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In brief: Study details increased Part A costs, PE firm exits respiratory market

In brief: Study details increased Part A costs, PE firm exits respiratory market

WATERLOO, Iowa - A study sponsored by The VGM Group shows the cost shift that is happening as a result of reduced access to DME for Medicare beneficiaries.

The study by Leitten Consulting shows that:

. Fall-related injuries due to failure to provide needed mobility equipment results in a cost shift of between $4,705 and $5,029;

. COPD-related exacerbations due to failure to provide supplemental oxygen therapy results in a cost shift of about $14,350; and

. OSA-related complications due to failure to provide CPAP therapy results in cost shift of $1,631.

“When this happens, Medicare incurs substantial increased Part A costs to treat medical complications caused by not having the needed DME,” Brian Leitten writes in the study.

This most recent study builds on another study by Leitten Consulting released last year that shows, for every dollar spent on DME, Medicare could save anywhere from $11 to $29 in payments for direct treatment.

VGM says the most recent study will be an important tool in its continued discussions with elected officials about the negative impact of Medicare's competitive bidding program.

“(The study) provides a clear picture of the negative impact caused by both the delay and lack of access to proper equipment due to CMS's competitive bidding program,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations. “The dramatic reduction in DMEPOS providers, coupled with cost shifted from prevention to treatment, are, in fact, coming at a significant larger cost to Medicare.”

Riverside Co. exits respiratory market

CLEVELAND - The Riverside Company, a global private equity company based here, has sold Specialized Medical Services to Lincare.

Milwaukee-based SMS is a provider of respiratory equipment, logistics solutions and related medical products to long-term care centers like skilled nursing facilities.

Under Riverside's hold, SMS's footprint grew to cover more than 45 states and 3,200 facilities, and its revenue grew more than seven times, according to the firm.

Riverside initially entered the respiratory market in 2006, when it invested in RCS Management. When it acquired SMS in 2012, it named the combined company SMS.

“Combined with other add-on acquisitions, such as Future Medical and Premier Medical, SMS established itself as the largest respiratory equipment provider for SNFs in the nation,” the firm stated in a press release.

Riverside says it has made more than 130 investments in the healthcare sector.

Lincare is a subsidiary of Germany-based Linde AG.

Insulet reduces net loss

BILLERICA, Mass. - Insulet Corp., maker of the Omnipod Insulin Management System, reported revenues of $124.3 million for the second quarter, a 13% increase compared to the same period last year. It reported revenues of $78.1 million for the Omnipod in the U.S., a 19% increase. Insulet reported a net loss of $1.7 million for the second quarter compared to a net loss of $7.8 million for the same period last year. Among the company's highlights in the second quarter: It assumed direct European operations for the Omnipod on July 1; it commenced a limited market release in the U.S. for the Omnipod DASH, its next generation platform; and it secured in-network coverage for Omnipod with UnitedHealthcare. “Our commitment to operational excellence is driving our strong revenue growth and continuing gross margin expansion,” said Patrick Sullivan, chairman and CEO. “We are on track to achieve positive operating income in 2018 and our 2021 revenue and gross margin targets.”

Aeroflow launches contest for pumping room makeover

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Aeroflow Breastpumps, a subsidiary of Aeroflow Healthcare, has launched a contest for a Pumping Room Makeover as part of World Breastfeeding Month. The new initiative, with support from sponsors like Lansinoh and Spectra, will provide one grand prizewinner with a pumping room makeover at their business. To enter, employees or employers fill out a quick entry form and submit photos of potential lactation room locations at their businesses. Aeroflow will accept entries from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31. The company's team members will personally visit the winning business to set up the perfect pumping room with items like a comfortable chair, mini-fridge, microwave and pumping accessories. In addition to the grand prize, there will be five $500 gift basket prizes, filled with breastfeeding and pumping accessories.

Homecare Medical Supply joins Respiratory Services of WNY

AUBURN, N.Y., and BUFFALO, N.Y. - Homecare Medical Supply in Auburn, N.Y., has become a branch of Respiratory Services of Western New York in Buffalo, N.Y., according to the Olean Times Herald. Homecare Medical Supply will retain its name and location, and the son of the founders, Joe Manning, and granddaughter Cynthia Manning, will continue to manage the store, the newspaper reported. Respiratory Services of Western New York is a full-service provider of home respiratory and medical equipment and supplies with four additional branches in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. “We are very excited to add this great location to our growing family of stores,” said Michael McCartney, owner and CEO of Respiratory Services of Western New York. “Homecare Medical Supply is a perfect fit and with our expanded line of products, I'm sure this will be smooth sailing all the way.”

Mediware acquires BlueStrata EHR

LENEXA, Kan. - Mediware Information Systems has acquired St. Louis-based BlueStrata EHR, a cloud-based electronic health record system for long-term post-acute care providers. The deal will allow Medicare to better address the healthcare needs of the aging populations and the business and process needs of the post-acute market. “BlueStrata EHR provides Mediware with a high-quality solution and a new market opportunity where we can share our expertise in improving care through technology,” said Bill Miller, Mediware CEO. “Together with BlueStrata EHR, Mediware now offers the broadest set of solutions in the post-acute software market, including home health, hospice and rehab.”

Marx, Maughan join AAH board

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare has added two new members to its board of directors: Scott Maughan, president of Salt Lake City-based Alpine Home Medical; and Josh Marx, managing director of sleep and vice president of business development for Cleveland-based Medical Service Company. “We're extremely fortunate to add these accomplished individuals to our leadership team,” said Tom Ryan, president & CEO of AAHomecare.  “Scott and Josh bring high levels of expertise in HME to the board, and I know that the association will benefit from their demonstrated passion and commitment to this industry.” The two seats on the board opened up following the resignation of Byram Healthcare's Perry Bernocchi and the transition of Hoveround's Deb Silvers to chair of the AAHomecare Regulatory Council.

Sunrise goes Down Under for buy

FRESNO, Calif. - Sunrise Medical has acquired Magic Mobility, a manufacturer of all-terrain power wheelchairs based in Melbourne, Australia.

The deal expands Sunrise's existing product portfolio of wheelchairs, scooters, and seating and positioning products.

“The opportunity of offering our customers greater possibilities in terms of power wheelchairs is at the heart of this acquisition,” said Jim Barratt, senior vice president of commercial operations for Sunrise. “The inclusion of the Magic Mobility portfolio, which is at the leading edge of outdoor, go-anywhere, all-terrain power wheelchairs, further enables people to enjoy their life and experience an enhanced choice of product capabilities.”

Magic Mobility, which was formed in 1994 by rehab industry professionals, has 24 employees.

“We are thrilled by this transition, which will ensure that the 24-year-old Australian brand can grow and develop even further for decades,” said Jill Barnett, general manager of Magic Mobility. “Our desire has always been to grow awareness and provide more access to our products and the Magic way of life.”

Sunrise Medical's leading market brands include Quickie, Sopur, Zippie and JAY. The company employs 2,300 associates worldwide, with facilities in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, the U.K., Spain, Poland, Holland and China.

NSM to distribute robotic eating device

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - National Seating & Mobility is partnering with Desin to distribute its Obi robotic eating device nationwide. The device, which fits within the size of a dinner placemat, features a robotic arm that can select food from four compartments and deliver it to the diner, so they can eat from a spoon, according to a press release. “This product showcases the powerful impact technology can bring to our industry,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “We are pleased to add Obi to the list of assistive technology solutions available for our clients.” The Obi was recently selected as a gold winner in the Rehabilitation and Assistive-Technology Products Category at the 20th annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition. “The partnership with NSM is a game changer in our mission to make Obi more easily available nationwide,” said Jon Dekar, inventor and co-founder of Desin.

Abbott upgrades FreeStyle Libre

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Abbott's FreeStyle Libre 14-day Flash Glucose Monitoring System. The system has a one-hour warm-up period, compared to 12 hours with the FreeStyle Libre 10-day system, which received FDA approval in September 2017. The Libre is the No. 1 continuous glucose monitoring device in the world, with more than 800,000 users in more than 43 countries, according to a press release. It was approved for Medicare coverage in January.

Medtrade: Early bird gets the worm

ATLANTA - Early rates for Medtrade 2018 expire Aug. 25. The early rates allow attendees to save $100 on a conference pass and $50 on an expo pass. This year's show is scheduled for Oct. 15-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center. To register, click here.

Bill targets MCO-related cuts to DME

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A bill has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that would help to address concerns surrounding 10% to 50% cuts to medical supply companies by certain managed care organizations, according to the Herald & Review. House Bill 5930, co-sponsored by Reps. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and Gregory Harris, D-Chicago, would prohibit medical supply companies from being paid less than 10% below Medicaid “fee for service” rates by MCOs, the newspaper reported. It would also require “minimum quality standards” for medical supply companies and prohibit managed care organizations from signing “sole-source” contracts. “The quality standards, McSweeney said, would help to ensure that patients are well-served by companies accepting the rock-bottom payments being mandated by at least one of the state's contract Medicaid managed care companies, IlliniCare Health,” the newspaper reported. McSweeney hopes to get the bill passed during the upcoming fall veto session or the 2019 spring session.

Invacare rebrands Top End

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare is refreshing its Top End wheelchair brand with a new logo and a new website set to launch in the third quarter. The new “t-racer” logo provides a visual representation of the brand: cutting edge, sleek and performance focused, Invacare stated in a press release. “The decision to rebrand Top End is about more than just changing the logo,” said Jonathan Miller, senior director, mobility and seating, at Invacare. “It's about promoting the incredible team behind our products, highlighting our championship legacy and, most importantly, helping users discover their full potential.” The new website will feature an intuitive design, and will allow consumers to order stock products and parts online, Invacare says. Top End joined Invacare in 1993 as the manufacturer of the company's performance, recreational and sports wheelchairs, including the Top End Eliminator NRG Racing Wheelchair coming soon.

CU hits milestone

BILLINGS, Mont. - Computers Unlimited, developers of TIMS Software, celebrates 40 years in business this year. The company was co-founded in 1978 by Dr. Mike Schraer and is now run by President David Schraer. It has three different software application divisions for three different industries: medical, industrial and audiology. CU got its start by servicing local industrial gas and welding companies, expanded its services to HME companies in the 1980s and to speech, language and pathology companies through an acquisition in 2010. In its 40th year, the company highlights its ability to adapt to the more mobile work environment and to attract long-term employees. “The development of three new smartphone apps called TIMS Assistant, TIMS Delivery and TIMS Plat are a reflection of our DNA—our people make it happen,” David Schraer said. “I'm very proud that our staff members are long-term, which is something you don't see too often in today's business climate. We all share the same vision—to meet the every-changing needs of our users.”


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