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In brief: Bacteria filters, buying preferences, home infusion bill

In brief: Bacteria filters, buying preferences, home infusion bill

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Philips does not recommend using bacteria filters with CPAP/BiLevel devices as a means of mitigating chemical emission or particulate matter, it says in a new document related to a recent recall. 

“Due to an influx of questions, additional information is being provided about the use of bacteria filters with CPAP/BiLevel devices,” the company states. “According to FDA regulation 868.5260, bacteria filters are medical devices that are intended to remove microbiological and particulate matter from the gases in the breathing circuit. Therefore, these bacteria filters should not be used on CPAP/BiLevel devices as a means of mitigating risk of PE-PUR foam chemical emission or particulate matter.” 

Philips lists a number of reasons for not using bacteria filters with CPAP/Bi-Level devices, including: 

Bacteria filters do not provide protection from the chemical emissions resulting from manufacturing or continued foam degradation. Furthermore, possible gas emission of the degraded foam has not been fully characterized yet throughout the life of the CPAP/BiLevel device. 

Bacteria filters need to be replaced frequently, as referenced in the bacteria filter manuals or as deemed necessary upon inspection by a medical professional. 

Bacteria filters increase the resistance to airflow and will impact device performance of CPAP/BiLevel devices. Filters alter device performance by negatively impacting the maximum airflow, dynamic pressure and static pressure delivered by the CPAP/BiLevel devices. The extent of performance degradation will vary dependent upon prescribed therapy settings and air leakage which are different for each patient. Because of this, device performance may not meet the approved device’s specifications. 

When an inline bacteria filter is used with a CPAP/BiLevel device the pressure reported by the device may be different than the prescribed pressure as well as the pressure received by the patient. 

Certain circuits are unable to be used with bacteria filters due to an increased airway resistance that can affect device performance: 12mm circuit or heated humidifier circuit. 

Bacteria filters may alter algorithms that govern therapy on many CPAP/BiLevel devices. Different modes (AutoCPAP, ASV, AVAPS, AVAPS-AE, Flex) require airflow sensing and demonstrate varying degrees of performance impact.  

Recall affecting buying preferences 

NEW YORK – Providers expect to permanently shift an average of 56% of their Philips flow generator purchases and an average of 23.1% of their Philips mask purchases to other companies due to the recall, according to Needham’s 3Q21 HME Sleep and Oxygen Survey. 

“And ResMed looks likely to be a beneficiary of this share movement,” Needham states. “Over the near-term, respondents expect ResMed’s share of their flow generator purchases to increase by 3.7% and its share of their mask purchases to increase by 2%.” 

Needham received responses from 71 providers. 

Other highlights from the survey: 

Providers report that prices have increased by an average of 6.3% since Philips announced the recall on June 14. 

Providers report they have been able to, on average, only purchase the following portions of their desired flow generator volumes for delivery within their required timeframes: Fisher & Paykel 7%, Philips 10.3%, ResMed 45.4%. 

Fifty percent of providers believe the recall will divert resources from their resupply businesses and result in lower resupply sales. 

NSM inks first deal with home care provider 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has launched a strategic partnership with SYNERGY HomeCare as part of its “Solutions for Accessible & Functional Environments” (SAFE) program. 

The partnership, the first involving an in-home care provider, begins this month in 40 SYNERGY HomeCare locations across five states. 

The partnership allows SYNERGY HomeCare franchises to connect clients to mobility solutions that support safer aging at home and allows NSM to offer comprehensive in-home care resources when needed by their clients. 

“NSM is devoted to helping our clients achieve independence and maintain safety in and around their homes,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “By partnering with SYNERGY HomeCare, we can make an even larger impact as we work together to offer solutions that increase safety, create more accessible and functional home environments, and provide our clients with the level of care and respect they deserve.” 

The partnership will expand nationally by year end. 

Launched in September 2020, NSM’s SAFE program seeks to support organizations and health insurance payers in proactively preventing falls, now the leading cause of fatal injuries for adults over 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It includes an integrated clinical care team to provide turnkey solutions for clients from accessing risks in and around the home to installing needed equipment to create more accessible and functional environments. 

SYNERGY HomeCare provides a wide array of services, including personal care, companion care and specialized care for individuals who are aging in place, physically or developmentally disabled, living with chronic health conditions or recovering from illness or surgery. 

Bill aims to maintain access to home infusion therapy 

WASHINGTON - Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., have introduced legislation that uses technical clarifications to remove the requirement that a nurse or other health care professional be present in the patient’s home for the home infusion provider to be paid for those services. 

The Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act also incorporates the full scope of professional services provided through home infusion — including essential pharmacist services — into the reimbursement structure. 

“Home-based health care services stand out as high-value resources that can improve patient quality of life and add capacity to the health care system, while keeping vulnerable patients away from the threat of infectious disease,” said Connie Sullivan, president and CEO of the National Home Infusion Association. “Passage of the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act is critical to ensuring the Medicare program maintains access to home infusion, allowing beneficiaries to safely receive treatment in the setting they overwhelmingly prefer: their homes.”  

Per the 21st Century Cures Act, which created a professional services benefit for Medicare Part B home infusion drugs, CMS published a final rule in 2018 that limits reimbursement for professional services to only those days a “skilled professional is in the home.” Stakeholders say the rule ignores congressional intent.   

In June, a U.S. district court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the NHIA against the Department of Health and Human Services over the implementation of the professional services benefit for a “lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”  

NSM Canada completes rebrand 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility Canada has completed a rebranding initiative streamlining the company’s brand presence throughout British Columbia. 

Eleven branches now share the NSM corporate brand and visual identity. 

“We’re excited to complete the refreshed branding of NSM Canada locations,” said Rick Nori, regional area director. “Our clients know that as the largest home medical supplier in British Columbia we’re able to serve them anywhere in the province and offer the largest selection of equipment to meet their needs. It is also important that they are aware that we are a part of the largest mobility solutions company in North America and share the core values at the heart of NSM.” 

In addition to updating the exterior signage of the branches, the rebranding initiative also included refreshing interior signage, vehicles, letterhead, apparel and digital assets, including a new website and emails. 

Additionally, NSM Canada has activated a new toll-free customer support number, 1-833-NSM-MOVE. 

“Our new branding is now a more appropriate outward reflection of who we are as a team and conveys our collective dedication to the best-in-class service that is unique to NSM,” Nori said. 

A 12th location in Prince George, although owned by NSM, will continue to operate as PG Surge-Med, a division of NSM Canada. 

InfuSystem cites DME as part of ‘future success’ 

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – InfuSystem reported second quarter net revenues of $24.8 million, a decrease of 4% compared to the same quarter a year ago. 

Integrated Therapy Service net revenue was $16.3 million, an increase of 5% vs. prior year; DME Services net revenue was $8.5 million, a decrease of 18%; and Pain Management and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy combined net revenues increased 114%. 

“2021 is proving to be a very dynamic year for InfuSystem and the health care sectors in which we operate,” said Rich Dilorio, CEO. “The keys to our future success are the investments we are making to elevate both our ITS and DME segments to expand our future opportunity and growth potential. In addition to the two previously announced acquisitions of small biomedical services companies, we have materially accelerated the hiring of experienced sales professionals into our NPWT and Pain Management ITS businesses.” 

In June, InfuSystem announced it had entered into a joint agreement with Bio Compression Systems to add lymphedema therapy. 

 LUCI adds CFO to continue growth 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LUCI has named its first CFO: Gerry Hayden. He will be responsible for overseeing the company’s financial operations and long-term capital strategy. “We are thrilled to bring Gerry onto our growing team and to benefit from his rich experience and background within health care technology companies,” said Barry Dean, CEO and co-founder of LUCI. “We continue to be very encouraged by the eager adoption of LUCI’s technology across the mobility industry. As we look to continue our growth, Gerry’s valuable insights will help guide LUCI’s strategy and decision-making during this important chapter for our company.” Hayden served as CFO of HealthStream (NASDAQ: HSTM) for more than 11 years, overseeing all aspects of the company’s financial operations. During his tenure, he helped HealthStream complete acquisitions of new product lines and engineered consistent financial growth. He also served on the company’s board of directors and audit committee for two years, prior to his tenure as CFO. Hayden has also held senior financial leadership positions at Allied Clinical Laboratories, Medavant Health, Covation, Meridian Occupational Health, Envoy and Peak/Lincoln Healthplan. “Having spent significant time with both a large, publicly traded health care company and smaller health care startups, I’m excited to join LUCI during such a unique time in their growth phase,” Hayden said. “We are confident in the business plan and technology that helps bring smart and connected wheelchairs into this underserved sector of the market and that is very exciting.” 

ABC Medical launches tool to aid in transition to home 

PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. – ABC Home Medical Supply has launched Navigator, a nationwide digital portal that includes live support, to provide patients with spinal cord injuries access to critical resources as they transition from rehab to living life back home. "Research shows that SCI patients who find helpful connections and peer mentoring after rehab demonstrate a significant decrease in unplanned re-hospitalization during the first six months," said Gary Bang, president. "It is with this great need in mind that we launch Navigator, which will offer real solutions, valuable insights and helpful tools to those who are on the road back from a spinal cord injury. This launch marks an exciting new chapter for ABC Medical." Navigator’s live support will include individuals who themselves have lived through the transition from rehab to home following an SCI. ABC Home Medical Supply is a provider of urological, ostomy, incontinence and wound care supplies. 

AZ MediQuip preps to open seventh retail location 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – AZ MediQuip of Arizona will open its seventh location in September in Tuscon. “We are excited to be expanding our services throughout Arizona and now bringing our exceptional service and selection to the Tucson community, “said Dave Kozak, chief marketing officer. “This location will offer a showroom that is over 5,000 square feet and will feature a large on-site selection of home medical equipment and supplies. Our trained, best-in-class team is ready to help serve the community.” The company recently opened locations in Prescott Valley and Goodyear. Earlier this year, AZ MediQuip received an investment from Gemini Investors to grow its retail business. 

Ability Members Group adds four member locations 

TORONTO – Ability Members Group has added three new members, bringing it closer to its goal of 100. The new members are Universal Health Products serving the Windsor-Essex area in Ontario; Fisher's Home Health Care serving Red Deer and Central Alberta; and Regency Medical Supplies serving the Burnaby, B.C., area. Existing member Action Health Care, with operations in St. Mary’s and Stratford, Ontario, expanded into Grand Bend. "The addition of these new locations further expands our services across Canada,” said Jamie Church, CEO of Ability Members Group. “Our national network provides important support across a wide range of products, including mobility aids, rehabilitation equipment, bathroom equipment and home accessibility. We're excited about our growth, as this continues to help us build competitive scale that empowers our members to serve their clients." 

AdaptHealth to offer senior notes 

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – AdaptHealth will offer $550 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2030. The notes will be guaranteed by certain of the issuer’s current and future subsidiaries, as well as the issuer’s direct parent, AdaptHealth Intermediate Holdco LLC, on a senior unsecured basis. The company will use the net proceeds from the offering to repay the outstanding principal amount under the 12% promissory notes held by affiliates of Assured Investment Management LLC (f/k/a BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC); to repay amounts outstanding under the company’s revolving credit facility; to pay related fees and expenses; and for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions and other business opportunities, corporate expenditures and working capital. 

VGM takes temp on labor shortage 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM has launched a survey to determine the impact of the labor shortage on the HME industry. VGM plans to share the responses to the nine-question survey with lawmakers to help them understand the difficulties that providers face in hiring and retaining employees. The survey asks providers what state they are in, how many employees they have, how many employees they have lost during the pandemic, what kind of employees they’re trying to hire, and what incentives they have offered. The deadline to complete the survey is Aug. 23. 

NCPA develops policy department 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has developed a new Department of Policy and Pharmacy Affairs, distinguishing the role of regulatory and pharmacy affairs within the association. The department will help bolster NCPA’s strategic affairs, advocacy and media relations efforts. It will conduct research, legislative review and drafting; prepare regulatory comments, issues briefs, testimony and correspondence; promote pharmacy health information technology and quality related activities; and advance public policy initiatives promoting the value of pharmacists. Ronna Hauser, PharmD, will head up the new department as senior vice president of policy and pharmacy affairs, building on her prior role as the association’s vice president of policy and government affairs operations. She joined the NCPA in 2009. The department will also include Lisa Schwartz, PharmD, senior director of professional affairs; Carlie Traylor, PharmD, director of strategic initiatives and student affairs; Shion Chang, associate director of policy and regulatory affairs; Peter Mihalick, associate director of policy and regulatory affairs; and Stephanie Vichness, operations and program coordinator.  

Rehab Medical, SAWs announce wheelchair recipient 

INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical and Servants at Work have selected the recipient of their 3,000th wheelchair ramp build: Dorothy, a native Indiana resident, who suffers from severe medical conditions that limit her mobility. Due to her ongoing struggles to complete daily tasks and her inability to visit the doctor for routine medical care, the two organizations have teamed up to build her a wheelchair ramp, so she has a way to leave her home. “In 2003, the first ramp we built kept a 15-year-old girl from being removed from her family home because there was no way for her to escape a fire,” said Rik Hagerty, founder of SAWs. “Every single one of the 3,000 ramps we have built since then have similar stories. We have given freedom back to thousands of people who had been prisoners for weeks, months, even years.” Dorothy will receive the ramp on Aug. 14. Rehab Medical has also donated $5,500 to SAWs toward a $30,000 goal and has committed to donate another $2,000 once the campaign hits $25,000. 

Short takes: Sunrise Medical, AdaptHealth 

Sunrise Medical has rejoined AAHomecare as a Bronze Corporate Sponsor. “We can’t be more excited about our partnership with AAHomecare,” said Larry Jackson, president of Sunrise Medical North America. “Our company has always been committed to improving the lives of our consumers, providing them the solutions and technologies to live without limits. AAHomecare is an obvious and outstanding partner to support our efforts in advocating for our consumers and sharing with everyone the value of assistive technologies and home medical equipment.” AAHomecare says it has welcomed 26 new members since April…AdaptHealth has appointed Anton Hie as vice president of investor relations, a newly created position. He will report to Jason Clemens, the company’s CFO. Hie will collaborate with AdaptHealth’s senior management team on the company’s growth and competitive strategy. He will also have primary responsibility for managing AdaptHealth’s communications with its public shareholders and the investment community. Hie joins AdaptHealth with 20 years of experience in the health care investment field, most recently RBC Capital Markets, where he was a research analyst and assistant vice president, covering health care services and managed care. 

AAH adds lobbying muscle 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has retained The Nickels Group, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, to bolster the association’s ability to engage Capitol Hill and federal agencies overseeing health care policy. TNG, which has strong contacts and experience working with CMS, HHS and OMB, recently added Brett Baker, the former health policy director for the Senate Finance Committee, to its roster. “I had the privilege of working with AAHomecare during my 10 years on Capitol Hill – first with the House Ways & Means Committee and then with the Senate Finance Committee,” Baker said. “It gave me a front row seat to see how the association and its members channeled passion for serving patients into legislative success.” TNG will complement AAHomecare’s other lobbying and public policy consultants, Prime Policy and Foley & Hoag. 

PAMS gets sales tax dropped for breast pumps 

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS) has successfully exempted breast pumps from sales tax as part of HB 725, which was recently passed by the state’s General Assembly, AAHomecare reports. The elimination of the sales tax will be applicable to all retail sales of items initiating, supporting or sustaining breast feeding effective Jan. 1, 2022. “I am thankful that we are able to help provide some relief to our members, as this endeavor was delayed last year due to the impact of the public health emergency,” said Mindy Eberhart, executive director of PAMS. Originally the exemption was to go into effect 60 days from passage of the legislation, but the Department of Revenue has confirmed that the effective date has been delayed to mitigate revenue losses. PAMS thanked its lobbyist, Colleen Kopp from Wodjak & Associates, and Rep. Karen Boback and her fellow co-sponsors for getting the exemption across the finish line. The association took a page from Connecticut and New Jersey, which have also amended the tax code for breast bumps, replacement parts and milk storage items. 

Aeroflow supports 300 families 

CHICAGO – Aeroflow Urology has donated more than 6,000 diapers and pull-ons to Angel Harvey Family Health Center in Chicago. The Cuties diapers, SleepOvers youth pull-ons and Prevail Adult pull-ons from First Quality that were donated are some of Aeroflow’s most requested products and will help provide support for more than 300 local families in need, the company says. The donation stems from a recent Abilities Expo in Chicago, where Aeroflow exhibited and pledged to donate diapers for each person that visited their booth. “Many individuals that we spoke with at the event told us that, at some point in their life, they had to rely on churches, diaper banks, clinics and other community resources to get their incontinence supplies,” said Noni York, territory manager for Illinois for Aeroflow Urology. “Listening to people’s stories made me feel like the work we do at Aeroflow really matters and made me realize that there are a lot of people in our local community that struggle to find the supplies that their families desperately need.” For more than 100 years, the Angel Harvey Family Health Center has been assisting Chicago’s most vulnerable families by providing access to affordable health care.


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