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In brief: HIDA research, catheter white paper, Quipt acquisition

In brief: HIDA research, catheter white paper, Quipt acquisition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Medical supplies are being delayed 37 days due to ongoing supply chain problems, according to research by the Health Industry Distributors Association. 

These delays are impacting 8,000-12,000 containers of supplies throughout the U.S. transportation system, the association says. 

“HIDA recommends a fast-pass system to prioritize essential medical supplies through ports, onto rail and truck for expedited delivery to the front lines of health care,” said HIDA President and CEO Matthew J. Rowan. “Rules and regulations impeding timely and efficient movement of critical medical supplies must be relaxed during a public health emergency.” 

In November, HIDA called for further action* to avoid delays in delivering medical supplies to health care providers. 

HIDA found containers with medical supplies are delayed, on average, 17 days at ports, 11 days by rail and nine days by truck. 

Listen to what Linda Rouse O’Neill, HIDA’s vice president of supply chain policy & executive branch relations, had to say about supply chain issues on the HME News in 10 podcast

White paper highlights critical need for catheters 

WASHINGTON D.C. – AAHomecare and other stakeholders have developed a white paper to educate payers and state Medicaid programs on the importance of access to intermittent catheter products and services.  

The paper addresses the variables going into managing each person’s urinary retention needs, the role of the HME provider, the risks of improper management, the challenges of limited HCPCs codes for a variety of products, and the value of managing urinary needs with sustainable reimbursement.   

“Home medical equipment providers are doing their best to provide the specific catheters that best meet an individual’s unique medical, anatomical and lifestyle needs within the constraints of the payer’s reimbursement,” said Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations at the AAHomecare. “By working with payers to ensure that these benefits adequately cover the cost of providing these products and services, we can remove barriers to care, save the payer money overall via better health outcomes, and increase end user satisfaction.” 

The white paper, The Critical Need to Provide Intermittent Catheter Urological Supplies Specific to Patient Need to Improve Health Outcomes, was developed in conjunction with United Spinal Association, WOCN, Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA), and Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board. 

Quipt gains large new market with latest acquisition  

CINCINNATI – Quipt Home Medical has acquired At Home Health Equipment, an Indiana-based provider with unaudited trailing 12-month annual revenues of about $13 million and net income of $1.6 million. 

Quipt says the acquisition creates its single largest market from a revenue standpoint: Indianapolis. 

“This is a significant acquisition as it creates the largest single market for us in a very attractive region, allowing us the ability to strengthen our overall interconnected health care network in the state of Indiana,” said Greg Crawford, chairman and CEO of Quipt. “This acquisition is very powerful as it services the significant metro hub of Indianapolis, and we plan on quickly integrating their business operations and leveraging Quipt’s payer contracts across our existing Midwest locations.” 

The acquisition adds more than 15,000 patients to Quipt’s active patient count. 

It also opens a new vertical for Quipt: hospice. Thirty percent of At Home’s business stems from exclusive contracts in that segment. 

“We are also excited to enter the hospice segment and we will strategically work to build this vertical out over the course of 2022,” Crawford said. 

CQRC: Contact CMS about paperwork requirements 

WASHINGTON – The Council for Quality Respiratory Care is asking industry stakeholders to contact CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to standardize the paperwork requirements for home oxygen coverage. 

The CQRC says requiring physicians to provide medical records could result in “the vast majority of claims being denied.” 

“CMS has indicated that physicians will be required to provide their medical records instead of using a form with the information CMS needs to pay the claim,” the council states. “This approach puts the contractor in the position of determining what the patient needs instead of the physician and patient making the decision together.”  

CMS in September posted a final national coverage determination for home oxygen that eliminates the CMN requirement. 

Because CMS is currently in the process of creating guidance for the new NCD, it’s “critical” that the agency hears from stakeholders that paperwork requirements shouldn’t create barriers to access, the CQRC says. 

“Please reach out to CMS today and ask the agency to adopt a template that asks for the specific, standardized information to make sure patient needs are met and they can receive their equipment,” the council states. 

ISS shifts to virtual format 

PITTSBURGH – The International Seating Symposium, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, will take place virtually. 

The University of Pittsburgh, which is hosting the event, made the announcement on Jan. 3. 

“While we have all hoped that our flexibility would be rewarded with a return to ‘normalcy,’ we are once again beholden to circumstances outside of our control,” organizers said in an email. “Rather than postpone the event (again) and continue with the uncertainty, we have decided to put all of our efforts into making Virtual ISS 2022 as successful as possible.” 

ISS was originally scheduled for March 18-20, 2021, then Oct. 26-30, 2021, and then Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. 

Organizers say they made the decision, in part, because health care facilities, universities and businesses are barring travel for the safety of their employees and clients, and UPitt has postponed the start of in-person classes, suspended other events and is unable to support an in-person ISS. 

They say more information is forthcoming, including information for speakers and exhibitors, as well as updates on hotel reservations.

WellSky, Option Care Health promote interoperability 

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – WellSky Health and Option Care Health will launch CommonWell Health Alliance services in all 50 states in the second quarter of 2022 to help facilitate health information exchange. 

Option Care Health will join CommonWell through WellSky I/O, accessible within WellSky’s electronic health record system. 

“Option Care Health is a pioneer in the infusion therapy space and WellSky is proud to partner with them to further their interoperability initiatives,” said WellSky CEO Bill Miller. “WellSky is committed to bridging gaps across acute, post-acute, and community care with software purpose-built for connected care. Together with the Option Care team, we envision a future where truly coordinated care is not only possible, it’s the standard.” 

CommonWell is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to creating universal access to health data via a person-centered, nationwide network.  

This partnership will help support Option Care Health’s interoperability and health data exchange initiatives, enabling the organization to coordinate care across providers to achieve better outcomes and improve the patient experience. 

“By partnering with WellSky to utilize CommonWell services, our referral partners will have greater transparency into the execution of their patients’ care plans, improving care coordination and outcomes,” said John Rademacher, president and CEO of Option Care Health. “We’re excited to help lead the market in promoting interoperability across health care platforms. With enhanced data exchange capabilities, we’ll see improved efficiency for our staff, allowing them to focus on what really matters — providing high-quality care to our patients.” 

CBIC launches redesigned web page 

WASHINGTON – CMS and the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor have launched a redesigned home page. The new, user- and mobile-friendly page features improved aesthetics, simplified visual content emphasizing the current competitive bidding program phase, one-click easy access to each phase, and a new display of upcoming events. The site also has contract supplier FAQs that answer general questions about the DMEPOS CBP and Connexion FAQs to assist in locating and completing forms in Connexion, the program’s secure portal. The webpage was redesigned with input from DMEPOS suppliers. 

Stryker to acquire Vocera for nearly $3 billion 

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Stryker will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Vocera Communications for $79.25 per share, or a total equity value of approximately $2.97 billion and a total enterprise value of approximately $3.09 billion. “This acquisition underscores our commitment and focus on our customer," said Kevin Lobo, chairman and CEO, Stryker. “Vocera will help Stryker significantly accelerate our digital aspirations to improve the lives of caregivers and patients.” Vocera’s solutions and the ability to securely enable remote communication between patients and their families, complements Stryker's Advanced Digital Healthcare offerings, the company says. The combined business will further advance Stryker’s focus on preventing adverse events throughout the continuum of care, it says. 

One Drop named ‘Best Place to Work’ 

NEW YORK – One Drop has been honored in the 2022 Best Places to Work Awards by Built In, earning a place on the Best Midsize Companies to Work For in Austin list. The annual awards program includes companies of all sizes, from startups to those in the enterprise, and honors both remote-first employers and companies in the eight largest tech markets across the U.S. "It is an honor to be recognized for the culture we foster at One Drop, both in-person and remotely, and the benefits offered in support of mental health, personal development, and professional success," said, Jeff Dachis, One Drop founder and CEO. "In 2022 and beyond, One Drop will continue prioritizing the well-being of our employees above all else and deliver on our promise to bring precision health to everyone." In July, One Drop was named one of the 100 Best Places to Work in New York City for 2021 by Crain’s New York Business.  

Providers spend thousands on PPE 

WATERLOO, Iowa – The majority DMEPOS suppliers spent between $12,000 and $15,000 per location for personal protective equipment between December 2020 and December 2021, according to a survey conducted by VGM. The range for the expenditures varied from $5,000 to $25,000. VGM estimates the industry’s annual expenditure for PPE to be $135 million. VGM has sent the survey results to congressional offices. For an analysis of the results by VGM’s Mark Higley, click here

VGM’s Walsh retires 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group’s general counsel, Jim Walsh, who was the first investor in the company when it was founded by his friend Van G. Miller in 1986, retired on Dec. 31. He will remain involved as an adviser to the senior leadership team and as chairman of the board of directors. “Jim Walsh was integral to most everything that happened at VGM, especially in the first 30 years of the company’s existence,” said VGM Group CEO Mike Mallaro. “He was the primary driver behind a number of strategies and decisions which shaped our company’s history and impact us today, and will long into the future. Serving as the steadying influence and strong No. 2 behind a maverick and visionary entrepreneur is an incredibly important role, and one that is often overlooked and underappreciated. VGM would not be the organization that it is today without Jim Walsh’s leadership and brilliance.” Walsh joined VGM full time in 1996 and assumed the chairmanship of the board following Miller’s untimely death in 2015. 

RESNA: Annual conference will be virtual 

ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA will hold its annual conference in July virtually due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic. “With the omicron variant and ongoing travel restrictions and difficulties related to the pandemic, this was a decision we felt we had to make,” said Andrea Van Hook, executive director. “It’s still early in our planning process so we can make this switch easily.” RESNA has held its last two annual conferences virtually. The 2022 conference, “Driving the Future of AT” on July 14-16, will include three days of continuing education sessions on a wide range of topics available live and on-demand, keynote lectures from prominent thinkers and leaders, and a virtual exhibit hall. RESNA plans to announce its conference continuing education program and open registration as planned in March 2022. 

NCART grows membership 
EAST AMHERST, N.Y. – NCART says it grew its membership by nearly 20% in 2021. Two of the organization’s newest members include Alpine Home Medical, a provider with 10 locations in Utah and Idaho; and Matia Robotics, a manufacturer of “innovative solutions” for individuals with disabilities. “Thank you to both organizations for adding their support to CRT advocacy work,” the organization stated in a bulletin. “We couldn’t be prouder to be working alongside each of our member companies to protect access to CRT and want to continue to expand our advocacy reach.” In 2021, NCART’s advocacy included permanently exempting accessories for complex manual wheelchairs from competitive bidding pricing. Part of the organization’s advocacy work in 2022: obtaining Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and power standing systems, and permanently expanding the use of telehealth by occupational therapists and physical therapists. 

Tomorrow Health makes lists 

NEW YORK – Tomorrow Health’s Vijay Kedar has been named a “Top 25 Consumer Executives of 2021” by The Healthcare Technology Report. Kedar, the co-founder and CEO of the company, was highlighted for, among other things, raising $32.5 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Oscar Health and others. Tomorrow Health now partners with more than 125 health insurers and provider organizations to coordinate and deliver home-based care for their members. Tomorrow Health has also been listed on the Digital Health 150 list by CB Insights. The companies on the list are “the most promising digital health startups in the world,” having raised about $14.9 billion in aggregate funding across 522 deals since 2016, according to the CB Insights website. CB Insights made its selections from a pool of more than 11,000 companies based on several factors, including “data submitted by companies, company business models and momentum in the market,” according to the website. 

Clear Arch buys Life Care Solutions 

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Clear Arch Health, a division of MobileHealth and a provider of remote patient monitoring and mobile personal emergency response system solutions, has acquired Life Care Solutions, a division of Resideo. “With this acquisition, Clear Arch Health is taking the next big step to solidify its role in the remote patient monitoring market,” said Rob Flippo, co-founder and CEO of MobileHelp. “While leveraging LCS’s deep experience, extensive customer base and its validated LifeStream RPM software platform, Clear Arch Health will inject new energy and resources into this well-established brand.” Life Care Solutions was founded in 1999 as HomMed. It was acquired by Honeywell in 20014 and changed its name to Honeywell Life Care Solutions in 2015. Three years later, as part of a larger spin-off of Resideo, LCS was rebranded Resideo Life Care Solutions. Today, LCS develops and delivers digital health technologies for health care systems, payers, employers, home health agencies and individuals to improve the quality and cost efficiency of care. “As a pioneer in remote patient monitoring and a leading player delivering telehealth solutions for remote chronic care management, LCS is the perfect complement for Clear Arch Health and a logical extension of our ecosystem,” added John Bojanowski, president, Clear Arch Health. “Together, with a clear focus on delivering RPM tools that provide meaningful and sustainable results, we can expand our offerings to care delivery systems and establish a larger presence in the market. We will be well positioned to establish an immediate brand and market leadership position in a highly fragmented industry.” 

Inogen announces changes to board 

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen has announced that Elizabeth Mora has been elected as chairperson of its board of directors. She has served as a member of the board since May 24, 2021, and is also a member of the Audit Committee and Compliance Committee. She assumes the role of Heath Lukatch, Ph.D., who has served as chairperson since 2008. “As we continue to evolve Inogen, including recent changes we have made to our executive team, these alterations to the board are consistent with our goal of transforming Inogen into a more prominent player in respiratory care,” Lukatch said. “Beth’s leadership and operational experience at world-leading research institutions, combined with her track record on public company boards, including serving as a chair of several audit committees, will be instrumental in leading the Board and continuing Inogen’s growth.” Lukatch will remain on the board as a director and as a member of the Compensation Committee. Additionally, Inogen has announced that Ray Huggenberger, a former CEO who has served on the board since 2008, is retiring from the board and transitioning to an advisory role. Mora will replace Huggenberger as chairperson of the Compliance Committee. Following Huggenberger’s retirement, the board has been reduced to seven members. 

AppYea invests in sleep monitor 

FORT WORTH, Texas – AppYea has acquired SleepX and its flagship product DreamIT, a wearable monitoring solution to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Post-merger, the two companies will focus on the further development and commercialization of SleepX’s solution, including investments in R&D and sales and marketing, as well as an upcoming calibration trial. “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of SleepX,” said Boris (Bary) Molchadsky, AppYea’s chairman. “The company develops a wearble technology solution to treat snoring and sleep apnea, which is patent protected in the U.S., E.U. and Israel, and caters to two growing markets in high demand. This acquisition allows us to execute our growth strategy toward the beginning of DreamIT’s marketing during the second half of 2022, while continuing its development with the Biomedical Department at Ben Gurion University in Israel, and launching our first calibration trial. Meanwhile, we are examining the acquisition of other synergetic activities that will complement the SleepX vision to improve sleep quality and quality of life globally.” SleepX will continue to operate under its own brand name as a fully owned subsidiary of AppYea. DreamIT is a patented wristband that communicated with its smartphone app to gently vibrate with every breathing interruption, causing a shift from deep to lighter sleep, training the brain to breath properly, the companies say. The app tracks sleep patterns and, using the company’s machine learning technology, adapts treatment and recommends improvements according to the user’s sleep and breathing patterns.


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