In brief: Bid bill needs more co-sponsors, Invacare looks to hire

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Friday, October 27, 2017

WASHINGTON – Draft legislation that would provide relief from competitive bidding in non-bid areas had two sponsors and 30 original co-sponsors at press time on Friday.

Monday, Oct. 23, was the original deadline for collecting original co-sponsors.

As of press time Oct. 27, 32 representatives had signed on to be original co-sponsors of the legislation, which McMorris Rodgers expects to introduce the first week of November with Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa.

The legislation would extend a retroactive delay of a second round of reimbursement cuts in non-bid areas from Jan. 1, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2019. Per the legislation, reimbursement for that period would be based on reimbursement on Jan. 1, 2016. It would also address a “double-dip” reimbursement cut to oxygen therapy.

McMorris Rodgers was also the driving force behind a recent letter signed by 104 representatives asking the Office of Management and Budget to clear an interim final rule that would provide relief from the bid program in non-bid areas.

Invacare looks to hire again

ELYRIA, Ohio – After a consent decree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration forced Invacare to reduce its workforce a number of times in the past few years, the company is ready to hire again.

Invacare is hosting a job fair today at its corporate headquarters, with an eye toward hiring workers skilled in computer numerical control, welding, assembly, sewing and machine operation, according to The Chronicle Telegram.

Invacare’s Lara Mahoney told the local newspaper that the company is looking to hire in response to an increase in business in the wake of the FDA in July clearing it to resume full operations at its headquarters and Taylor Street manufacturing facility.

“Now that we are able to sell freely from the Taylor Street power wheelchair facility, we are starting to see more production in the plant,” she told The Chronicle Telegram. “We are currently looking to fill 15 to 20 positions, and we’ll continually reassess our hiring needs.”

The consent decree limited Invacare’s ability to make and sell products from its corporate headquarters and Taylor Street facility for nearly five years.

Invacare’s most recent round of layoffs was in May, when it reduced its workforce by 50 associates. Since 2014, the company has reduced its workforce by a total of about 370 associates.

Medtrade attendees pick top new products

ATLANTA – Medtrade attendees picked the Owlet Smart Sock 2 with Connected Care from Owlet Baby Care as the winner of the New Product Pavilion Provider’s Choice Gold Award. The sock tracks a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and the Connected Care app allows parents to analyze mode detailed information. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 also took first place in Medtrade’s Innovative HME Retail Product Awards. The winner of the silver award: Stability Gliders, a walker accessory, from Stabilized Steps. The gliders attach to the bottom of walkers, allowing them to be stable on various terrains. The gliders took third place in the retail awards. The winner of the bronze award: CAIREview powered by SynsorMed, a new telehealth solution app from CAIRE that allows providers to track the location of their assets, trouble shoot alarm codes, monitor oxygen flow rates and avoid costly after-hours visits.

Noridian clarifies LCD for surgical dressings

WASHINGTON – Noridian has made several clarifications related to the local coverage determination for surgical dressings, including that the three types of wounds covered are independent of each other, AAHomecare reports. Noridian also clarified that collagen dressings can be used for a maximum of seven days and can be changed daily depending on the wound; hydrogel dressing is covered when the wound is not a pressure ulcer; and “the LCD’s characterization of a wound as ‘full thickness’ or ‘partial thickness’ applies for purposes of coverage, rather than the NPUAP wound staging definitions that apply only to pressure injuries.” Last month, the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders had requested clarifications to the LCD, as it has caused confusion for suppliers, physicians and manufacturers. AAHomecare had also submitted comments on the LCD in support of its members who provide wound care.

VGM rebrands home accessibility division

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group has rebranded Accessible Home Improvement of America, known as AHIA, to VGM Live at Home. VGM made the decision after realizing that the home safety market is bigger than just accessibility products, says Jim Greatorex, vice president of VGM Live at Home. “The re-brand lets us broaden our reach so we can help members diversify into all businesses or components that help people live at home safely and independently, regardless of their mobility level,” he said. In addition to a new name, VGM Live at Home is updating its website and enhancing its “Live at Home Pro” mobile home assessment app. The updated website, www.accesshomeamerica.com, is expected to debut in early 2018.

Graham-Field unites facilities

ATLANTA – GF Health Products is in the process of building a new global headquarters. The planned facility will unite the company’s headquarters, customer showroom and regional distribution center, and allow it to increase its manufacturing capacity and better take advantage of the strong talent in the metro Atlanta area. “The decision to expand our presence in Atlanta was the next step in our growth strategy,” said Ken Spett, president and CEO. “As the constriction process moves forward, we will maintain our focus on our customers, as well as continually innovate products and processes.” Graham-Field expects to complete construction of the facility in February.

Mediware integrates with Medical Specialties Distributors

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems has entered into an agreement with Medical Specialties Distributors, a supply chain solutions provider, as an integrated solution provider or ISP. Integration of Mediware’s CareTend enterprise software with MSD expands access to real-time pricing and inventory, drop shipments and bulk supply orders, and automated delivery confirmations. “We are eager for our CareTend customers to benefit from the software integration so they can eliminate manual entry of purchasing and let the software do the hard work for them,” said Paul O’Toole, vice president and general manager of the Home Care Solutions division at Mediware. CareTend provides reporting, workflow and inventory management capabilities to HME and home infusion providers.

RESNA seeks course proposals

ARLINGTON, Va. – The deadline for RESNA’s Call for Proposals for its 2018 conference, slated for July 11-15 at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, Va., is fast approaching. This year’s theme: #ingenuityATwork, representing “the focus of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering’s growing innovation and impact to make the world more accessible,” the organization says. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 1. RESNA will select proposals by Jan. 31, 2018, and publish the conference schedule in March 2018. New to the conference this year: The Symposia, group presentations with content experts and audience interaction.

O&P group names Freedom Award winners

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Orthotic Prosthetic Group of America has honored 41 O&P providers with its annual Freedom Award for “exceptional standards of care” for military personnel. “The award provides visible recognition to the honorees that they can proudly display in their patient care facilities,” said Todd Eagen, president of OPGA, a member service organization of independently owned O&P facilities. “It helps highlight their continued dedication to the distinguished veterans they treat and to the stars and stripes.” Among the award winners were: A Step Ahead Pedorthics & Orthotics in Pensacola, Fla.; Abilities Unlimited in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Allegheny Orthotics and Prosthetics in Altoona, Pa.; Body In Motion Sports & Orthopaedics in Toms River, N.J.; Bremer Prosthetics and Orthotics in Jacksonville, Fla.; Carolina Prosthetics and Orthotics in Greenwood, N.C.; Cayuga Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rochester, N.Y.; Central Brace & Limb Co. in Indianapolis; Clark & Associates in Waterloo, Iowa; and Decker Integrated Orthotics and Prosthetics in Overland Park, Kan.

Numotion’s on a mission

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Nine Numotion employees and a manufacturer representative traveled to Guatemala Oct 9-13 to deliver 100 wheelchairs and provide adjustments on an additional 20 chairs. This is the third year that the group, led by Numotion ATP Ryan Martin, has made the trip, which is coordinated by Bethel Ministries, an inter-denominational, nonprofit “wheelchair ministry” that provides mobility to the disabled in the country. In all, they have delivered about 450 wheelchairs to those in need. In addition to wheelchairs, this year they also delivered urological supplies.

Manufacturers in the news: Responsive Respiratory, ResMed

St. Louis-based Responsive Respiratory has added a new line of resuscitator kits and accessories to its product portfolio. The kits are available with and without portable oxygen cylinders, in both demand valve and manual resuscitation bag setups. Emergency oxygen solutions may also be purchased in combination with single cylinder carts and lightweight, durable first responder bags. The kits join RRI’s offering of EMS, hospital and homecare regulators, and its full line of ambulatory oxygen equipment and accessories…San Diego-based ResMed has released its AirFit N20 Classic nasal mask in Europe. The mask, which features an adaptive frame that follows a patient’s movements while they sleep to maintain an effective seal, is now available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. “Clinicians can easily switch an AirFit N20 wearer between two frames, while keeping the same cushion, to determine which one will best help them stay on therapy and sleep better,” said Vincent Sauve, marketing vice president of ResMed’s sleep business.

Short takes: Invacare, Miller Prosthetics

Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare has launched its Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator with new connectivity. A connected POC, app and provider portal create a platform to improve asset utilization and control costs, the company says. “This integrative system gives providers visibility to POC usage and other performance data to help reduce total cost of ownership and optimize their fleet,” said Ed Armstrong, vice president, post-acute care product and channel marketing…Belpre, Ohio-based Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics has added Sean Greer to its team as a certified licensed orthotist. Greer is returning to his roots in the Mid-Ohio Valley, after practicing orthotics in Brooksville, Fla., Morgantown, W.Va., Hickory, N.C., and Pittsburgh.  Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics also has a location in Parkersburg, W.Va.