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In brief: Aeroflow’s acquisition, Roche’s settlement, Apria’s share price

In brief: Aeroflow’s acquisition, Roche’s settlement, Apria’s share price

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wheeling, West Va.-based Family Medical Supply. 

Family Medical Supply, founded in 1991, services West Virginia and the greater Ohio Valley with a product portfolio that includes HME and incontinence supplies. 

“The acquisition of Family Medical Supply is an exciting step in Aeroflow’s ongoing strategy to grow through acquisition,” said Casey Hite, CEO of Aeroflow. “As Aeroflow continues to increase our national footprint, markets such as West Virginia and the Ohio Valley represent key opportunities for Aeroflow to improve patient’s quality of life by bringing nationwide scale and resources, while maintaining the highest levels of customer care.” 

Aeroflow, founded in 2001, has a staff of more than 200 with more than 13 years of experience. 

Roche, Humana settle kickback allegations 

INDIANAPOLIS - Roche Diagnostics and Humana have agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit for $12.5 million, after the government declined to intervene in the case. 

Roche was charged with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, causing false claims to be submitted to the Medicare Advantage program and defrauding taxpayers, in a lawsuit filed in 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by a former employee of the company. 

Humana and Roche were accused of entering a kickback relationship where debt forgiveness was traded for access to government-funded Medicare business. Roche allegedly forgave millions of dollars owed by Humana in exchange for Humana purchasing Roche diabetes testing supplies and favoring the company’s diabetes testing supplies in Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans. 

“This case demonstrates that Medicare Advantage organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical companies can be held responsible for giving or accepting payments in exchange for access to Medicare Advantage funds,” said Inayat Ali Hemani, New York partner and co-chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Whistleblower Practice, which represented the former employee. “Our client has helped the government recover millions of dollars and shed light on secretive transactions between pharmaceutical companies and Medicare Advantage Organizations.” 

The settlement is the first False Claims Act settlement arising from a Medicare Advantage organization accepting a kickback from a pharmaceutical company, according to Sanford Heisler. 

Apria announces share price 

INDIANAPOLIS – Apria shares are expected to begin trading today at $20 per share. Its initial public offering is 7.5 million shares of its common stock, trading on NASDAQ under the symbol “APR.” The company in January signaled its intent to go public when it filed a form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering is expected to close on Feb. 16, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. 

NCPA launches public education campaign on threat of PBMs 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association is partnering with state pharmacy associations to educate the public, patients and policymakers on the largely unknown role played by pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, in raising drug costs, restricting patient access, and squashing local pharmacies, ultimately limiting consumer choices. “Access to pharmacies – essential businesses and health care providers – has never been more important than during this last year,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “As much of the world was turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, pharmacies remained open. Meanwhile, these essential pharmacies’ very existence is threatened by PBMs, which engage in profiteering and patient steering to ultimately force pharmacies into a loss and out of business.” The campaign will also promote the value of community pharmacies. In January, NCPA filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over direct and indirect remuneration fees that it says are driving small business neighborhood pharmacies out of business.  

Ascensia supports Spare a Rose campaign 

BASEL, Switzerland – Ascensia Diabetes Care is supporting the 2021 Spare a Rose campaign, which encourages people to donate the $5 cost of each rose they would have given someone on Valentine’s Day to Life for a Child. The organization provides lifesaving diabetes supplies and insulin to children in countries such as Mauritania, Jamaica and India. “While people around the world will be buying flowers and cards for their loved on this Valentine’s Day, many of our employees will be choosing instead to donate to the Spare a Rose campaign,” said Rob Schumm, president. “This is testament to how many employees at Ascensia are passionate about making a difference to the lives of people living with diabetes, both professionally and personally.” Ascensia will match donations up to a maximum of one rose for each of the company’s 1,700 employees. To date, they have raised more than $40,000.  

AAH promotes three staff members 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has promoted David Chandler to senior director of payer relations. Since joining the association in 2019, Chandler has expanded the reach of its payer relations team and been involved in building relationships with commercial and private payers. The association has also promoted Ashley Plauche to director of member and public relations to promote membership efforts. Plauche has been with AAHomecare since 2015. Additionally, the association has promoted Mina Uehara to director of regulatory affairs. Uehara, who has been with the association since 2014, developed a bid calculator that was widely used by the HME community to help HME suppliers in Round 2021. 

One Drop names new CFO 

NEW YORK – One Drop, a provider of digital solutions for people living with diabetes and other chronic conditions, named Luc Gregoire as chief financial officer. Effective immediately, he will assume responsibility for One Drop's accounting and financial operations, and serve as a strategic business adviser to CEO and founder Jeff Dachis. Gregoire has more than 30 years of financial, strategic and operational experience in public and private capital markets across various industries, including software, digital media, entertainment and health sciences. Most recently, he served as CFO of DHI Group, Inc., a leading online provider of technology career marketplaces. "I am inspired and thrilled to be joining the One Drop team at such a critical juncture of opportunity for the company," said Gregoire. "I look forward to leveraging my experience in leading companies through different stages of growth, along with my knowledge of health care and technology to help us execute and fulfill One Drop's noble mission of transforming how people can manage their health." 

Oventus Medical launches O2Vent Optima in US 

BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus Medical has launched its 02Vent Optima, a customizable oral appliance therapy device that offers an alternative to CPAP therapy, in the U.S. through GoPAPfree. “We are very excited to announce the availability of the O2Vent Optima device and its introduction into the US market,” said Christopher Hart, founder and inventor. “As a dentist and sufferer of sleep apnea, none of the existing CPAP solutions were a good fit for me. Out of desperation, I took my professional and personal knowledge to invent something that was both effective and comfortable.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved O2Vent Optima is indicated for patients with mild, moderate and severe CPAP-intolerant sleep apnea and snoring, and for those with nasal obstruction and other areas of airway collapse, such as from the tongue, soft palate and lateral walls. 

Össur upgrades Empower 

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – Össur has updated its proprietary Empower program to help physician practices and DMEPOS providers comply with new competitive bidding requirements for knee and back braces that went into effect Jan. 1. Empower now has built-in prompts for new reimbursement coding and document capture requirements, and automatic mapping to designated contract providers based on a patient’s address. “CMS’s new competitive bidding practice mandates for spine and knee bracing adds yet another level of complexity and demands on clinicians’ time, and simple errors can have serious consequences on a practice’s bottom line,” said Mark Tymchenko, vice president, Americas, bracing and supports. “This is why we prioritized upgrading Empower to help customers minimize the challenges of meeting these new requirements.” CMS included knee and back braces as part of its competitive bidding program for the first time in Round 2021. In November, it announced contract providers, and in October, it announced payment amounts. The company offers a wide range of bracing and support technologies, from off-the-shelf to custom fit options, with its Rebound, Unloader, Formfit and Miami lines all remaining compliant within the new competitive guidelines, it says. 

Treating OSA with CPAP, MAD devices does not improve BP, study finds 

WASHINGTON – The treatment of mild obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP devices or mandibular advancement devices does not improve blood pressure or endothelial function after one year, even in patients with effective treatments, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The study’s objectives were to evaluate and compare the effects of CPAP, MAD and no treatment on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and peripheral arterial tonometry at six and 12-month follow-ups in individuals with mild OSA and in a subgroup who had an apnea-hypopnea index of less than five events/h and adherence of greater than or equal to four hours per night (effective-treatment subgroup). Users of both devices had lower apnea-hypopnea indexes than a control group, but users of CPAP devices had higher blood oxygen levels than users of MADs, according to the study. Users of MADs had more hours of treatment per night and better adaptation to treatment than users of CPAPs, the study found.  

RedSail launches Hub 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – RedSail Technologies has launched RedSail Hub to provide its QS/1 and Integra customers with relevant information in a timely and easily accessible way. The platform provides content and materials relative to operation needs of their customers. “In today’s marketplace, customer expect the products and services they use to be seamlessly supported and easily accessible,” said Kraig McEwen, CEO. “We will continue to invest in initiatives that drive transformational, positive change for our customers by providing solutions that improve efficiency and elevate patient care.” Among the benefits of the Hub is the ability to search for specific content, create and track support cases, and engage with peers and RedSail staff in a customer forum. 

Medisafe makes best-of lists for virtual support system 

BOSTON – Medisafe has been named Best Medication Reminder App by and Platinum Award Winner in the “App for Medical” category by the AVA Digital Awards. “It’s a great honor to receive recognition for our engaging and interactive patient experience, become a trusted resource for patients managing a medical condition and medications to support their overall health,” said Daniel Sands, MD, Medisafe’s chief medical officer. “We know our platform provides a solution for the global health crisis of medication mismanagement, and it is always rewarding to see others recognizing the strides we have made to support patients for better outcomes throughout their entire journey.” More than 7 million people use the Medisafe digital therapeutic platform to help manage their medications, stay engaged with their therapy and engage with other users to create a virtual support system. examined digital health platforms based on several key criteria, including accessibility, service availability and communication methods, and based on customer feedback. AVA Digital Awards selected Medisafe out of more than 200,000 entries, for its medication-specific platform, branded education content and videos, measurement reporting and patient outreaches. 

Integrated Homecare buys pharmacy’s HME division 

BELOIT, Wis. – Integrated Homecare Services has acquired the HME division of HomeCare Pharmacy, according to the Beloit Daily News. Mark Hatch, president of Integrated Homecare Services, told the newspaper that the acquisition was an opportunity to grow the business and bring to market additional services. Integrated Homecare Services has offices in Beloit and Rockford, offering a full line of home medical equipment and respiratory equipment. It also offers women’s health products. Joe McNamara, co-owner and partner of Homecare Pharmacy, told the Beloit Daily News that the sale allows the business to focus on pro-health and proactive pharmacy services, including supplements and preventative health care items. 

VGM publishes resource on mega trends 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM & Associates has released its first playbook of the year, “VGM Playbook: Forecasting 2021.” The resource outlines issues, trends and opportunities facing the HME industry this year, including mega trends, data and security, remote workforce, compliance and risk, and health care at home. “VGM is here to be the source for industry updates, education and solutions to strengthen our members’ businesses for 2021 and beyond,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “This playbook is designed to help our members, who are part of something bigger, continue to shape and grow their business.” Members can download the playbook by going to or by logging into the members-only portal. 

Prochant modernizes website 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Prochant has launched a new website with educational resources. The new website features a modern design to help customers quickly learn about the company’s outsourcing solutions and technology, and easily access the company’s webinars, articles and white papers – all right from the homepage. “With our new website, we didn’t just give Prochant a new coat of paint,” said Joey Graham, executive vice president and general manager. “We have optimized our website with the end user in mind, providing intuitive navigation and much-needed resources for HME and pharmacy providers.” The new website organizes Prochant’s solutions by service, industry and role, allowing customer to quickly access relevant content. 


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