In brief: Coloplast buys another provider, Medline triples footprint

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Friday, December 29, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS – Coloplast, which has its U.S. headquarters here but is based in Denmark, announced this month that it has acquired SAS Lilial for a cash consideration of EUR 35.5m or DKK 264m.

Lilial is a privately owned French company that distributes catheter and ostomy supplies nationally. It provides patients with products from several different manufacturers, including Coloplast.

“The acquisition of SAS Lilial is part of our strategy of pursuing inorganic opportunities to accelerate growth and to strengthen our service offerings,” said Coloplast CEO Lars Rasmussen. “By acquiring Lilial we further strengthen our position in France and ensure our end users access to innovative products and services.”

Lilial has about 80 employees and is expected to record sales of about EUR 33m or DKK 246m for 2017.

Coloplast bought Comfort Medical, a Coral Springs, Fla.-based provider of ostomy, urology, continence and wound care supplies, for $160 million in cash in 2016.

Permobil adds power assist to portfolio

LEBANON, Tenn. – Permobil has acquired MAX Mobility, the Nashville, Tenn.-based manufacturer of the SmartDrive power assist device.

MAX Mobility’s most recent release, the SmartDrive MX2+ with PushTracker, works on virtually any manual wheelchair on the market.

“Almost three out of four manual wheelchair users have shoulder pain already,” said Mark Richter, Ph.D., CEO of MAX Mobility, who will join Permobil as senior group innovation advisor, working across the power, manual, and seating and positioning portfolios. “By becoming part of Permobil and adding power assist to the portfolio, we can expand our reach and reduce should pain for users globally.”

The SmartDrive device, which weighs just over 12 pounds, attaches to the back of the user’s manual wheelchair and uses a built-in battery to power the chair for miles on a single charge.

Larry Jackson, president of Permobil Business Region Americas, says SmartDrive “greatly expands our offering and will provide an independent mobility solution for our users globally.”

MAX Mobility is only the most recent of a number of acquisitions for Permobil in 2017, including Comfort Company in October.

Medline nearly triples footprint in Maryland

BALTIMORE – Medline is nearly tripling its footprint in Maryland with the construction of a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center in the Principio Business Park in Perryville. The new center, which will replace the company’s current Havre de Grace facility, will be LEED-certified and is expected to create more than 200 new jobs over the next six years, according to a press release from the Maryland Department of Commerce. The center is one of 40 strategically located across the county, from which it distributes 350,000 medical devices. “A growing demand for Medline’s products and clinical solutions is driving their significant growth here in Maryland,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill.

Golden Technologies wins and gives

OLD FORGE, Pa. – Golden Technologies has been voted among the Best Places to Work in Northeastern Pennsylvania sponsored by the Times Leader Media Group. The reader contest is meant to highlight the best, most innovative places to work in the area. “This is a great honor to be recognized in the community,” said Rich Golden, CEO. “Awards like this are not possible without the hard work and dedication.” Members of the Golden team recently attended an event recognizing the winners of the contest at The Woodlands Inn…Employees of Golden Technologies raised $3,000 for the American Red Cross and its hurricane relief efforts. Golden matched employee contributions. Rich Golden recently presented the donations to Bill Goldsworthy, executive director of Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania.

GF to buy Intensa

ATLANTA – GF Health Products plans to acquire Intensa, a manufacturer of medical and laboratory furniture based in High Point, N.C. “This acquisition will expand our existing product line and customer base; is well-aligned with our growth strategies; and supports our objective to be a preferred global provider of healthcare equipment,” said Ken Spett, president and CEO of GF Health products. The transaction was scheduled to close on Dec. 31.

ATS oxygen study bolsters industry findings

WASHINGTON – A recent study from the American Thoracic Society correlates with the HME Patient Access Study sponsored by AAHomecare, the association says. Dobson DaVanzo & Associates has put together a summary of how the ATS study, “Patient Perceptions of the Adequacy of Supplemental Oxygen Therapy: Results of the American Thoracic Society Nursing Assembly Oxygen Working Group Survey,” reinforces findings of the patient access survey. In particular, both studies suggest that the financial pressure on the HME industry is impacting the lifestyle of oxygen patients, especially Medicare beneficiaries.

HHS to hold call on settlement option

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services will host a call on the Low Volume Appeals Settlement Option on Jan. 9. The call will discuss the process and how to identify eligible appeals. CMS rolled out the new settlement option earlier this month. Providers with fewer than 500 appeals pending at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals and the Medicare Appeals Council combined as of Nov. 3, 2017, with a total billed amount of $9,000 or less per appeal could be eligible, if certain other conditions are met. The call is scheduled for 1:30-2:30 p.m., EST. Register here.

OIG: Lincare mostly complied with neb-med policies

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Lincare Pharmacy Services generally complied with Medicare requirements when billing for inhalation drugs, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. Of 100 claim lines sampled, three did not comply because the beneficiaries medical records did not support medical necessity, resulting in $48 in overpayments. The OIG recommends that Lincare ensure that medical necessity is adequately supported in medical records before billing Medicare. Lincare concurred.

VGM rallies Congress

WATERLOO, Iowa – The government relations team at Waterloo, Iowa-based VGM will soon introduce a new tool to bring its members breaking news. “We will be using a program called Rally Congress to allow providers to quickly and easily message their members of Congress and state governments,” VGM stated in a bulletin this week. “This effective tool has resulted in many consistent supporters of the DMEPOS and CRT industries.” Members should receive an “introductory message” this week with further details.

UPitt’s Cooper named Health Hero

PITTSBURGH – Rory Cooper, PhD, has been named a Health Hero by O, The Oprah Magazine. Cooper, a University of Pittsburgh professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences associate dean for inclusion and Human Engineering Research Laboratories founding director, was one of 14 “changemakers” featured in the magazine’s January issue. Cooper was lauded for his work designing devices “with independence and dignity in mind.” Cooper also recently received the “Science and Environment Medal” as part of the 2017 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, known as the Sammies and the “Oscars” of government service.

ProMedica buys O.E. Meyer’s HME division

TOLEDO, Ohio – ProMedica Home Medical Equipment intends to buy out O.E. Meyer Co.’s HME division, according to the Sandusky Register. The division sells everything from aids to daily living to orthopedics to ramps to CPAP devices. ProMedica, an integrated health and wellness organization that serves counties in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, says the acquisition will allow the company to expand its offerings and serve consumers in new markets. It plans to keep O.E. Meyer’s five HME locations in Sandusky, Fremont, Tiffin, Walbridge and Lorain, and has offered positions to all HME employees, according to the newspaper. In addition to 12 hospitals, ProMedica has several divisions, including HME. O.E. Meyer will continue to operate industrial, wholesale health care, propane, and carbonic divisions at eight locations.

Sleep therapy system receives $58.5M in funding

MINNETONKA, Minn. – The makers of a transvenous implantable neurostimulation system for treating central sleep apnea have received $58.5 million in financing. The financing for Respicardia and its remedē System was led by ZOLL Medical Corp., a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions. "We believe the remedē System will soon become the treatment of choice for patients suffering from central sleep apnea," stated Bonnie Labosky, president and CEO of Respicardia. "Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund our U.S. commercialization efforts and support ongoing development of the system." The system received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2017, paving the way for its market release in the United States. The system stimulates the phrenic nerve and engages the diaphragm to restore a normal breathing pattern during sleep. A trial published in Lancet show the system can significantly reduce the severity of central sleep apnea, and improve sleep, quality of life and patient satisfaction.

SpinLife recognized for customer commitment

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – SpinLife, an online retailer of mobility scooters, has received a five-star rating from TopConsumerReviews.com. The provider offers a price match guarantee, free shipping and educational resources, as well as scholarships and gift cards for students using wheelchairs. “SpinLife impressed us with their commitment to customers," according to Brian Dolezal of TopConsumerReviews.com. SpinLife, which was founded in 1999, offers scooters, wheelchairs, walkers and lifts.