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In brief: Lifeway grows footprint, Quipt secures contract, Permobil receives accolade

In brief: Lifeway grows footprint, Quipt secures contract, Permobil receives accolade

HARTFORD, Conn. – Lifeway Mobility has acquired Accessible Systems, Inc., expanding its presence in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions. 

ASI, a full-service dealer of stairlifts, wheelchair lifts, residential elevators, ramps, step-in tubs and overhead lifts, was co-founded more than 22 years ago by John Bixenman, Marty Twaddell and Nathan Colburn.  

“We are proud of the reputation we have earned in our mission to serve families who want to stay in their own home during their time of need,” said Colburn. “Our new partnership with Lifeway will further strengthen our resources and capabilities as we support our customers. The mission of our combined team is to serve more of the country where there may not be home accessibility resources currently.”   

Colburn, Bixenman and Twaddell, as well as general managers and partners, teams and support services staff, will continue in their current roles, serving customers from five branch locations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Kansas and Texas. 

With ASI, Lifeway Mobility has more than 250 access specialists who serve customers in 22 states from coast to coast. 

“John, Marty and Nathan are highly respected industry pioneers,” said Paul Bergantino, Lifeway CEO. “This combination is inspired by a vision we have shared for many years – creating the country’s leading accessibility provider. The ASI team has extraordinary technical expertise and a tireless determination to satisfy each customer’s needs. Our future is bright.” 

Lifeway most recently opened a location in St. Cloud, Minn. 

Philips issues voluntary recall for V60 vents 

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Philips Respironics is notifying customers of its V60/V60 Plus and V680 ventilators about a potential issue with the electrical circuit that controls the 35V power supply to the ventilator and alarm. 

The company has identified that there is a possibility that effected vents may cease to operate, potentially without setting off an audible/visual alarm (a so-called silent shutdown) and the patient may no longer receive respiratory assistance. It is advising customers that they must implement one or more of the following actions to mitigate the rare possibility of the hazard caused by the 35V electric circuit issue: 

Implement an oxygen analyzer with appropriate alarm settings for each V60/V60 Plus or V680, and /or 

Connect the V60/V60 Plus or V680 to a nurse call/remote alarm system, as documented in the instructions for use (upon request, Philips Respironics can provide technical assistance to implement this capability), and/or 

Monitor the patient with pulse oximetry or other physiological monitoring appropriate to the institution’s capabilities and patient needs. 

“We are committed to providing products and solutions that are safe and reliable for those who depend on them,” said David Ferguson, business leader of Philips Respironics. “The V60 ventilator has been in service for more than 10 years with a high record of reliability. We take every customer complaint seriously, and whenever we identify an issue, we address it thoroughly and transparently in consultation with the relevant competent authorities. We have created a dedicated team that is focused on addressing the current issue and providing technical assistance where needed.” 

Additionally, Philips Respironics says if a fault is detected, the patient should be disconnected from the unit and immediately started on ventilation with an alternative. 

The company projects an average of one silent shutdown among 1 million uses per year. 

Bellevue ‘changes game’ with new location 

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Bellevue Healthcare has opened its 21st location – its largest yet – in Liberty Lake, Wash. 

The new location, which will serve as a second headquarters, has 30,700 square feet of office, warehouse and retail space to serve eastern Washington and Idaho. 

“The Liberty Lake location is changing the game for how we are able to provide a cohesive approach to not only complex rehab, but respiratory, hospice and other DME services,” said Bob Labelle, vice president of Rehab Services. “By getting our team under one roof, there is greater collaboration, and our logistics capabilities are vastly improved. This is the premium destination for anyone needing medical equipment in the Inland Empire.” 

Later this year, Bellevue Healthcare is set to open additional locations in Tukwila, Vancouver and Walla Walla, Wash. 

Option Care Health reports increase despite ‘ongoing disruption’ 

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. – Option Care Health reported revenue of $915.8 million for the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 20.6% compared to the same period in 2021. 

Gross profit was $200.9 million, an increase of 21.4% compared to the same quarter in 2021. Adjusted EBITDA was $77.8 million and cash flow from operations was $32.7 million. 

“Despite a dynamic start to the year and ongoing pandemic disruption, the Option Care Health team executed exceptionally to ensure high quality patient care and solid financial results,” said John Rademacher, president and CEO. “Overall, we expect 2022 to be a productive year as we continue to navigate a challenging environment and invest for future growth.” 

For the full year, Option Care Health expects to generate net revenue of $3.75 billion to $3.90 billion; adjusted EBITDA of $320 million to $335 million; and cash flow from operations of at least $230 million. 

Quipt secures national insurance contract 

CINCINNATI – Quipt Home Medical has executed a national contract with a top five health insurer in the United States. “The execution of this national insurance contract with the largest commercial payer in the United States is a major milestone for Quipt and serves as a further accelerant to our long-term growth plans,” said Greg Crawford, chairman and CEO. “The national contract is expected to be meaningful as we continue to expand into new states, broadening our operating footprint over a much wider geography.” Quipt Home Medical most recently acquired Good Night Medical based in Winchester, Mass. Now, when it makes acquisitions, Quipt Home Medical will be able to immediately leverage the national contract to capture as many eligible patients as possible. “Moreover, we feel there’s still a lot of opportunity for us to go after more national contracts, which would provide the opportunity to add additional payers, and we will continue to work with other large commercial payers to help them better understand our strong patient-centric model and the benefits to patients and payers alike,” Crawford said. 

AmerisourceBergen creates home infusion program for health systems 

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – AmerisourceBergen has launched a program to help hospitals and health systems create or optimize home infusion service lines. Each phase of AB’s solution is designed to help health systems deploy and operate a clinically-focused, sustainable home infusion program for patients that choose to receive care within a health system network, the company says. While the infusions will be handled by the health systems’ clinical teams directly, AB’s solution serves to strengthen program strategy, business operations, logistics and more. “Home-based care has been a fast-growing health care sector for many years and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the trend,” said Matt Wolf, senior vice president, Commercial Solutions at AmerisourceBergen. “Market forces are driving health systems’ interest in offering infusions in patients’ homes at an unprecedented rate, but these programs are complex to manage and require the right partners to make them successful.” The components of the program include clinical expertise and pharmacy design, drug sourcing and logistics, payer strategy and prescription capture, patient access and workflow and revenue cycle management. AB is a member of the National Home Infusion Association and its Future of Infusion Advisory Council. 

CarepathRx partners with Mount Sinai 

NEW YORK – CarepathRx, a provider of health system pharmacy and medication management solutions, has announced a comprehensive home infusion pharmacy partnership with Mount Sinai Health System, New York City’s largest academic health system. This multi-year agreement will expand patient access to home infusion therapies across the Mount Sinai Health System, encompassing its eight hospitals and ambulatory footprint. “Mount Sinai is a leader in advancing hospital-level care at home and this comprehensive home infusion program is another key step in the expansion of this innovative model,” said Susan Mashni, PharmD, senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Mount Sinai Health System. “The partnership with CarepathRx will enhance Mount Sinai’s response to the health-related needs of the diverse populations we serve and is an excellent alternative for patients that require IV-related therapies.” CarepathRx serves more than 15 health systems and 600 hospitals, with more than 1,500 employees nationwide. 

Porter launches website 

MIAMI – Porter, a technology platform augmented by human connection that connects members with what they need to manage at home during an illness or injury, has launched a website, Porter’s “Healthsphere” is a complete vertical of services and solutions guiding members and caregivers to navigable content, a curated marketplace of services and products, coverage information, and a supportive online community. “Soon, Porter will introduce the Healthsphere to the everyday consumer, allowing them to easily navigate the transition to care-at-home,” said John Criswell, who founded Porter after he suffered a pelvic fracture in a cycling incident and discovered how fragmented care-at-home is. Porter’s technology platform guides patients and caregivers to make informed, personalized health decisions and empowers members and providers to easily find quality services and products, reliable suppliers and vetted partners, the company says. Prior to Porter, Criswell sold his previous venture, Pulse8, to Allscripts.  

Permobil’s Explorer Mini receives honors 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Permobil’s Explorer Mini was recently honored with an Edison Award, which recognizes innovation, technology and advancements. “We are thrilled for the Explorer Mini to be recognized by the Edison Awards,” says Chuck Witkowski, president of Permobil Americas. “Just as Thomas Edison created products that didn’t exist before, Permobil is leading the way by developing the first and only powered mobility device for toddlers aged 12 to 36 months.” Each entry in the Edison Awards is reviewed by a panel of more than 3,000 senior business executives, scientists and academics. Entries are judged on four award criteria: concept, value, delivery and impact. In 2021, Explorer Mini was also recognized as a TIME Best Invention as one of the top 100 products/services solving society’s greatest issues.  

RESNA publishes position paper 

WASHINGTON – RESNA has issued a new position paper to advocate for increased access to assistive technology for all students with disabilities by defining capacity-building as a significant job responsibility of assistive technology specialists who work in school settings. Unlike ATPs in health or governmental settings, an essential role of ATPs who work in school settings is building the capacity of other school professionals to contribute to the provision of AT services. “We recognize that the expertise of specialists is still needed for students with complex needs, including communication, which are not met by readily accessible or easy-to-implement tools,” states RESNA. “Nevertheless, AT specialists in schools should strive to meet the AT needs of students with disabilities through a capacity-building approach rather than direct service provision.” The position paper is sponsored by the RESNA K12 Practice Special Interest Group. 

NHIA weighs in on California medication bill 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association has submitted comments on California SB 958, The Medication and Patient Safety Act, supporting amendments that would allow infused medications to be administered in the patient’s home when the physician and patient determine it is in the patient’s best interest. “NHIA objects to any efforts to restrict access to home infusion and rejects language that implies office-based infusions are safer than administering medications at home,” stated the NHIA. The association also voiced support for additional amendments that require physicians to inform patients of all payer-supported site-of-care options for receiving infused and injected medications and voiced support for restrictions on patients transporting their own infusion medications (i.e. brown bagging). Additionally, it expressed concern that the conditions for coverage or payment described in the proposed legislation are unnecessary and could increase the overall cost of medications for patients. 

NCPA offers input on PBM case 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association and 41 state pharmacy associations are providing input to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Rutledge v. PCMA. The NAIC is developing educational materials on the case for members and state insurance commissioners who are tasked with enforcing state PBM regulations like the 2015 Arkansas law that led to the Rutledge decision. “The Supreme Court decision in Rutledge means that policymakers across the country can advance meaningful PBM regulations at the state level; this must be made as clear as possible to the policymakers passing legislation and the enforcers who would apply it,” said Matthew Magner, NCPA Director of State Government Affairs. “NCPA has appreciated the opportunity to provide NAIC with feedback on these important materials and support the group’s broader PBM reform efforts. We’re eager to see states continue to pass and enforce policies to increase oversight, rein in these massive middlemen, and ensure patients have access to affordable prescription drugs from local pharmacists they know and trust.” The NAIC will include the materials in its ERISA Handbook, the go-to resource for state insurance departments for questions on a state’s authority to regulate certain health plans. The NCPA and the state associations urge the NAIC to make clear that the case has implications for all 50 states and U.S. territories, not just Arkansas. The court unanimously found that federal law does not preclude states from enforcing reimbursement and pricing regulations against PBMs, giving states greater authority to protect their local businesses and patients from PBM reach. 

1800Wheelchair launches rental service 

NEW YORK – 1800Wheelchair, an online provider of wheelchairs and scooters, has launched, a new rental service that allows customers in the U.S. to rent Featherchair lightweight wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters. The service is powered by loopt, an e-commerce platform that enables retailers across durable good verticals to offer their own rentals through its white label solution. “We are thrilled to be partnering with loopt to launch Featherchair Rental in the U.S.,” said Joseph Piekarski, CEO of 1800Wheelchair. “Two pillars of our brand are value and convenience. Offering rentals to our U.S. clientele will deliver more flexibility in finding the right assistance when they need it. We’re proud to evolve our mobility offerings by leveraging the loopt circular expertise.” To access Featherchair Rental, customers can visit or If an item is available for rental, the "Rent" button will appear. Customers can also purchase key accessories like cup holders and travel bags. When the rental period is over, customers can return their items with free shipping and cleaning, continue to rent them with their original monthly price, or purchase them – all by managing their subscriptions in the customer portal. "Allowing people to 'subscribe' to their products is highly compelling since they only pay for what they need and have a frictionless return path. It's better for the environment as we maximize the useful life of every item,” said Kelly Pigeon, founder and CEO of loopt. “And the retailer wins, as they're able to re-sell the same item 10x over instead of once or twice. We're so excited to partner with 1800Wheelchair to provide our customers with a best-in-class rental experience." 

WellSky prioritizes growth 

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – WellSky has hired a new chief growth officer to lead the next phase of the company’s evolution and to help expand its footprint in the Kansas City region. Dale Zurbay has more than 25 years of experience in sales, business development and executive leadership in the health care technology space, most recently as senior vice president of sales, health care, at Nuance Communications, a conversational AI technology company that provides software solutions and services to health care and enterprise markets. “Dale is an exceptional leader with a demonstrated track record of achievement across diversified healthcare markets,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO. “This addition to our team, paired with our upcoming world headquarters expansion, is validation of the tremendous work our teammates do every day and the increasing demand for our cutting-edge solutions. I am confident we will further accelerate the growth of our business under Dale’s leadership, and I look forward to working with him as we extend our market-leading position.” In 2019, WellSky moved its world headquarters to the Block Real Estate Services’ 120,000-square-foot Corporate Centre III building in the CityPlace development in Overland Park, Kansas. The company will lease four floors of the adjacent Corporate Center IV building, with groundbreaking on the new 188,960-square-foot building planned for this summer and construction scheduled to be completed in fall 2023. 

Belluscura names engineering lead 

LONDON and PLANO, Texas – Belluscura has named Brian Brown as vice president of engineering. Brown has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing new products in hardware, software and service delivery industries. His past roles include building a startup firm into a world leading supplier of diagnostic imaging medical devices, holding the titles of president and chief innovation officer. “We look forward to leveraging Brian’s background in new product commercialization,” said Robert Rauker, CEO. “His knowledge in building a startup medical device firm will add to our experienced management team. We’re excited to have Brian on board.” Brown is also the author of 17 U.S. patents.


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