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In brief: CMS boosts pay, MSC expands presence

In brief: CMS boosts pay, MSC expands presence

WASHINGTON – CMS has established a higher rate of $750 to administer monoclonal antibody treatment to Medicare beneficiaries with COVID-19 in their homes, including permanent residences or temporary lodgings. 

The new rate accounts for the increased costs associated with the one-on-one nature of this care model and reflects additional information provided to CMS about providing these services in a safe and timely manner. 

“CMS’s decision to increase reimbursement for home infusion of monoclonal antibody treatments recognizes the importance of administering these medications as rapidly as possible the patients who need them,” said Connie Sullivan, president and CEO of the National Home Infusion Association. “By recognizing the costs associated with providing these one-time infusions, CMS will help encourage equitable access to patients living in rural areas, as well as for those for whom transportation is a challenge. With the ability to receive treatment at home, patients can gain access to these important therapies in a matter that reduces the risk of exposure to the public and medical personnel.” 

Overall, the national average payment rate has increased from $310 to $450 for most health care settings. 

AAH updates: Breast Pump Policy Coalition, ‘Triple A’ Act

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare will host an exploratory call regarding breast pump policies, legislation and regulations on May 27 at 1 p.m. EST for both members and non-members. AAHomecare seeks to determine the critical needs and concerns of the space and whether the association should form a Breast Pump Policy Coalition. Topics of conversation will include: eliminating sales tax; developing a white paper on standardizing coverage of breast pumps and supplies across plans; obtaining coverage of hand-free wearable breast pumps; clearly defining policies for deluxe, upgraded and non-covered items; and determining Medicaid state goals around breastfeeding. To join, email Tilly Gambill at [email protected]...AAHomecare is among 42 stakeholders to sign on to a letter to Congress supporting bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate called the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act, or the “Triple A” Study Act. S. 1089 and H.R. 2461 would expand the knowledge base for assistive technologies and devices, and lay the groundwork for improvements in care and policy solutions to support people with limb loss, limb difference and other mobility impairments. The letter in the House and Senate are spearheaded by the ITEM Coalition. 

Great Elm Group’s reports DME loss 

WALTHAM, Mass. – Great Elm Group reported DME revenue of $13.1 million for its third quarter 2021, compared to $14.1 million for the same quarter last year. 

It reported a net loss of $5.1 million vs. a net loss of $1.4 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million, vs. $2.5 million. 

"Overall, we see positive momentum in all aspects of our business,” said Peter A. Reed, CEO. “DME is beginning to see signs of business recovery from the pandemic impacts, as the country continues moving toward a full economic reopening. We are optimistic about the resumption of organic growth at DME and also the potential for future acquisitions.” 

In March, the company announced it had acquired Advanced Medical DME and PM Sleep Lab, with locations in Kansas and Missouri through its Focus Respiratory subsidiary. 

“During the quarter, DME resumed its acquisition program and announced the AMPM acquisition, which strengthens DME’s presence in the Midwest and provides future organic growth potential through an expanded patient base and cross-selling opportunities,” Reed said. “We also anticipate the acquisition will drive margin improvement through operational efficiencies and other benefits of added scale.” 

MSC expands presence in Wisconsin 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Medical Service Company has acquired Wisconsin-based Metz Medical, a sleep and respiratory services provider with two locations in the Milwaukee area. 

The deal gives MSC access to several new payer contracts. 

“We are thrilled to welcome several new team members from Metz into the MSC family,” the company stated in a press release. “We look forward to offering our chronic care solutions across Wisconsin.” 

The family owned MSC has more than 30 locations across several states, including Ohio, Indiana, New York and Michigan. 

The company added Matt Moebius as an M&A account executive last year to expand its partnerships.  

OxyGo buys LIFE Corporation 

WESTLAKE, Ohio – OxyGo, a manufacturer of lightweight portable oxygen concentrators, has acquired LIFE Corporation, a manufacturer of portable emergency oxygen and CPR administration equipment. 

The acquisition will allow OxyGo to further expand its expertise in the oxygen market, says V.E. Marquard-Schultz, Esq., CEO. 

“Acquiring LIFE Corp. is an exciting and logical next step in offering proactive gas solutions to the medical and industrial markets, and continues our mission to help our customers and communities grow,” she said. 

LIFE Corporation, founded in 1985, specializes in companions to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to provide supplemental oxygen to a breathing victim before the onset of fibrillation, to provide oxygen-enriched CPR to a non-breathing victim, or to provide continued supplemental oxygen after successful defibrillation. 

The company also offers a complete line of medical oxygen regulators and cylinders for its own products and separately for EMTs, hospitals and the home care market. 

 Protech Home Medical to change name 

CINCINNATI – Protech Home Medical plans to change its name to Quipt Home Medical and consolidate its common shares on the basis of one post-consolidation common share for every four pre-consolidation shares, pending regulatory approvals, including TSX Venture Exchange approval. The company expects to complete the name change and consolidation on May 13, and to begin trading on the TSXV under the new symbol QIPT on that day. Protech also expects to get listed on the NASDAQ by the end of June. 

 Apria appoints two to board 

INDIANAPOLIS – Apria has appointed two new board members: Susan Gray and Terri Kline. Gray has held board of director and committee positions in a variety of companies, including 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Maravai Life Sciences, Morphic Therapeutics, BioSplice Therapeutics, Wesleyan University and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Kline currently serves on the boards of Amedisys, Intersect ENT, SaVida Health and Presbyterian Health Plan. Previously, she served as executive vice president of Henry Ford Health System. Both women will serve on the board’s audit committee. “With decades of combined experience in health care leadership and advisory, Susannah Gray and Terri Kline significantly strengthen the expertise of our company’s board of directors,” said Dan Starck, CEO. 

Prochant earns certification 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Prochant has earned HITRUST CSF Certification. HITRUST CSF Certified status means Prochant’s Revenue Cycle Services & Platform have met key regulations and industry defined requirements and are appropriately managing risk. “HME and pharmacy reimbursement firms are under immense pressure to meet complex compliance, security and privacy requirements such as NIST, ISO and COBIT,” said Joey Graham, executive vice president and general manager. “We are pleased to demonstrate to our clients the highest standards for protecting sensitive data and information by achieving HITRUST CSF Certification.” By including federal and state regulations, standards and frameworks, and incorporating a risk-based approach, HITRUST CSF helps organizations address compliance, security and privacy challenges through a comprehensive and flexible framework of prescriptive and scalable security controls.  

 AZ-MediQuip promotes Radzik 

PHOENIX - AZ MediQuip has promoted Mike Radzik to the role of regional director of operations. Radzik is the longest-termed employee of AZ MediQuip, having worked at the company since 2008, serving in a variety of key roles, including a variety of store management positions. “Mike has been an instrumental part of the AZ MediQuip team,” said Mark Belanger, COO of AZ MediQuip. “We are excited to recognize Mike on a well-deserved promotion and thank him for his dedication and leadership to the brand.” In this new role, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of AZ MediQuip’s five Phoenix area locations, as well as have direct oversight of the team of technicians.  

Bigfoot Biomedical receives clearance for smart insulin pen cap system 

MILPITAS, Calif. – Bigfoot Biomedical has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Bigfoot Unity Diabetes Management System, which features connected smart pen caps that recommend insulin doses for people using multiple daily injections. “Diabetes management is incredibly hard because insulin has no fixed dose or timing, leaving individuals to constantly determine their doses and configure devices as they make multiple critical decisions every day about how much insulin to take,” said Jeffrey Brewer, CEO. “At Bigfoot, we want to ease the burden of diabetes for people taking insulin by minimizing the anxious guesswork involved with insulin dosing in a convenient, simple way.” The Bigfoot Unity System is the first and only solution for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes on MDI therapy that directly uses integrated continuous glucose monitoring system data from Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system to provide an insulin dose recommendation. The system is compatible with all major U.S. brands of rapid- and long-acting disposable insulin pens, including those by Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.  

AMC Health launches RPM program with BCBS  

NEW YORK – AMC Health will provide certain Medicare Advantage enrollees who have congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with Bluetooth monitoring devices to transmit real-time biometric data to its clinicians as part of a new partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. 

Launching this program helps to better ensure that pre-acute exacerbations of illnesses can be detected and addressed at the earliest opportunity in the comfort of their homes, AMC Health says. 

"AMC Health is working together with the BCBSRI team to provide an industry leading RPM and clinical solution to assist moderate to high-risk enrollees with CHF and COPD to better manage their condition in the home care setting,” said Donna Geringer, executive vice president, AMC Health. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with BCBSRI to leverage our proven results through our multiple peer-reviewed published studies and experience in driving clinical outcomes and improving the overall health of their population." 

AMC Health will combine biometric data with data on symptoms, behavior, environment and care access through automated, interactive surveying via mobile app or telephonic interactive voice response. These surveys also serve to provide focused health education back to the participants in the same exchange. 

CareCentrix appoints clinical expert to advisory board 

HARTFORD, Conn. – CareCentrix has appointed Dr. Jennifer Schneider to its strategic advisory board. Schneider most recently served as president at Livongo Health, where she oversaw the strategic, technical and clinical direction of the company. She has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives and by Fierce Healthcare as a Women of Influence for her success empowering women and modeling diversity in the workplace. “Over the past decade, Dr. Jennifer Schneider has expertly led companies that have changed our view on how and where we can deliver high-quality health care,” said John Driscoll, CEO. “Her experience implementing new technology to improve health outcomes will be especially impactful to our emerging product offerings. She shares our values and is a great addition to our team. “ 

Better Health taps new VP 

SAN FRANCISCO – Better Health, an online supplier of urological and ostomy supplies, has hired Dr. Rosemary Ku as vice president of medical affairs. She brings more than a decade of health care experience in clinical care, payer innovation and technology development for chronic disease management systems. In her new role, Ku will oversee the build-out of a comprehensive care program, starting with launching an innovative peer coaching service to improve health outcomes, quality of life and customer experience for its customers. “Rosemary’s passion for reimagining traditional models of care to better meet patients’ needs closely aligns with our mission to bring a more holistic care model to the at-home medical supply industry,” said Naama Stauber Breckler, co-founder and CEO. Better Health launched in March. 

FDA issues emergency clearance for NanVibronix device 

ELMSFORD, N.Y. - NanoVibronix, a medical device company that produces the UroShield, PainShield and WoundShield Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Portable Ultrasonic Therapeutic Devices, has announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will exercise its enforcement discretion to allow distribution of the UroShield device in the United States during the current public health emergency. The device is designed to aid in the prevention of CAUTI incidence in patients requiring long-term indwelling catheterization. "The FDA continues its critical work to protect public health, including expediting the review of medical devices that may be of beneficial use during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Brian Murphy, CEO of NanoVibronix. "After reviewing the body of scientific evidence that we presented, the agency took decisive action to clear the way for patient access to UroShield for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oventus raises millions 

BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus Medical has firm commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors for a two-tranche placement of ordinary shares to raise about $5 million. The company has also launched a fully underwritten 1 for 4.4 pro-rata, non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise another $5 million. “We thank all those investors who showed strong support for the company through the placement, despite the challenges brought about by sustained lockdowns in our key markets,” said Sue MacLeman, chair of the company’s board of directors. “With changes to our business models removing barriers to patient treatment, and the macro-environment starting to open up, this funding will be key to underpinning the next stage in Oventus’ growth.” Oventus will use the capital raise to strengthen its balance sheet and enable the company to enhance its manufacturing operations and logistics, and sales and marketing activities. It will also use the capital to support one-off restructuring and formation costs relating to the reduction in operating expenses. 

 LiveWell Medical goes through recapitalization 

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. –Montgomery DME, a holding of Monument MicroCap Partners, has recapitalized LiveWell Medical Supplies. Located in Riverside, Calif., LiveWell is a distributor of DME, serving primarily the hospice and home health care markets in southern California. Montgomery DME is a provider of DME on a rental basis to hospices located primarily in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. MDME rents and services equipment like hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, oxygen tanks and recliners to about 5,000 hospice patients “We are very excited and proud to partner with LiveWell as we continue to expand our service to new clients and patients,” said Ron Galan, president of MDME. “LiveWell and MDME provide each other with expanded geographies and greater resources to better assist patients.” LiveWell represents the second recapitalization by MDME since its acquisition by Monument in December 2018. In January 2019, MDME recapitalized Abundant Home Care, a provider of DME on a rental basis to hospices in San Diego. Located in Indianapolis, Monument MicroCap Partners is a private equity firm focused on investments in North American businesses with EBITDA of $2 million to $8 million. 

Connect America buys PERS business from Philips 

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. – Connect, an independent provider of medical alert systems in North America, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Aging and Caregiving business of Royal Philips. The ACG business offers the Lifeline Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) and senior living solutions with 24/7 access to trained care specialists, and digital solutions that help caregivers stay connected and coordinate the needs of loved ones. “Connect America and Philips ACG's shared commitment to supporting the aging journey for our subscribers and caregivers, as well as our highly complementary offerings make this acquisition a very exciting opportunity to expand our impact and better serve our subscribers,” said Janet Dillione, CEO, Connect America. “Philips ACG has been an experienced provider of digital caregiving, monitoring, and senior living solutions for more than 35 years, offering a connected data-driven ecosystem to customers across North America. Together as one team, we will deliver an unmatched, state-of-the-art health management platform.” North American subscribers of both Connect America and ACG will benefit from expanded service offerings and new innovations in connected care, the companies say. Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Philips will maintain an equity stake in the company. Detroit-based Rockbridge Growth Equity remains the lead investor and will continue to provide strategic support for Connect America. 

CCS Medical names Escalante to new HR role 

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – CCS Medical has named Barbara Escalante Hess as its first ever chief human resources officer. Hess joins CCS Medical from TiER1 Performance Solutions, a consultative solutions provider, where she was responsible for developing and activating enterprise strategies to improve business performance and organizational health. “I’m honored to join CCS Medical and be part of a team that has so much purpose in being able to impact patients’ lives,” she said. “I look forward to positively driving change with our employees, enabling our business strategy and continuing our commitment to patient service.” Before TiER1, Hess was the chief human resources officer for Medical Specialties Distributors, an $850 million, private-equity owned health care company, where she optimized company culture and growth, improving valuation. CCS Medical is a single-source provider for insulin pump therapy, CGM systems, diabetes testing supplies, wound care supplies, urology supplies, incontinence supplies, ostomy supplies, prescription medications, orthotics and breast pumps. It has sales associates and distribution centers nationwide and holds pharmacy licenses or permits in all states.  


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