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In brief: Quipt expands, ROHC rolls, Withings partners

In brief: Quipt expands, ROHC rolls, Withings partners

CINCINNATI – Quipt Home Medical has acquired NorCal Respiratory, a provider with three locations in California covering the northern part of the state.
NorCal reports unaudited trailing 12-month annual revenues of about $3.2 million and expects adjusted EBITDA of $650,000 post-integration.
“We are extremely excited to close the acquisition of NorCal Respiratory, providing us a further expansionary opportunity in California to grow our market share,” said Greg Crawford, chairman and CEO of Quipt. “California is an attractive market that we have been looking to further expand in with over 1.3 million COPD sufferers across the state.”
NorCal adds more than 600 referring physicians and more than 3,600 active patients to Quipt’s portfolio. Quipt now has a referring network base of more than 19,600 and an active patient base of about 184,000, as well as more than 90 locations nationally.
Earlier this year, Quipt acquired another provider in California, Good Night Medical.

ROCH returns to DC
NEW YORK – United Spinal will bring more than 100 wheelchair users to Washington, D.C., on June 12 – 15 for the 10th Annual Roll on Capitol Hill.
ROCH is United Spinal's annual flagship advocacy event, gathering the organization's members and supporters to encourage elected officials to support policy initiatives that empower and promote the independence and quality of life of people with disabilities.
"The disability rights movement is as old as the modern age, and still we fight,” said Vincenzo Piscopo, president and CEO. “New advancements in society that benefit the majority often spur new inequities for people with disabilities. We've won major victories in navigating our cities' buildings and transit systems—now it's time to finish the project of full equality. Roll on Capitol Hill plays a significant role in reminding us of all of the work that we have to do—and it shows how powerful our community is when it's united.”
ROCH will focus on the following issues:

  • Supporting more robust SCI Model Systems funding to ensure that newly injured individuals receive necessary health care and services.
  • Ensuring passage of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act and advocating for other protections for travelers with disabilities.
  • Emphasizing the importance of personal care services to pursuing economic independence and mobility.
  • Advocating for Department of Veterans Affairs funding for automobile grants for disabled veterans that are necessary for community living.
  • Seeking action on outdated and restrictive federal regulations that prevent all wheelchair users from having access to the wheelchair that's right for them.

United Spinal will also hold a reception on June 14 as part of ROHC to recognize several leaders for their achievement in disability rights, including Reps. Robert C. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Richard Bagby, director of United Spinal Association of Virginia.

AASM appoints new board president
DARIEN, Ill. – The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has named Jennifer Martin as president of its board of directors.
Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist, is a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also associate director for clinical and health services research at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center.  
“I am honored to be appointed president of the AASM,” said Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist. “I have been devoted to this association for nearly two decades, and I look forward to working with our members to achieve our mission of advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives.” 
During her one-year term, Martin will lead 11,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals. She will help AASM achieve strategic goals related to public awareness, technology innovation, workforce development and advocacy to improve patient care. 
One of Martin’s priorities as president will be for the AASM to collaborate with other stakeholders to identify and prioritize strategies to increase access to high-quality care for insomnia disorder. 
“Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders have a detrimental impact on physical health, mental health, mood and well-being,” said Martin. “It is essential for us to sleep well so that we can be healthy, feel good and enjoy life.” 

Withings partners with athenahealth on RPM solution
BOSTON – Withings Health Solutions has partnered with athenahealth to make its remote patient monitoring available to plan members through athenahealth’s Marketplace program. 
“Withings RPM focuses on simplicity for clinicians and patients, which has been the missing ingredient in the RPM industry until now,” said Antoine Robiliard, vice president of Withings Health Solutions. “Now, athenahealth users can access Withings RPM and experience its ease-of-use at each step of their clinical workflow, as well as deliver the best experience to their patients. With this powerful solution, users can ensure quality data is captured, interpreted and actioned in ways that save time and money, while improving patient outcomes.”  
As part of the partnership, athenahealth users will be able to place standard orders for RPM services from the athenahealth electronic health records (EHR) solution, and Withings will ship cellular devices, including the Withings Body Pro scale and Withings BPM Connect Pro blood pressure monitor, directly to patients’ homes.
Providers can then manage every aspect of a remote patient program, including onboarding patients, managing multiple patients’ charts to setting up review and alerts (a patient case is directly created in athenahealth’s EHR if the patient’s measurements are out of the normality range defined by the providers, and it is assigned to the patient’s referring provider), and automatically capturing billing functions.

Sunrise Medical’s Quickie Nitrum recognized
FRESNO, Calif. – Sunrise Medical has received a Red Dot Award for Product Design for its Quickie Nitrum ultralight manual wheelchair. The international awards recognize products with outstanding design. “We are thrilled that Nitrum has been recognized by Red Dot for its superior design,” said Thomas Babacan, Sunrise Medical’s group CEO. “The team worked relentlessly to engineer an ultra lightweight wheelchair that provides a smooth ride for users of wheelchairs.” The Quickie Nitrum has won numerous awards since its introduction, including the Mobility Product Award 2021 in the Manual Ultra Lightweight wheelchair category from Mobility Management magazine, and the Retailer's Choice of the Year 2020 from THIIS, a European trade magazine. 

Hart resigns, Oventus voluntarily suspends trading
BRISBANE, Australia – Dr. Chris Hart has resigned from Oventus effective June 8. The board of directors has begun a search for a new Australian resident director. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Chris for his contribution to Oventus,” said the company. “He invented the technology and led Oventus through its early stages. He is leaving the board to return to his clinical practice.” The board will place Oventus into voluntary suspension, such that its shares will be suspended from trading, until a new Australian resident director has been appointed.

AAG to sponsor Caregiver awards
IRVINE, Calif. – American Advisors Group (AAG), a national leader in home equity solutions, will sponsor the 2022 Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) Caregiver of the Year Award, which honors in-home caregivers for their dedication in caring for seniors, people with disabilities and children with complex medical conditions in their own homes. "Our home care aides make it possible for seniors and people with disabilities to live safely in their homes and communities, keeping families together and independence at the forefront," said Vicki Hoak, HCAOA CEO. "Care at home is part of a national conversation more than it has been at any time before, largely due to the focus on staying safe at home during the COVID pandemic, and HCAOA is committed to supporting the caregiving workforce, ensuring they have the training they need and the compensation and recognition they deserve. This award is just one of the ways we do that." The winner of the Caregiver of the Year Award will be recognized at HCAOA's Annual Leadership Conference in September in Orlando, Fla., and receive a $1,000 prize. Last year, more than 250 caregivers were nominated from 41 states across the country. Nominations are open June 1 - July 15, 2022.

Grau joins board at DMERT Group
WATERLOO, Iowa – Wayne Grau has been named chair of the executive board for the Durable Medical Equipment Repair and Training (DMERT) Group. “I am very happy to be working with a great group of rehab professionals that serve on the DMERT board,” said Grau. “The hallmark of the complex rehab industry has been the professionalism of our ATPs and the service that trained rehab service technicians have offered our patients.” Grau, who has worked in the HME industry since 1991, is currently the director of business development for MK Battery. Prior to that, he held vice president roles at Managed Care Associates and was director of rehab industry affairs at Pride Mobility. Grau replaces Greg Packer, who has resigned. “I hope to continue the great work that Greg Packer from U.S. Rehab created when he envisioned the DMERT Group,” said Grau. “I look forward to working with the entire industry as we continue to strengthen the complex rehab industry into the future.”

Permobil Foundation makes ‘Royal’ donation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Permobil Foundation, in partnership with the Kansas City Royals, LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta, gave Matt Enyart, a father of six and a Royals super fan, his own team-branded, custom Permobil power wheelchair at a June 3 home game as part of Lou Gehrig Day. “What we love about Matt’s story is that long before he was diagnosed with ALS, he was a huge advocate for individuals with disabilities,” said Ashley Davis, executive director of the Permobil Foundation. “He got his master’s degree in special education and has helped train organizations across multiple states to use positive practices for those with diverse needs. Today, we got to surprise him with a new M3 Corpus wheelchair with the custom Royals colors and logo.” Enyart said the chair will make a huge difference. “With this lift, I can talk and sit with my family and friends, and even enjoy this amazing view at the Royals game tonight,” he said. “The tray will be life changing, as I am still trying to work, and now I can have my laptop right in front of me and be so much more productive. Thank you, Permobil Foundation, for helping my family and the ALS community.”

Healogics partners with American Diabetes Association to raise awareness 
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Healogics will partner with the American Diabetes Association to sponsor Tip of the Day during Wound Care Awareness Week, June 6–10, to raise awareness of chronic wound problems and educate physicians and people living with diabetes about the Healogics solution. "Let's continue to spread the word about wound care awareness, not just during Wound Care Awareness Week, but throughout June and all year long,” said David Bassin, Healogics CEO. “If you have not been to, please take a few moments to view the valuable resources, as well as the Wound Care Center locator information for people with high risk factors associated with wounds." Nearly 7 million Americans are living with a chronic wounds, including 2 million who are living with diabetic foot ulcers.

Encore launches new vent service model
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Encore Healthcare has launched a new service line to help HME providers manage ventilator compliance and outcomes by combining its Nexus software with companion tele-respiratory services. The idea for the new service stemmed from the shortage of RTs that providers are facing and the need for clinical oversight in their vent management models. “It’s Essentially Ventilator Management in a Box,” said Ray Gregg, BS, CRT, RPSGT, Encore’s vice president of sales and business development.  “We create the outcomes for you by comprehensively managing your ventilator patients’ compliance and clinical follow up via telehealth, or in this case tele-respiratory care.” Encore’s Nexus program manages symptoms, tracks progression of disease, reduces readmissions, manages medications and grows market share for their provider customers. The company has successfully implemented respiratory population health programs with physician practices, hospital systems, sub-acute facilities and payers to achieve outstanding outcomes.  Zach Gantt, RRT, FAARC, CEO, and Carrie Hylton-Proffitt, RRT, will each present at Heartland Conference in Waterloo, Iowa, next week.

OPGA president passes away
WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group has announced the passing of Todd Eagen, president of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America, a division of VGM & Associates. Eagen passed away on Saturday, June 4. “Todd was a fierce advocate for the profession and a beloved colleague, loving father and a loyal friend,” said Mike “Ike” Isaacson, senior vice president of operations for VGM & Associates. “His impact on those around him will be greatly missed. VGM and those in the industry that loved him will ensure that his legacy lives on in the work he loved and the people he cared for.” OPGA is a nationwide member service organization comprised of independently owned O&P patient care facilities and numerous product and service suppliers.

Quipt Home Medical expected to join Russell indexes
CINCINNATI – Quipt Home Medical is on a preliminary list dated June 3, 2022, to join the Russell Microcap Index at the conclusion of the 2022 Russell indexes and annual reconstitution, effective after the U.S. market opens on June 27, 2022. Membership in the Russell Microcap Index, which remains in place for one year, means automatic inclusion in the appropriate growth and value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes. “Our inclusion to the Russell Microcap Index would be an important milestone for our company and its shareholders, as we continue on our exciting growth path of becoming a leader in at home respiratory care for patients across the United States,” said Greg Crawford, CEO and Chairman of Quipt. “We believe joining this index would significantly bolster our visibility and access to the global investment community and we are excited at the prospect of being included alongside some of the most innovative companies in the United States. This inclusion would truly reflect the substantial growth experienced by our company and our evolution as a publicly traded company over the last several years. We are extremely well positioned to continue executing on our three-pronged growth strategy, which has yielded robust and consistent financial performance and look forward to providing our shareholders updates over the near term.” Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Approximately $12 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell’s US indexes. Russell indexes are part of FTSE Russell, a leading global index provider.

One Drop presents research on health equities, CGM adoption
NEW YORK - There was a significant connection between having a higher cumulative risk for health inequities and higher engagement with One Drop's educational content, according to new research the company presented at the 82nd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association. Findings suggest that at-risk individuals with Type 2 diabetes may fill the gaps left by inadequate access to quality health care and systemic discrimination by using digital health solutions. "At One Drop, we have a unique opportunity to address health inequity in our research," said Steven Imrisek, MA, first author and senior outcomes researcher at One Drop. "The trends that emerged in the present survey study are an encouraging sign that digital health tools like One Drop have the potential to substantially impact underserved populations who may have limited access to health care services or experience discrimination due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors. We intend to continue investing in inclusive and equitable research processes to help ensure those with the greatest need can realize the benefits of our precision health approach." One Drop's team presented two additional studies examining people with Type 2 diabetes, one on awareness and attitudes toward cardiovascular disease risk and the other on continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) attitudes and adoption. On attitudes and adoption, 90% of respondents in a mixed-method study were familiar with the technology and most were open to adoption. Their reasons for openness included valuing regular feedback, relief from blood glucose monitor (BGM) fingersticks, convenience and improved diabetes management. Still, 83% had never tried CGM, mirroring national statistics for T2Ds, with a subset expressing concerns about insurance coverage and costs. 

Woman arrested for $8.8M fraud scheme
WASHINGTON – A woman was arrested on June 1 in Hampton, Ga., on criminal charges related to her alleged scheme to defraud Medicare by prescribing medically unnecessary DME that was then billed to Medicare. Kateline Lavache, 53, allegedly prescribed medically unnecessary DME for Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for kickbacks and bribes from her co-conspirators, according to an indictment. She allegedly had no prior relationship with the beneficiaries, was not treating them and failed to conduct telemedicine consultations with them. As a result of the prescriptions, her co-conspirators submitted to Medicare about $8.8 million in false and fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary DME, of which Medicare paid more than $4 million. She was paid more than $123,000 in kickbacks and bribes. Lavache has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, as well as four counts of health care fraud. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in prison for each health care fraud count.

SleepRes introduces V̇-Com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SleepRes has entered the sleep therapy market with V̇-Com, a device that softens peak inspiratory flow to make CPAP devices more comfortable and increase adherence. “This may be the most important comfort factor in the PAP circuit since we developed BiPAP over 30 years ago,” said Eugene Scarberry, retired senior staff engineer at Philips Respironics for 35 years. “At the end of the day it is all about adherence and the V̇-Com is a whole new approach to increase early adherence that us manufacturers never thought of.” V̇-Com is an accessory added between the CPAP mask and hose that is specifically engineered to reduce inspiratory pressure and flow to provide comfort with minimal to no reduction in expiratory pressure (EPAP). After weeks or months, when the patient can easily tolerate the peak flow and inspiratory pressure of PAP therapy, it can be removed. The device is meant for new or struggling patients on CPAP or bi-level PAP for noninvasive ventilation. “I got to try a prototype of the V̇-Com several months ago, and the comfort was dramatic, especially at higher pressures,” said John Cason, a regional senior vice president at Adapt Health. “We believe (the V̇-Com) is going to improve adherence, and at Adapt that is our goal.”

RESNA releases draft ethics document
ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA’s Professional Standards Board has released a 2022 draft revision of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for public comment. The intent of the revision was to clarify, reorganize/increase efficiency and address challenges that have arisen in applying the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in recent years. It is not intended to increase the difficulty of maintaining RESNA advanced credentials, the organization says. “By adding clarity, the PSB anticipates that RESNA members, ATP, SMS and RET certificants and members of the public will better understand the expectations of conduct for RESNA advanced credential holders and the steps needed to demonstrate compliance,” it says. RESNA is accepting comments no later than July 29. The PSB will review the comments and vote to approve the revision.

OPGA seeks O&P Woman of the Year
WATERLOO, Iowa – The Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America (OPGA) has opened the nomination period for the 2022 O&P Woman of the Year Award. The annual award, organized by the OPGA, is open to all women who work in the profession. Nominators are encouraged to provide examples of how the nominee has made significant contributions throughout her career to serve patients, community, business and the O&P profession. Ashlie White, director of health policy and strategic alliances for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) was named the 2021 O&P Woman of the Year. The award is in its fifth year. OPGA will accept nominations through July 15.


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