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In brief: Vivos picks Lincare, industry wins in GA, Belluscura tries DTC

In brief: Vivos picks Lincare, industry wins in GA, Belluscura tries DTC

LITTLETON, Colo. – Vivos Therapeutics, a medical technology company that makes oral appliances for patients suffering from mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in adults, has signed a distribution agreement with Lincare. 

The agreement follows a successful a distribution pilot with Lincare and marks an important milestone in Vivos’ strategy to engage with leading durable medical equipment companies in the United States. Lincare will have a six-month exclusive deal to distribute certain designated Vivos devices. 

“We are pleased to offer oral appliances as an alternative treatment to our non-compliant CPAP patients,” said Jeff Barnhard, CEO of Lincare. “Finding the best solutions for our sleep apnea patients has always been a high priority for Lincare. We look forward to working alongside Vivos-trained dentists.”  

The Vivos Complete Airway Repositioning and/or Expansion (CARE) appliance therapy and associated protocols alter the size, shape and position of the soft tissues that comprise a patient’s upper airway and/or palate. It opens airway space and may significantly reduce symptoms and conditions associated with mild-to-moderate OSA, such as lowering apnea hypopnea index scores. 

The deal gives Vivos access to Lincare’s large patient census, which includes about 1.8 million respiratory patients. 

“Lincare is one of the market leaders in this sector, and we are pleased to join forces with them in this pioneering initiative,” said Kirk Huntsman, chairman and CEO of Vivos. “It is well known that a sizable number of sleep apnea patients discontinue CPAP usage in search of alternative treatment options. This important collaboration between a national supplier of DME like Lincare and an innovative oral appliance company like Vivos will bring fresh solutions and relief to patients currently seeking alternatives.” 

Vivos also markets and distributes SleepImage diagnostic technology under its VivoScore program for home sleep testing in adults and children. 

AAH’s regulatory rundown: Wins in Georgia, California 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare and the Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (GAMES) recently secured a rate floor for DME using regulatory authority. 

The rate floor was added into the new RFP for Medicaid CMO plans starting July 1, 2024. 

“It was gratifying to see Georgia legislators support our efforts in working with Georgia Department of Community Health to get this important protection for DME providers in the state,” said Laura Williard, senior vice president of payer relations for AAHomecare, who worked closely with Peachtree Government Relations and helped organize two lobby days in the state to educate government officials on reimbursement challenges providers face. “The partnership between GAMES and AAHomecare helped drive this successful effort. It is a model we hope to use when working with other states to get the rate floor implemented through regulatory channels.” 

The GAMES board and Legislative Committee provided strategic direction, secured funding for lobbying efforts, and mobilized its membership for grassroots advocacy in support of establishing the rate floor.   

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law AB 1203, a bill exempting breast pumps and supplies from the state sales tax for five years. The win comes after a year of grassroots advocacy and work with a state lobbyist through Parity for Pumps, an initiative of the AAHomecare Breastfeeding Coalition. 

"This is a large win for the Breastfeeding Coalition and Parity for Pumps,” said Tilly Gambill, senior director of education, marketing and events for AAHomecare. “California was a key state for our members. We appreciate the leadership and passion for this legislation from Dr. Jasmeet Bains, our champion in the assembly. While this win comes on the heels of state sales tax exemption for breast pumps and supplies in Illinois and Rhode Island last year, we are emboldened by the unanimous support the legislation received in California and look to continue the momentum across the nation." 

Vertess announces pick up in M&A activity 

FORTH WORTH, Texas – Vertess has closed five major health care transactions in the third quarter of 2023 with a total value of $75 million. The transactions were in various health care verticals. "At the end of 2022 and early 2023, we saw a sharp decline in the pace of M&A activity,” said Brad Smith, managing director. “We continued to push forward and remain patient. We are pleased for our clients that our perseverance with buyers resulted in several successes." Vertess sees signs of a strong fourth quarter and 2024, as well. The firm, which has additional offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas, has experience in numerous verticals, including DME, pharmacies, home care/hospice, urgent care and life sciences. 

Collins Medical adds sleep exec to board  

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Collins Medical Equipment has added Tom Gaffney, a seasoned health care executive, as a new board member. Gaffney has served in leadership roles with several startup and early-stage companies, gaining a reputation for driving growth and fostering excellent client management, the company says. He is currently chief growth officer at Healthmap Solutions, a Kidney Population Health Management Company based in Tampa, Fla. Previously, he held positions at CareCentrix in Hartford, Conn. He also co-founded Sleep Management Solutions, which was founded in 2006 and acquired by CareCentrix in 2010. Collins Medical Equipment recently launched a CPAP therapy program

Viemed, Direct Supply re-up support for AAH 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has announced that Viemed and Direct Supply have increased their Corporate Partner support for the association. Viemed is now a Diamond Partner and Direct Supply is a Silver Partner. Previously, they were both Bronze Partners. “The additional resources and direct involvement that our Corporate Partners provide has fueled our success in legislative and regulatory advocacy, and has allowed us to expand our payer relations work to meet the demands of an evolving payer mix,” added Ryan. “These companies are leading the way in helping secure sustainable reimbursement levels and better public policy outcomes across the full scope of our industry.” See the full list of Corporate Partners and learn more about partner benefits here

Welnfuse elevates patient engagement  

DALLAS – Welnfuse, a software platform for infusion therapy and medication delivery, is integrating with Formstack and Twilio to deliver a comprehensive patient engagement solution for its provider clients. Welnfuse is rebuilding its patient engagement feature set from the ground up, leveraging Twilio’s secure API to power its appointment reminder and patient messaging features and Formstack’s customizable forms for intake, feedback surveys, patient consents, medication order forms and more. "We are very excited to be partnering with Formstack," said WeInfuse CEO & Co-Founder Bryan Johnson. "Our team at WeInfuse has worked tirelessly to bring innovative technology to infusion providers, and the Formstack partnership and integration will continue our commitment to advancing technology for our valued clients." Formstack will also be joining other WeInfuse technology partners, such as RxToolKit, VirtueScript, Redox, SamaCare, and Change Healthcare. Welnfuse powers more than 750 infusion centers across the county. 

Belluscura tries on DTC business 

LONDON, PLANO, Texas, and SHENZHEN, China – Belluscura, a medical device developer focused on lightweight and portable oxygen technology, says early results on a two-month-old direct to consumer program for its X-PLOR device have exceeded initial expectations. The company has launched a three-pronged direct sales, leasing and short-term rental program for the device that has been well received by customers. "I am very excited about the new direct-to consumer sales program,” said Bob Fary, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We have identified a potentially significant sales opportunity that not only benefits the company but underrepresented patients, as well." Belluscura sees the DTC program expanding significantly with the launch of the DISCOV-R portable oxygen concentrator. Earlier this month, Belluscura announced that it reached an agreement with TMT Acquisitions, a London-based acquisition vehicle in the technology, media and telecommunications sector, to help grow its portable oxygen concentrator business globally.   

CAIRE opens new service HQ 

BALL GROUND, Ga. — CAIRE Inc. has opened a new global service headquarters in Canton, Ga., near its primary manufacturing hub north of Atlanta. The 29,500-square-foot Canton facility will provide rapid servicing of equipment, as well as fulfillment of specialty service parts and accessories for CAIRE respiratory and specific AirSep brand commercial products. “As we navigated the challenges of the pandemic, we discovered there was an opportunity to improve the efficiency of our service and support infrastructure,” said Barry Hassett, chief commercial officer. “By separating our after-market support from our manufacturing facility, we have the ability to improve the quality and efficiency of after-market service, and at the same time we can leverage the national footprint and expertise of our Authorized Service Network to serve our customers closer to home which is a win-win for everyone.” The site, combined with the recent expansion of CAIRE’s Authorized Service Network to 23 locations nationwide, is expected to streamline how customers receive critical support to equip their technical service teams with the products they need and maintain equipment fleets more efficiently. CAIRE’s Authorized Service Network, focused on in-warranty product repairs, includes Altra Services Professionals, Oxygen Sales & Service, Inc., Quality Biomedical and Repair Authority.  

AIC to partner on study 

DALLAS – Advanced Infusion Care (AIC), a division of AIS Healthcare, will conduct a joint study with Grifols, a leading global provider of essential plasma-derived and transfusion medicines, to observe the effects of subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) products on individuals living with primary immune deficiencies (PID). AIC and Grifols’ Satisfaction and Outcomes in Primary Immune Deficiency patients (SOPID) study will observe 60 patients across a three-month period who are beginning SCIG therapy. The purpose of the study is to determine if there are differences in patient experience and satisfaction with immunoglobulin treatments, which will help physicians, pharmacists and nurses ensure patients living with immunodeficiencies receive the therapy that best fits their medical and lifestyle needs. “Grifols has an impressive track record of producing innovative, high-quality medicines for patients living with chronic and rare diseases,” said Jud Hall, president, AIC. “We are proud to partner with their team to carry out a study that will continue advancing our quality of care to better serve individuals living with primary immune deficiencies through SCIG treatment.” AIC’s network of 180 nurses operates in 40 states, consistently delivering patient-specific, specialized in-home infusion services, including SCIG treatment.


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