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In brief: Best Buy Health expands partnership, senators question ‘in the home’ requirement 

In brief: Best Buy Health expands partnership, senators question ‘in the home’ requirement 

MINNEAPOLIS and DANVILLE, Pa. – Best Buy Health and Geisinger will expand their work together to bring in-home care for patients with chronic conditions.  

Beginning in July 2022, Best Buy Health and Geisinger began deploying specially trained Geek Squad Agents to deliver, install and activate remote care management devices in a program that now involves 300 Geisinger patients. While in the home, agents educate patients on the technology in their care plan, answer questions about the devices, explain how to use them properly and ensure they are transmitting data back to the patient’s care team. 

The results of the program so far have shown: 

  • 50% reduction in the time from admission into the chronic care at home program to when device set up is completed and the Geisinger care team can begin monitoring the patient remotely. This is a reduction from an average of 96 hours to 48 hours.  
  • 19% improvement in how well patients follow their care plans by wearing and using their remote technology equipment more consistently. 
  • 18% reduction in technical issues reported. 

“The results of our program show that when we combine what Best Buy is known for—technology support and expertise—with Geisinger’s best-in-class care teams and network of clinics and hospitals, we can make a meaningful difference in the patient and caregiver experience,” said Deborah Di Sanzo, president of Best Buy Health. “Geisinger has been incredible in this work and we’re very excited about our ability to scale these capabilities across the country to further Best Buy Health’s goal to enable care at home for everyone.” 

Geisinger launched its ConnectedCare 365 chronic care management platform in 2021. Patients enrolled in the platform receive devices, including blood pressure cuffs, body weight scales, thermometers and glucose meters, to monitor their health at home and transmit data back to their Geisinger care team through Best Buy Health’s care-at-home platform, Current Health. 

Best Buy Health also has partnerships with Atrium Health and other health systems. 

Senators ask CMS to reconsider ‘in-the-home' requirement 

WASHINGTON – Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., are asking CMS to conduct a full review of its national coverage determination (NCD) for mobility assistive equipment for Medicare beneficiaries, including its interpretation of the “in-the-home" requirement. 

Current Medicare coverage limitations on equipment used outside the home can limit a beneficiary’s access to mobility equipment and their communities, the senators say in a letter to the agency. 

“In the 2005 National Coverage Determination and subsequent guidance, CMS has determined that coverage of MAE is reasonable and necessary only for activities of daily living occurring within the home,” the letter states. “This interpretation can lead to coverage denials for wheelchair users and cause delays in obtaining appropriate equipment. These delays can result in health injuries and secondary health conditions, increasing costs for the program and taxpayers.” 

The senators commended CMS’s recent decision to cover seat elevation technology in power wheelchairs, but they say more can be done to ensure that beneficiaries have access to mobility assistive equipment. 

Purchase mix will shift when Philips re-enters market, survey finds 

NEW YORK – ResMed will likely lose CPAP device market share when Philips re-enters the market, according to the 3Q23 HME Sleep and Oxygen Survey from Needham.  

Respondents to the survey indicated that if Philips re-entered the market and had unconstrained supply, they would return to purchasing 26% of their pre-recall CPAP device volume from Philips, though that’s down from 32% in a prior survey. 

Additionally, when Philips re-enters the market, 8% of respondents expect to decrease ResMed purchases and increase Philips purchases, 23% expect to decrease non-ResMed purchases and increase Philips purchases, and 15% expect to decrease both ResMed and non-ResMed purchases and increase Philips purchases. The remaining 54% expect to maintain their current purchase mix. 

Needham expects Philips to re-enter the market in the second half of 2023 or the first half of 2024, depending on the outcome of a consent decree. 

Other highlights from the survey: 

  • CPAP device availability from ResMed and its competitors was relatively stable compared to a prior survey. 
  • ResMed looks likely to lose both CPAP device and mask market share in the next 12 months. 
  • Price increases for CPAP devices and masks are moderating. 
  • Respondents saw low, single-digit growth in sleep patient volume in the last 12 months, likely due to improved CPAP device supply. 

Inovalon gets tapped by KabaFusion 

BOWIE, Md., and CERRITOS, Calif. – Inovalon has announced an agreement with KabaFusion to provide care capabilities and drive operational efficiencies across the company’s nationwide home and specialty infusion network. KabaFusion will use Inovalon’s ScriptMed Infusion pharmacy management software to streamline and automate operations within a single, end-to-end platform, allowing it to focus on delivering care. “Our core strategy is providing superior patient-centric care and experiences, and we needed a partner with subject matter expertise and our same patient-first mentality,” said Dr. Sohail Masood, founder and CEO of KabaFusion. “We found Inovalon’s ScriptMed to be a highly advanced pharmacy management platform, facilitating us in our commitment to deliver higher-quality, patient-centric care and to continue to scale nationally.” ScriptMed streamlines processes like new patient qualification and intervention management to ensure safety and treatment adherence, Inovalon says. It also optimizes patient onboarding, order fulfillment, revenue cycle management, nurse management, inventory management, scheduling, reporting, patient and provider engagement, and more, resulting in cost savings, it says. 

Abbott, WeightWatchers team up on new app 

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., and NEW YORK – Abbott and WeightWatchers have announced the availability of a connected app to help people living with diabetes understand how food and activity impact their glucose levels. WW members who follow the WW Diabetes-Tailored Plan can now access their glucose data from Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2, a continuous glucose monitoring system, within their WW app. "Clinical data shows that healthy weight loss leads to a reduction of average glucose, which is important for people living with diabetes," said Dr. Mahmood Kazemi, chief medical officer for Abbott’s diabetes care business. "Abbott and WeightWatchers both have a long history of helping people live healthier lives. Through our partnership, members of the WW Diabetes-Tailored Plan can see within one app how food and activity impact their glucose levels with data backed by our FreeStyle Libre 2 system, so they can make healthy lifestyle choices. " From now until Dec. 31, 2023, new WW members can enjoy a free month of the WeightWatchers Diabetes-Tailored Plan and connect the WW app with their FreeStyle Libre 2. Any new FreeStyle Libre 2 users may be eligible to receive a voucher for a free trial of the FreeStyle Libre 2 when they sign up for the MyFreeStyle Libre program. 

Ascensia: ‘This is Diabetes, This is Real’ 

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Ascensia Diabetes Care, owner of the CONTOUR blood glucose monitoring system portfolio and exclusive distributor of the Eversense continuous glucose monitoring system, has opened submissions for its art and photo competition in support of World Diabetes Day 2023. The theme of this year’s competition is “This is Diabetes, This is Real,” aiming to capture the challenges, successes and day-to-day realities of people living with diabetes. “For our 2023 competition, we are encouraging people of all ages and abilities to submit a piece that tells a story about what diabetes in real life means to them,” said Rob Schumm, CEO of Ascensia. “Whether you draw, paint or snap, we want you to capture diabetes without filter, from your daily struggles to your proudest moments. Let’s get creative and show the world diabetes in real life.” Ascensia is accepting submissions at until Oct. 31 and will announce the winners on World Diabetes Day, which is a global initiative of the International Diabetes Foundation, on Nov. 14. Winners will be able to donate 6,000, 3,000 and 1,000 euros for first, second and third place, respectively, to a diabetes charity of their choice. The judges, including members of the diabetes online community, professional artists, Ascensia employees and an Eversense brand ambassador, will look for creativity, storytelling and connection to this year’s theme. Last year, Ascensia received more than 350 entries from around the globe and donated 10,000 euros to nominated charities across four different continents. 

BodiMetrics gets green light for pulse oximeter 

LOS ANGELES – BodiMetrics has announced that its circul pro Ring has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a pulse oximeter. The company says the ring’s patented form factor and LED technology make it uniquely designed to accurately measure blood oxygen level on people with any skin tone. “With the recent scrutiny and clinical results highlighting the inaccuracy of some oximeters in darker pigmented skin, the demand for a higher level of performance is greater than ever,” said Neil Friedman, COO of BodiMetrics. “The design, accuracy and reliability of the circul pro Ring is a true testament to its exceptional performance. BodiMetrics is pleased to be able to help address the inherent health inequities resulting from existing products and is proud to have achieved this accomplishment.” Designed to fit snugly on a finger, the ring boasts a patented spring-loaded design and LED sensors that deliver documented accuracy and performance, the company says. The ring's stability and sensor positioning on the underbelly of the finger, or palmar surface, make it possible to collect continuous SpO2 readings for up to 12 hours in both home and hospital settings, regardless of skin tone, it says. The ring’s accuracy in measuring oximetry levels on dark skin pigmentation has been reinforced by a recent peer-reviewed publication in the Mayo Clinic Clinical Proceedings, Digital Health. 

Lake Court names new president 

ROSEVILLE, Mich. – Lake Court Medical Supplies, a wholesale distributor of DME and supplies, has named C.J. Elliott as its new president. Elliott has been part of the team since 2018, following his graduation from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in finance, and has held various roles at the company, most recently as vice president of finance and operations. "C.J. shares my passion for Lake Court, our customers and the entire DME industry,” said Charlie Elliott, CEO of Lake Court Medical Supplies. “He possesses a remarkable ability to identify opportunities and tackle challenges from multiple angles. His extensive experience and leadership will be instrumental in shaping the next chapter of Lake Court." In his role as president, Elliott will lead the company in setting its overall direction and continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Lake Court Medical Supplies was founded in 1991 and has four distribution centers in Roseville, Mich.; Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Springboro, Ohio; and Plant City, Fla. 

Gem Health raises $5M for sleep apnea biz 

MINNEAPOLIS – Gem Specialty Health, whose first offering, GEM SLEEP, provides an end-to-end solution for obstructive sleep apnea, has raised $5 million. The seed financing round, led by HealthTrend Capital, with participation from existing investor Base10 Partners and new investor Mairs & Power Venture Capital, will allow the company to expand payment options by offering insurance coverage through more local and national health plans, making convenient care affordable to millions. “We started in obstructive sleep apnea because we witnessed firsthand the tradeoff many patients were making with regards to their care – trying to decide if they should go to traditional providers and wait 3-4 months for care or try an online option that does not accept insurance and may not have clinical rigor," said Brian Sauer, founder and CEO, GEM HEALTH. "Millions of patients just give up and continue to live with OSA. Patients do not want to have to choose between convenient, clinically sound, and insurance-covered. They want all those things in a single experience. We are proud to say that GEM has built this model and will be rapidly scaling it with the support of our latest investment." Gem Health says GEM SLEEP offers a comprehensive digital solution for diagnosing, treating and supporting patients with sleep apnea. The company says 70% of its patients continue with their treatment beyond 30 days compared to the national average of 40% to 50%. In conjunction with the financing, HealthTrend Capital's Managing Partner, Bill Brinkman, and Sam Meckey, CEO of UpHealth, joined GEM HEALTH's board of directors. 


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