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In brief: CMS guidance, Convatec acquisition, Drive CEO

In brief: CMS guidance, Convatec acquisition, Drive CEO

WASHINGTON – CMS has instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021, for a short period, in anticipation of possible congressional action to extend the moratorium on the 2% sequestration cuts. 

“This will minimize the volume of claims the MACs must reprocess if Congress extends the suspension,” CMS wrote in a March 30 bulletin. “The MACs will automatically reprocess any claims paid with the reduction if applied if necessary.” 

The Senate on March 25 overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill that would extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts through Dec. 31, 2021. The bill has been sent back to the House of Representatives, but members are out on break until mid-April. 

The moratorium expires March 31. 

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1868, a bill to extend the moratorium through Dec. 31, 2021, on March 19; and two senators introduced S. 748, a bill to extend the moratorium through the public health emergency, on March 15.  

Cure Medical becomes part of ConvaTec 

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., and BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Cure Medical on March 24 announced that is has been bought by ConvaTec and that its CEO, John Anderson, will join the Continence Care division of the company. 

The two companies have complimentary portfolios and, together, will be able to offer a more comprehensive range of products and services for patients and their DME partners, Cure Medical says. 

“I welcome ConvaTec, a long-time partner and customer of Cure Medical,” Anderson said. “This alliance, combining our strengths, allows us to better serve the needs of patients and business partners, bringing more innovative products and services to market even faster. I look forward to our continued success under the new ownership.” 

Cure Medical is a manufacturer of intermittent catheters. 

ConvaTec is a manufacturer of medical products used for chronic and acute wound care, ostomy care, continence and critical care, and infusion. It also owns 180 Medical, a provider of catheters and urological medical supplies; and Woodbury Holdings, a distributor of incontinence and catheter supplies.  

Drive taps Lampert as CEO 

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has named Derek Lampert CEO. 

Lampert, who has more than 20 years of experience in the DME industry, joined Drive as a territory sales manager in 2003 and has held a variety of roles at the company. In 2020, he assumed responsibility for North American manufacturing operations as COO and global and commercial operations as president. 

“At Drive, the belief is that we build our people so that they can build our company,” said Lampert. “I couldn’t be more honored to lead this amazing team into our very bright future.”  

Robert Size, who became CEO in 2019, has assumed the role of vice chairman of the board of directors. John Compton of CD&R, an investor in the company, will remain chairman of the board. 

“After a very strong performance in 2020, Drive is well-positioned for continued success,” said Size. “I am very excited to have Derek assume the CEO role and am pleased to remain part of Drive’s future in my new capacity.” 

GEMCO inks distribution deal with AG Industries 

HUDSON, Ohio - GEMCO Medical, an NABP-accredited medical supply wholesaler and third-party logistics provider, has entered into an agreement with AG Industries (AGI), Filtration Group, to be the exclusive master distributor of the company's respiratory portfolio for the eastern United States, including all geographies east of Mississippi. AGI will continue to service the Western region. AGI customers will have immediate access to a broader range of products offered by GEMCO Medical and additional programs, including private label, drop-ship, and third-party fulfillment services. "AGI is a great manufacturing partner of ours,” said Matthew Edwards, CEO of parent company GEMCORE. “We look forward to building deep relationships with their customers and making the account transition as seamless as possible. Through the support of our dedicated sales efforts, competitive pricing, extensive industry knowledge, and faster delivery times, we are committed to meeting and exceeding the level of service that customers have grown to expect from AGI."     

Sunset Healthcare acquires skin care brands 

CHICAGO - Sunset Healthcare Solutions has acquired RoEzIt Dermal Care and CPAP Moisture Therapy from Texas-based Lousal Enterprises, Inc. Both patented formulas are petroleum-free and designed to increase patient compliance, as they combat the side effects of oxygen and CPAP therapy, respectively. “Sunset was a successful reseller of these products for years, and when they were no longer available, it quickly became apparent that the market and patient base really missed them,” said PJ Ruflin, vice president of business development for Sunset. “Sunset is invested in supporting the DME community through great products and service, and thereby benefiting the patients our DME community serves. These products are right in line with that, as they provide clinical benefit to patients, drive compliance with therapy, and provide a great cash sale opportunity for the DME.” 

Braze Mobility names new exec 

TORONTO – Braze Mobility has named Allan Boyd vice president of business development. Boyd has more than 25 years of experience in complex rehab and served as general manager of Permobil Canada until 2020. Prior to that, he managed Invacare’s seating division. “I am thrilled to have Allan on our team,” said Pooja Viswanathan, CEO and co-founder of Braze Mobility. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for not only his experiences and what he has accomplished in the industry, but also for his hunger to keep learning and staying abreast of the latest innovations.” Braze Mobility, founded in 2016, makes blind spot sensor systems that automatically detect obstacles and provide feedback to the user through intuitive lights, sounds and vibrations. 

OIG: States not reporting accurate managed care data 

WASHINGTON - Most states did not provide complete or accurate payment data on managed care payments to the CMS Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS), which provides oversight of the Medicaid program, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General. 

The data include the amounts paid, billed and allowed for every service provided to Medicaid enrollees, including those services provided through managed care, the primary delivery system for Medicaid. 

Specifically, about half of states did not provide complete or accurate information about the amounts that managed care plans pay to providers for services. Nearly three-quarters of states provided incomplete or inaccurate information about the maximum amounts that managed care plans allow for services. More than one-quarter of states provided incomplete or inaccurate information about the amounts that providers bill managed care plans for services. 

The OIG recommended that CMS review state managed care payment data in T-MSIS and ensure they have corrective action plans to improve data completeness and quality, as appropriate. Further, CMS should make public its reviews of states managed care data. Finally, CMS should clarify and expand its initiative on payment data.  

CMS did not concur with any of the recommendations and said it has already set priority areas for improving the reporting of T-MSIS data and it will continue to assess how to further expand data quality improvement efforts. 

ADA launches diabetes product pilot 

ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Diabetes Association has launched the “Better Choices for Life” program to help people with diabetes make better choices while shopping. Still in is pilot phase, the program takes a science- and evidence-based approach to evaluating products in three categories: food and nutrition, health and wellness, and diabetes management. Following an extensive evaluation process, companies applying for participation and passing the evaluation may place the “Better Choices for Life” mark on their packaging. The evaluation does not mean the ADA is endorsing the product. "The marketplace is crowded with products and services targeting people with diabetes – some of which make claims which are questionable," said Sonja Baro, vice president of product innovation at the ADA. "Our goal is to help people know if a product's claims are based in evidence or are ‘healthy’ for those concerned about diabetes management or prevention." 

Graham-Field wins award 

ATLANTA – Graham-Field has won Medium Manufacturer of the Year Award in the 10th Annual Movers & Makers Awards by Partnership Gwinnett. Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration with Gwinnett Technical College, announced the winners of the awards in March during a ceremony at Infinite Energy Forum. “Graham-Field is very proud of the hard work invested in our manufacturing facility in Gwinnett County,” said Ken Spett, CEO of GF Health Products. “Our responsibility is to provide world-class quality and service to both health care providers and patients.” More than 200 community leaders and industry experts attended the awards, both in-person and virtually, to celebrate excellence within their field. It is the largest event of its kind in Georgia. 

PlayMaker partners with Florida association 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new strategic partnership means members of the Home Care Association of Florida will have access to exclusive member pricing for and priority access to Spark, PlayMaker Health’s fully integrated home health and hospice solution. “Our partnership with HCAF is part of a long-term plan to build a valuable partner ecosystem that delivers the most value for members,” said Gregg Boyle, CEO of PlayMaker Health. “We’re excited to start with HCAF.” The partnership means HCAF members will have access to market insights data to identify new referral opportunities, expand their book of business and grow competitive market share, according to a press release. “This is the kind of marketing intelligence that makes the large home health organizations so formidable,” said Bobby Lolley, RN, executive director of HCAF. “Through this new partnership, this critical data is now available as an exclusive HCAF member benefit so that providers with a smaller footprint have an opportunity to level the playing field.” 

Merits teams with advocate for giveaway 

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Merits USA and its sister brands Avid Rehab, Precision Comfort and Pilot have partnered with disability advocate Chelsea Bear for a giveaway in honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Entrants have a chance of winning a Roadster 3 Scooter from Merits USA. The Roadster, with its easy disassembly and portability, is great for those with CP and other mobility disabilities, the company says. “I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Merits for this special giveaway,” said Bear, a Florida-based disability and inclusivity advocate and influencer. “As someone with a physical disability, I rely on my mobility scooter for long distances and without it a large part of my independence would be taken away. Knowing that medical equipment isn’t always easy to obtain for the disability community, I’m proud to be part of an initiative that will allow us to help someone in need.” The giveaway runs through March 31. To enter, entrants must be following Merits and Bear on Instagram, and must complete a short survey. 

Invacare adds Fehr to board 

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has appointed Stephanie Fehr, who has a strong background in human resources and talent development for leading health care and technology businesses, to its board of directors. Fehr currently serves as executive vice president and chief human capital officer of UnitedHealthcare, a division of UnitedHealth Group. “Her background in health care and wealth of experience in human capital leadership will be invaluable to Invacare as we embark on our next chapter of growth and drive cultural and organizational excellence,” said Matt Monaghan, chairman, president and CEO. Fehr will serve as a member of Invacare’s Compensation and Management Development Committee. Invacare now has 10 directors, nine of whom are independent. Prior to UnitedHealth, Fehr spent 17 years in human resources and talent leadership roles with Apple Computer. 

Oventus signs on first VGM member 

BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus Medical has signed on its first member of VGM & Associates: InHome Oxygen and Medical Equipment in Pennsylvania. Per the agreement, InHome Oxygen will offer O2Vent therapy as a treatment alternative to patients who find CPAP therapy challenging. “We definitely see a need to provide alternative treatment for the many patients that refuse or struggle with PAP therapies,” said Robert Campitelli, president and owner of InHome Oxygen. Potential patients will now be able to visit an InHome Oxygen store – physically, online or over the phone – and schedule a telehealth consultation, followed by a dentist guided at-home telehealth impression and device delivery consultation. The virtual lab-in-lab agreement is due to go live next month. Oventus and VGM announced a marketing agreement in late 2020. 


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