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In brief: AAHomecare survey, Bigfoot sale, Medtronic lawsuit 

In brief: AAHomecare survey, Bigfoot sale, Medtronic lawsuit 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has launched a survey to learn what education topics would be most beneficial to an HME company’s livelihood and operations.  

The association will use the results of the survey to help shape a curriculum featuring respected thought leaders from the HME Industry and beyond that addresses pressing concerns. 

“In a recent industry survey, nearly 250 HME professionals nationwide shared business pain points revealing critical challenges impacting business operations, personnel, payer dynamics and claims-related issues,” said Tom Ryan, president & CEO. “The association hears you and is responding with a more robust educational platform to tackle these issues. We welcome the HME community’s input.” 

All HME stakeholders are invited take this survey by Wednesday, Sept. 20. 

Abbott to acquire Bigfoot Biomedical 

Companies have worked together since 2017 

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. and MILPITAS, Calif. – Abbott will acquire Bigfoot Biomedical, a developer of smart insulin management systems. 

Abbott and Bigfoot have worked together on connected diabetes solutions since 2017. Bigfoot developed Bigfoot Unity, a smart insulin management system that works exclusively with Abbott's FreeStyle Libre technology and includes a customer smartphone app connected to a cloud-based online portal used by health care providers to support their patients, including through remote care. The system, which features connected smart pen caps that recommend insulin doses for people using multiple daily injections, works with FreeStyle Libre 2 sensors and all major brands of long-acting and rapid-acting disposable insulin pens offered in the United States.  

"The acquisition of Bigfoot Biomedical will combine two leaders in different aspects of diabetes care: continuous glucose monitoring and insulin dosing support," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president of Abbott's Diabetes Care business. "Bringing our companies together will allow us to further develop connected solutions for making diabetes management even more personal and precise." 

Both companies “share a vision,” says Jeffrey Brewer, CEO of Bigfoot. 

"Bigfoot Biomedical is the first company to design, develop and deliver a novel insulin delivery solution built around continuous glucose monitoring," said Brewer. "We selected Abbott as our CGM partner because both companies share a vision to provide simple, affordable and easy-to-use tools for people with diabetes. We look forward to continuing to innovate together and to the scale Abbott can provide, bringing Bigfoot Unity to as many people who may benefit." 

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

Lawsuit accuses Medtronic of sharing patient data 

DUBLIN – A lawsuit filed against Medtronic alleges that the company’s insulin delivery devices shared patient data with third parties, including Google, in violation of HIPAA and other industry standards, according to online news reports. 

The lawsuit, filed by “A.H.” in U.S. District Court in Central California, alleges that Medtronic and its MiniMed and InPen devices transmit personally identifiable information and protected health information to third parties. 

Per the lawsuit, the data was transmitted via tracking and authentication technology, including Google Analytics, Crashlytics, Firebase Authentication and related tools. A.H. says these technologies, installed on the website and/or mobile applications, include the InPen iOS and Android applications. 

“Information about a person’s health is among the most confidential and sensitive information in society, and its mishandling can have serious consequences, including embarrassment, discrimination, and denial of insurance coverage,” the lawsuit reads. 

NHIA submits recommendations on improving access to in-home care 

WASHINGTON – The National Home Infusion Association has submitted comments in response to “Request for Comment: Increasing Patient Access to At-Home Use Medical Technologies” issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “NHIA applauds the FDA for recognizing the importance of facilitating access to care in the home and for issuing this Request for Comment to promote expanded access to home use technologies,” said the NHIA. “This proven model of care is overwhelmingly preferred by patients, while also being cost-effective relative to institutional care.” NHIA made several recommendations, including encourage development of technologies that enable clinicians to remotely view, program, and download data from infusion pumps by holding listening sessions with clinicians and consumers to better understand desired capabilities; focus on the needs of patients since devices used at home must be designed for use by the patient, rather than the clinician; and fix Medicare coverage of home infusion so that infusion medications can be administered via disposable (non-durable) devices that are simpler for patients to use compared to infusion pumps. 

PHS named to Inc. 5000 list 

ROSEVILLE, Minn. – Pediatric Home Service has landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for the second year in a row. PHS was ranked the 63rd fastest growing company in Minnesota and the 229th fastest growing health care company. "PHS was founded on the principles that children deserve the best care, and they deserve to be a kid at home with their families,” said Adam Nielsen, CEO. “The team has worked diligently to deliver our mission and bring our care to more patients across the country. Being named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies reinforces the value of our efforts and is an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made with our patients and our referring partners.” PHS provides support to more than 25,000 children with medical complexities across 10 states through three primary service lines, working together to keep children and their families at home. Headquartered in Minnesota, PHS has expanded its operations across the country through the combination of similarly focused pediatric home care providers and the expansion of services to those communities. 

Cigna updates prior auths list 

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. – Cigna has removed prior authorization requirements for nearly 25% of medical services. With the removal of these 600-plus codes, the insurer has now removed prior authorization requirements on more than 1,100 medical services since 2020. "Our goal is to help keep patients safe, improve health outcomes, and make care more affordable, and this important step will enable us to do that while removing administrative burdens on the health care system," said David Brailer, MD, executive vice president and chief health officer. "We've listened attentively to our clinician partners and are deliberately making these changes as a result. We will continue to hold ourselves accountable for this important work and look forward to building on this momentum in the future." Cigna will also remove prior authorization requirements for nearly 500 additional codes for Medicare Advantage plans later this year. 

NRRTS names 2024 board members 

LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has announced its 2024 board members. They are: Jason Kelln, president elect; Dave Nix, secretary; and Andrea Madsen, treasurer. At-large directors are: Stefanie Laurence, Chris Savoie, Anne Kieschnik, Denise Harmon, Parker Fadler and Chad Filer. Review chairs are: Kathy Fallon, Brian Coltman, Darrel Mullen, Michelle Harvey and Bernie Opp. Leaving the board is Tim Robinson, Doug Crana and Gerry Dickerson. Dickerson served additional terms as president due to COVID and will remain on the Past Presidents Committee. “Of special note is the installation of Jason Kelln, our first Canadian President Elect,” said Carey Britton, current NRRTS President. “Our organization continues to grow beyond the borders of the U.S., and we look forward to Jason and all the board members helping us continue that growth.” Founded in 1992, NRRTS is the only CRT association dedicated to professionals supplying complex rehab technology. 

Inogen names interim CFO 

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen has named Mike Sergesketter as interim CFO, effective immediately, a role he previously held between December 2021 and March 2022. He has also served as CFO of Kimball Electronics. Sergesketter succeeds Kristin Caltrider, who has stepped down for personal reasons. “I would like to thank Kristin for her contributions to Inogen and share my optimism for the future of the company as we continue our strategic evolution to become a more prominent player in respiratory care,” said Nabil Shabshab, president and CEO. “Mike has brought value to Inogen as an accomplished CFO and partner to me, and I am pleased to welcome him back to the company. His decades of experience across finance, M&A, and strategic manufacturing, as well as his track record of being a partner and advisor cross-functionally are strong assets as we continue to execute against our 2023 plans and prepare for 2024.” Overall, Sergesketter brings more than 40 years of finance experience in the manufacturing services industry, with expertise working across business functions.


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