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In brief: Invacare closure, NSM CEO, BOC honor

In brief: Invacare closure, NSM CEO, BOC honor

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare will close its production and distribution facility in Sanford, Fla., at the end of September 2023, in a move that will impact about 90 associates, according to a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company will move the manufacturing and distribution activities that take place at the Sanford facility to other locations or have them conducted by third parties.  

“This decision is supportive of the company’s transformation efforts and is part of the company’s long-term plan to increase shareholder value by targeting significant contributions from cost reduction activities in North America,” it stated. 

Invacare expects the closure to result in pre-tax cash restructuring charges of about $1.7 million in the North America segment, $900,000 for severance and transition assistance and $800,000 for other closure-related costs. It expects to expense the charges in the second and third quarters of 2023 in alignment with the planned timing for the closure. 

Once closed, the company expects to generate about $5 million in annualized pre-tax savings. 

Invacare announced in February that it had filed for Chapter 11 in Texas. 

NSM names new CEO 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - National Seating & Mobility has a new CEO effective today: Tony Ueber, who most recently served as CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. 

Ueber, who replaces Bill Mixon, has a longstanding passion for mission-drive organizations, the company says, leading multi-unit businesses in the health care, retail and consumer product industries. 

“I’m excited to be a part of a company that at its core is centered on serving others,” Ueber said. “NSM is founded upon a deep desire to provide consumers with the most advanced mobility solutions available to ensure they have the independence they need and deserve. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization and am confident that by keeping our clients at the center of all we do, NSM will continue to be a leader in the complex rehab technology (CRT) industry.” 

Ueber’s past positions also include CEO for Results Physiotherapy and Banfield Pet Hospital. 

Mixon, who served as CEO for nine years, will transition to a position on NSM’s board of directors. Under his leadership, the company grew to include more than 200 locations across the United States and Canada. 

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the CEO of NSM and the time is right for this transition,” Mixon said. “Our team has laid a firm foundation for Tony to build upon at NSM, and I know that he and the NSM leadership team will execute on important long-term strategic goals that will help NSM evolve to best meet the needs of our clients.” 

MedArrive raises $8 million  

IRVING, Texas – Mobile-integrated care management platform company MedArrive has received $8 million in new funding led by Cobalt Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC). 

The investment follows MedArrive’s $25 million series A round in November 2021 and brings the company’s total funding to $40.5 million to date.  

“Everyone in America has a right to inclusive, high-quality care, yet too many are left out and have no one on their side who can connect them to the system,” said Dan Trigub, MedArrive CEO and co-founder. “The work we are doing with dedicated health care organizations, who are committed to health equity, is what drives our team every day, and we are honored to receive this strategic investment from Cobalt Ventures.”  

MedArrive supports both adult and pediatric populations, providing a care management solution that connects providers and payers with MedArrive's field provider network of paramedics, EMTs and other health care professionals. These field providers visit the homes of patients or members on behalf of their provider or health plan, providing in-home health care services, diagnostics, health assessments, post-acute care and other preventive health measures, while also addressing social care needs like transportation, mobility or nutrition assistance.  

When higher-acuity care is needed, field providers will connect people with physician-led telehealth services. The MedArrive platform also includes integrations with a growing ecosystem of specialized partners, which allows field providers to bring even more care services into the home, such as virtual behavioral health, retinal screening and maternity care.  

“MedArrive has quickly become a leader in delivering health care at home solutions with a unique platform and agile workforce that helps lower cost of care for health plans while building trust, improving access to care and driving better outcomes for their members,” said David Eichler, managing partner of Cobalt Ventures.  

HME unveils QR code system 

RICHMOND, B.C. – HME Home Health has launched a QR code system that will assist clients and health care providers in selecting mobility and accessibility products. “Our new QR code system was designed to enable clients or those assisting them to submit their customized orders directly to our team of dedicated professionals, who can then promptly fill each order for speedy pick-up or delivery,” said Robert Boscacci, HME’s co-founder and CEO. By scanning their QR code, clients now can access a personalized order form with photographs and information on all of HME’s products. Users can also subscribe to the company’s newsletter and search job openings. HME has six store-warehouse operations in Richmond, Victoria, Surrey, Nanaimo, North Vancouver and Kelowna, offering wheelchairs, power chairs, walkers, hospital beds, mattresses and other durable medical equipment, as well as stairlifts, vertical platform lifts, ramps and other installed products. 

BOC honored for customer engagement 

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) is a winner in this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. This is the organization’s 11th Stevie Award since 2013. BOC won a Bronze Stevie Award for Sales and Customer Service in the new “Best Customer Engagement Initiative” category. This new category recognizes organizations distinguishing themselves through customer engagement initiatives creating a positive customer experience and increasing customer loyalty. “We’re proud to be recognized for the customer service that is such a strong part of our BOC culture and valued by our customers,” said Judi Knott, president & CEO at BOC. “As a repeat Stevie award winner for the past decade, we’re proud to be an authentic leader in customer service.” The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals. The Stevie Awards organizes eight of the world’s leading business awards programs, including the American Business Awards and the International Business Awards. Winners were announced during a gala event attended by more than 400 professionals from around the world at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. 

 Melissa Smith joins ATF 

NEWNAN, Ga.— Melissa Smith, OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM, CHAMP, has joined ATF Medical as clinical specialist/adaptive housing. In this role, Smith assesses injured workers and their homes and recommends ways to address barriers to accessibility, mobility and independence. “Melissa has dedicated her OT practice to adapting home environments to the meet the accessibility and mobility needs of injured people,” said Erin Zablocki, CDME, Master C.E.A.C., ECHM, ATF Medical’s executive director of rehab technology. Most recently, Smith was the founder and CEO of LiveAble LLC, which modified home environments to enable people to remain in their homes after they experienced disabilities. Previously, Smith was an occupational therapist for Kaiser Permanente Home Care Services and has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities, and as a traveling OT. 

NYSE delists Invacare 

ELYRIA, Ohio – The New York Stock Exchange has delisted Invacare. The NYSE filed a Form 25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 16 to delist the company’s common shares, with the change taking effect 10 days later. The delisting will be in effect for 90 days or such shorter period as the SEC may determine. Trading of Invacare’s common stock now occurs on the OTC Pink Market under the symbol IVCRQ. As of April 10, the company was trading there for 0.0158, with a market cap of $516,290. 

WellSky launches patient engagement platform 

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - WellSky has launched WellSky Patient, a patient engagement platform to identify health risks, avoid complications and improve outcomes through stronger transparency and communication between patients, families and clinical care teams. Using the platform, patients can stay connected to their care providers between visits through two-way communication, video-based telehealth and guided condition management programs. At the same time, using patient-generated data from health status submissions and remote monitoring, clinicians can access a comprehensive view to track a patient’s progress and identify needs for clinical intervention. “Patient engagement technology has historically focused on completing tasks related to a care episode, such as scheduling an appointment, completing an intake form, or viewing a lab result,” said Tim Ashe, chief clinical officer at WellSky. “That paradigm must shift toward the person, with a focus on how to best guide them through the care journey while surveying and managing their condition virtually. The innovation WellSky has developed to bring this strategy to life will be of great value to our clients, their care team members, and their patients.” WellSky noted that when patients are given convenient and practical tools to help them take an active role in their own care and well-being, satisfaction is higher, complications are fewer, and outcomes are better, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By focusing on the home as the center of patient engagement, health care organizations can gain new insights into patient behaviors and conditions, enabling them to adjust the plan of care, control costs, and positively influence outcomes to the benefit of the person and the health care organization alike, the company says. “It is critical that our care team members have a complete picture of the patient’s condition and are given the insights necessary to engage most appropriately with the right resources at the right time,” said Dr. Bethany Snider, chief medical officer at Hosparus Health. “The capabilities WellSky is bringing to the table help give us the visibility we need to customize care to the individual, while also ensuring the patient’s family members and other caregivers are full participants in the care journey.” 

Glooko partners with insulin-dosing platform 

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Glooko, Inc. has entered into a partnership with Hedia, integrating its insulin dosing technology into Glooko’s diabetes management platforms for healthcare providers and people with diabetes. “We are very pleased to partner with Hedia to offer this algorithm-driven innovation for personalized healthcare for diabetes patients and their healthcare teams,” said Russ Johannesson, CEO of Glooko. “The robust clinical data supporting Hedia’s efficacy demonstrates this could be a viable alternative for patients who are not able to access insulin pumps. This partnership shows how interoperability gives people with diabetes the optimal tools available to ease the management of their condition and enhance health outcomes such as the stability of blood glucose levels.” With the Glooko platforms, patients currently have the ability to share their diabetes data with their healthcare providers, including blood glucose readings, insulin doses, food and carbs, exercise activity, blood pressure and weight. With the integration of Hedia Diabetes Assistant, people with diabetes will be able to receive bolus insulin dosing advice, which will provide personalized care and reduce the burden of manually calculating required insulin doses. The initial European launch of the integration is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023 and first quarter of 2024. 

 Aeroflow inks managed care deal in Missouri 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has partnered with a Missouri Medicaid Managed Care plan to provide access to breast pump equipment for new mothers at no cost under Medicaid. With almost half of all births taking place on Medicaid, mothers in Missouri will now have free access to Aeroflow’s breast pumps in addition to their current access to Aeroflow’s full suite of medical-grade products. “Choosing to integrate and expand our services with such an incredible plan was a quick and easy decision for our team,” says Natalie Marrero at Aeroflow Healthcare. “We’ve been partnering with plans in different states for years to offer breast pumps as a value addition, with one state experiencing a 53% increase in membership after we implemented our services. We look forward to continuing expanding access to necessary equipment to improve mothers overall well-being with the addition of Missouri.” Aeroflow serves more than 30% of the new moms market in the insurance-eligible lactation industry, as the company serves over 30% of the new mom market.  

Enhabit earns CHAP accreditation 

DALLAS – Enhabit, Inc., a provider of hospice and home health services, has been awarded the Age-Friendly Care at Home Certification from Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) for its home health agencies in Petersburg, Virginia, and Clermont, Florida. The CHAP certification program brings Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), to home health and hospice settings. The movement has been shown to reduce cost of care, improve clinical retention and satisfaction, and improve patient outcomes. “We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement to home-based care,” said Bud Langham, executive vice president of clinical excellence and strategy. “While we’ve always focused on delivering evidence-based, patient-centered care, this movement provides a clear framework on how to incorporate these elements into our standards of care in a way that benefits our patients, clinicians, referral sources and payers.” 

FDA clears readers for FreeStyle Libre 3 

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Abbott has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a reader for its FreeStyle Libre 3 integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system, which features a small, thin and discreet glucose sensor. With the FDA's clearance of a standalone reader, Abbott is working to get the FreeStyle Libre 3 system added to Medicare's list of covered systems as soon as possible. "Our customers all over the world consistently tell us how our FreeStyle Libre technology has made an enormous, positive impact on their health and quality of life – they spend less time worrying and more time living," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president for Abbott's diabetes care business. "The FreeStyle 3 reader provides more choice to people living with diabetes to have access to lifesaving technology that is smaller and easier to use and comes without the high-cost burdens of other systems." The FreeStyle Libre 3 reader is a small handheld device that displays real-time glucose readings directly from a small sensor worn on the back of a person's upper arm, allowing them to manage their diabetes quickly and easily by viewing their glucose readings6 on a large, bright and easy-to-see screen. People who use the FreeStyle Libre 3 system will still have the option to use the current FreeStyle Libre 3 smartphone apps. 

Lifeway Mobility debuts in Cleveland 

CLEVELAND – Lifeway Mobility has opened a new location in Cleveland, its second in Ohio. The company will offer stair lifts, wheelchair ramps and lifts, home elevators and a variety of transfer aid and bath safety solutions to those living in greater Cleveland and surrounding areas, including Akron, Canton and Youngstown. “We can’t wait to leverage our 20-plus years of experience in nearby Pittsburgh & Erie to help people in the Cleveland metro area with their mobility needs,” said Jeff Byrd, general manager of Lifeway’s nearby locations in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Philadelphia/southcentral New Jersey. “Our goal is to be the most trusted provider of accessibility solutions in greater Cleveland and allow residents to remain safe and independent at home.” Lifeway opened a location in Columbus, Ohio, in June 2021. The company also has a new warehouse and distribution facility in Tallmadge, Ohio, that will help with efficient installation times. It has plans to open a showroom at this location to allow those in the area to see and test-ride accessibility solutions. 

How do oronasal masks affect upper airway anatomy and collapsibility? 

YARMOUTH, Maine – Oronasal masks are associated with a more collapsible airway than nasal masks, which likely contributes to the need for a higher therapeutic pressure, according to a new study published in the journal Chest. CPAP therapy delivered via an oronasal mask is associated with lower adherence, higher residual AHI and increased pressure compared to nasal masks; however, the mechanisms underlying the increased pressure requirements are not well understood. Researchers found oronasal masks were associated with higher therapeutic pressure requirements (ΔM±SEM; +2.6±0.5, p<0.001) and higher Pcrit (+2.4±0.5cmH2O, p=0.001) compared to nasal masks. The change in therapeutic pressure between masks was strongly correlated with the change in Pcrit (r2=0.73, p=0.003). Increasing pressure increased both the retroglossal and retro-palatal airway dimensions across both masks. After controlling for pressure and breath-phase, the retropalatal cross-sectional area was moderately larger when using a nasal versus an oronasal mask (+17.2mm2, CI95%: 6.2–28.2, p<0.001) while nasal breathing. To conduct the study, researchers had 14 OSA patients undergo a sleep study with both a nasal and oronasal mask, each for half the night (order randomized). CPAP was manually titrated to determine therapeutic pressure. Upper airway collapsibility was assessed using the Pcrit technique. Cine MRI was done to dynamically assess the cross-sectional area of the retroglossal and retropalatal airway throughout the respiratory cycle with each mask interface. Scans were repeated at 4cmH2O and at the nasal and oronasal therapeutic pressures.


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