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In brief: Medline’s appetite, Apnimed’s joint venture

In brief: Medline’s appetite, Apnimed’s joint venture

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Medline has launched a new Food Benefit Solution that allows Medicare Advantage and Managed Medicaid Organizations to offer locally sourced and fresh produce, healthy groceries and prepared meals – delivered directly to member homes – as an added supplemental benefit. 

“Access to a food benefit can help members meet their nutritional needs, encourage healthier eating habits, and manage and prevent chronic diseases,” said Amy Rogers, BSN, RN, Medline’s senior clinical resource manager. “For health care insurance providers, Medline’s Food Benefit Solution adds healthy food options to Medicare Advantage plans; an attractive ‘extra’ in a competitive market.” 

Through the solution, members can easily go online, and using their allotted benefits, select from three food categories: produce boxes (vegetable only, fruit only or a combination of both); grocery boxes (variety boxes with prepared meals, produce, and/or healthy groceries, staples and snacks) and prepared foods (five, seven, 10 and 14-meal combination boxes). 

Produce and prepared meals are delivered in insulated boxes, ensuring appropriate temperature levels during transportation and delivery. 

Additionally, on Dec. 7, Medline will host a webinar with registered dietitian nutritionist Lisa Roberson to outline key challenges of the food-as-medicine movement and identify possible mitigation solutions. Register for the webinar here

Apnimed enters JV with Shionogi 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Apnimed, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing oral pharmacological therapies for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, has announced a joint venture with Shionogi & Co., a pharmaceutical company based in Japan, to develop therapies to treat OSA and other sleep disorders. The joint venture, Shionogi-Apnimed Sleep Science, combines Apnimed’s deep knowledge of OSA, highly experienced clinical-stage drug development team and robust network of sleep medicine clinical sites with Shionogi’s highly efficient small molecule drug discovery engine and proven ability to create best-in-class compounds, according to a press release. “Apnimed and Shionogi look forward to working together to transform the treatment of sleep apnea,” said Larry Miller, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Apnimed. “This strategic collaboration builds on the strengths of both companies to accelerate the development of potential new treatments for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide with OSA who are looking for options that don’t require a device or surgery. Our new partnership is a win for Apnimed, Shionogi and, most importantly, patients.”  The joint venture is owned equally by Apnimed and Shionogi. In addition to making a cash contribution to fund the operations of Shionogi-Apnimed Sleep Science, Shionogi is making an equity investment in Apnimed. Both companies will share development responsibilities and benefit from joint venture products that reach the market. Apnimed’s lead programs, AD109 (now in Phase 3 trials) and AD504 (in Phase 2 trials), are not included in the joint venture. 

Texas man pleads guilty in brace scheme 

ATLANTA – A Texas man and owner of two DME companies has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in a scheme to pay illegal kickbacks, resulting in more than $20 million submitted in claims to and $11 million in payment from Medicare. According to the charges and other information presented in court, between about June 2016 and February 2019, Simon Orobor owned and operated Devotion Medical Supply and Durable Medical Supply, Inc., which provided durable medical equipment such as knee, back, shoulder and wrist braces. Orobor, through another entity called Digital Interventions, LLC, allegedly obtained access to thousands of Medicare beneficiaries by paying, on a weekly basis, kickbacks to Individual 1 and Company 1 in exchange for signed doctors’ orders for braces. Orobor and Individual 1 allegedly disguised the nature and source of these kickbacks by designating the payments as marketing expenses, entering into sham contracts and generating or causing the generation of fraudulent invoices.


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