemented by WHILL and Scootaround will combine WHILL’s personal EVs with Scootaround’s worldwide rental, repair and mobility management services.

“Our partnership with Scootaround is a huge step toward evolving the worldwide mobility transportation industry,” said Satoshi Sugie, founder and CEO of WHILL. “We are taking WHILL’s technology and combining it with the best mobility and rental service from Scootaround to create a world that will help people with mobility issues increase their independence.”

WHILL’s Model Ci personal EV will soon be available through Scootaround’s partnerships with leading airlines, cruise lines, convention centers and more.

The Model Ci is currently priced at $4,999 and comes with a one-year warranty on the omni-wheels and battery.

Dynarex invests in digital

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – Dynarex has launched a new interactive website with enhanced features and product information. The website, www.dynarex.com, now offers products with detailed descriptions, specifications, images, technical documents and instructional videos. Visitors can browse, search and filter through thousands of these products, as well as view newly organized categories and subcategories, making it easier to find specific SKU numbers. “Dynarex continues to evolve into the digital landscape, exposing more resources to better serve the medical and healthcare related market,” said Melodi Pomeroy, senior vice president of marketing. “The launch of the new website will support Dynarex’s growth, while offering our customers and partners effective tools and resources to help them make informed decisions and stay competitive.” Visitors can also read the latest industry news and download marketing collateral. A “Clinical Expertise” section features “Clinical Care Newsletters” and a “Resource Center” provides downloads for product sheets and images. Dynarex manufactures disposable medical products and has distributor partners in all 50 states.

Electromed adds HME distributors channel

NEW PRAGUE, Minn. – Electromed has entered into agreements with two HME distributors—one national and one regional—to distribute and sell the SmartVest Airway Clearance System in the U.S. homecare market. Sale of the system through HME distributors began in targeted geographies in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. Electromed expects, however, to continue working its direct sales channel as its primary revenue source in the market. “Expanding sales channels through homecare distribution will complement our direct sales efforts and support growth initiatives to expand the underserved bronchiectasis market and acceptance of high frequency chest wall oscillation therapy with SmartVest,” said Kathleen Skarvan, president and CEO. The SmartVest uses HFCWO, a proven therapy that helps clear the lungs of excess secretions, reducing the risk of respiratory infections and hospitalizations.

Organizers put out call for presentations for spring conference

LAS VEGAS – Show organizers have opened the call for presentations for Medtrade Spring, March 3-5 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Sessions for the show cover a wide range of topics, including regulations and compliance, business operations, executive leadership, legal, Medicare updates, sales and marketing, retail and cash sales, and strategic planning. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 13. While organizers will select individual and co-presented sessions, a good portion of the sessions they select will be panels. “Therefore, we encourage you to form a panel—three or more panelists—to present your proposed program,” said Mark Lind, associate show director. FMI: https://bit.ly/30jjYK5

Protech reports Q3 earnings

CINCINNATI – Protech Home Medical reported revenues of $21.1 million for the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 7.1% compared to the same period in 2018. Year-to-date revenue was $64.7 million, a 13.6% increase. Adjusted EBITDA was $3.9 million. “We continue to achieve these solid financial results, while also improving on all aspects of our business operations, including an increase in the number of patients served and respiratory resupply setups or deliveries,” said CEO Greg Crawford. “We continue to focus on achieving solid organic growth and on enhancing the profitability of our core operations.”

Golden targets REHACARE for global expansion

OLD FORGE, Pa. – Golden Technologies will exhibit at REHACARE 2019, an international trade fair for rehabilitation, prevention, inclusion and care held this year in Dusseldorf, Germany, Sep. 18-21. Golden plans to introduce several new products, including its Twilight line and Buzzaround LX three-and four-wheel scooters. “We are undergoing a global expansion, with targets throughout Europe, and REHACARE provides the perfect opportunity for us to introduce our new innovative products in both the power lift recliner and mobility divisions to the international market,” said Rich Golden, CEO of Golden Technologies. REHACARE is expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors from 80 countries.

VGM Retail partners with local health system to ‘make a difference’

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Retail and MercyOne have partnered to develop a hospital gift shop that will pay a portion of its profits back to MercyOne Waterloo Foundation and MercyOne Cedar Falls Foundation. “We are very excited to announce our partnership with MercyOne and operate gift shops that make a difference in our community,” said Rob Baumhover, director of VGM Retail. “This new collaboration brings beloved elements from the previous gift shop operations and adds gifts from new vendors, comfort options and even Iowa-made merchandise with continued focus on the consumer experience.” The Gift Shop at MercyOne, Powered by VGM, located at the Waterloo Medical Center, offers sundries, snacks, home décor, travel supplies, phone accessories, clothing, shoes, flowers and gifts. A second shop, located in the Waterloo Birth Center, will feature gifts for expectant parents. A third gift shop will be located at Cedar Fall Medical Center. The foundations will use the funds for improvements and innovation that advance patient care.

PHS names top spots for special needs families

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pediatric Home Service has released its 2019 Top Spots, a list to help families with special needs find the best spots in Minnesota for wheelchair and medical equipment accessibility and safety. “At PHS we know that taking care of the child means taking care of the whole family,” said Cameo Zehnder, CEO. “We strive to provide resources beyond just caring for physical needs, so that families with special accommodations feel empowered to get out and take advantage of what our great community and state offers.” The top spots, compiled by surveying special needs families, include family friendly and all-inclusive areas for active lifestyles, adaptive sport organizations and getaways. They include Mall of America (indoor play space); Target Field (entertainment venue) and Gooseberry Falls (state park).

BOC adds two staff members

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) has two additions to its staff: Isaac Bunn as credentialing liaison and Kathleen Spaeth as marketing communications manager. Bunn, who has a background in customer service experience, is responsible for providing administrative support to the credentialing, facility accreditation and marketing/business development teams. Spaeth, who has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience, is responsible for developing and executing marketing and communications initiatives to promote BOC products and support the brand, and will lead the company’s online marketing, advertising and tradeshow programs.

Quality Biomedical tapped by GCE for service

BOULDER, Colo. – Quality Biomedical has been appointed a national service provider by GCE Group. Quality Biomedical will provide both warranty and out-of-warranty service and repair for GCE’s Zen-O and Zen-O Lite range of portable oxygen concentrators starting Aug. 23. Jim Clement, GCE’s general manager of operations in the U.S., said a big factor in the company’s decision was Quality Biomedical’s national presence in five major markets, with plans to expand to 12 over the next 18 months. “This will allow GCE customers to access service support close to their locations, with significant improvements in turn-around times and reduced packing and shipping costs,” he said. “With a strong background in respiratory service backed by ISO-900 quality certification, I am confident our customers will appreciate the availability of a quality service partner, everywhere they operate.” Quality Biomedical announced in July that it had doubled the size of its service center in Boulder, Colo., one of its 10 service centers.

OxyGo launches NEXT POC

ORLANDO, Fla. – OxyGo has launched a new six-flow setting, Bluetooth-enabled portable oxygen concentrator. The OxyGo NEXT, which weighs only 4.7 pounds, features a wireless connectivity platform that includes a provider dashboard and mobile application for patients to use through mobile devices. The My OxyGo App provides real-time monitoring to help with troubleshooting, concentrator health checks, preventative maintenance and geo-locating. “Patients on oxygen are always concerned about their next breath, and providers now will be able to ensure the patients are getting their required oxygen prescription,” said Victoria Marquard-Schultz, CEO of OxyGo. Other features of the NEXT include battery life of up to 13 hours with optional double battery, a large LCD screen and a noise level of 38 dB.

Portable Oxygen Solutions makes Inc. list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Portable Oxygen Solutions took No. 2980 on the Inc. annual list of 5,000 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States for 2019. The company, which specializes in portable oxygen concentrators and accessories, reported three-year growth of 125% and 2018 revenue of $2.6 million. Portable Oxygen Solutions was founded in 2013 and has five employees. It is led by Todd Flesch and Jeff Dewberry. The company ranked 1055 on the list in 2018.