In brief: Invacare reduces workforce, Gilligan replaces Diamond at Drive

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Friday, December 8, 2017

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare will reduce its workforce by about 110 employees to generate $8.5 million in pre-tax savings, the company announced Dec. 7.

The move, which affects employees in North America, is part of a multi-year strategic plan to transforms Invacare into a more clinically focused company, says Matthew Monaghan, chairman, president and CEO.

“This reduction in force, while difficult, is an essential part of the second phase of our transformation toward becoming a more sustainably profitable, growing business," he said. "We are realigning our North America infrastructure with our new sales levels and finding more efficient ways to do business. Through this action, we are empowering employees to drive simplification and enhance customer engagement. We expect the result to lead to improved cost-effectiveness as we pursue growth.”

In November, Invacare reported net sales of $79.5 million for the third quarter of 2017, a 2.3% increase from the prior quarter.

Due to the reduction, Invacare expects to incur restructuring charges of about $2.6 million on a pre-tax basis in the fourth quarter of 2017.

This latest round of lay-offs comes less than a year after the company announced in January that it would reduce its workforce by approximately 100 employees.

Vent bill back in play

WASHINGTON – Three senators have introduced a bill that would, they say, establish a clear medical guideline for non-invasive ventilators, the VGM Group reports.

S. 2175, the “Beneficiary Respiratory Equipment Access and Transparency to Home Ventilator Care” or the BREATH Act of 2017, would also pave the way for providers to receive a possible increase in reimbursement for non-invasive vents, pending any decreases in utilization.

Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced the bill on Nov. 30.

Cassidy and Grassley also introduced a similar bill last year, in response to sweeping changes that CMS has made to non-invasive vents, including reducing the number of codes for the product category from five to two, and reducing reimbursement by about 33%.

A companion bill in the House of Representatives will likely be introduced soon, with Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., leading those efforts, according to VGM.

In the past, stakeholders have also supported efforts by several pulmonary groups to get CMS to reconsider its national coverage determination for vents. In particular, the groups want the agency to clinically define respiratory failure and mechanical ventilators/ventilation; and create objective, consistent criteria for providing the products.

Gilligan replaces Diamond as Drive CEO

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has named Bob Gilligan, former CEO of GE Industrial Solutions, as its new CEO. Gilligan replaces Harvey Diamond, who has assumed the role of vice chairman. In his new role, Diamond will serve as senior adviser to the company and as a “voice to customers, vendors and investors,” according to a press release. He will also continue to serve as a member of the company’s board of directors. Gilligan brings to Drive more than 30 years of experience in both manufacturing and services businesses in industries spanning health care, technology, and heavy industrial and electric utilities. In his latest role, Gilligan successfully led the transformation of GE Industrial Solutions into a $3.6 billion global business.

Growth in health spending slows

WASHINGTON – National health spending increased 4.3% in 2016 compared to 5.8% in 2015, according to a new study by the Office of the Actuary at CMS. The health spending share of the economy was 17.9% in 2016.  Previously, the health spending share of the economy increased 0.5 percentage point from 17.2% in 2013 to 17.7% in 2015. The increases in health spending share of the economy were attributed to coverage expansion for 8.7 million individuals gaining private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and 10.2 million gaining Medicaid coverage.

PharMerica sells to investment firm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – PharMerica, a specialty pharmacy services provider, has been acquired by global investment firm KKR and Walgreens Boots Alliance, it announced Dec. 7. PharMerica shareholders will receive an amount in cash equal to $29.25 per share of PharMerica common stock, without interest, and its stock will cease trading on the NYSE, according to a press release. PharMerica operates 96 institutional pharmacies, 20 specialty home infusion pharmacies and 5 specialty oncology pharmacies in 45 states. In March, PharMerica acquired New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based CareMed Specialty Pharmacy.

Butler marks 60 years, throws party

LEWISBERRY, Pa. – Butler Mobility Products will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house to celebrate its 60th anniversary at its new corporate headquarters on Dec. 13. The daylong celebration, held at 571 Industrial Drive in Lewisberry, Pa., will feature special discounts and coupons, gift certificate giveaways and food, according to a press release. "We are excited to share our new facility, expansion of mobility equipment and special 60th year celebration with our special guests and community," said Butler Mobility President and CEO Michael Carlini.  Butler is best known for its Inclined Platform Lifts.

ResMed named finalist

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has been named a finalist for “Medtech Company of the Year” by MD+DI, a news resource in the medical device and diagnostic industry. Among ResMed’s accomplishments, MD+DI highlighted its milestone of capturing 1 billion nights of monitored sleep apnea therapy and a CHEST-published study showing its self-monitoring app myAir can help boost therapy adherence to 87%. “ResMed has made strides this year in encouraging patient adherence with treatment and easing their ability to track progress,” MD+DI stated in its announcement. MD+DI will announce the “Medtech Company of the Year” on Dec. 11. Other finalists include Abbott, Baxter, Bigfoot Biomedical and Pentax Medical.

NSM lands distribution deal for Splashy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has been named the exclusive U.S. distributor of the new Splashy portable bath seat from Firefly. The seat adapts to a child’s postural support needs, with the option of a five-point harness or the three-point pelvic support. “The Splashy is a great addition to our product offerings for children with mobility needs and their families,” said Bill Mixon, CEO. The seat will be available through NSM and AccessNSM branches nationwide. U.K.-based Firefly is part of the Leckey Group, a designer and manufacturer of clinically focused pediatric postural support products.

Provider short takes: Integrated HomeCare, VitalCare

Rockford, Ill.-based Integrated HomeCare Services has opened a new storefront in Beloit, Wis., according to the Beloit Daily News. Integrated HomeCare has served customers in Beloit for the last 30 years, but CEO Mark Hatch told the newspaper “it was time” to open a storefront in the city to grow its presence in the Stateline Area. “We felt there was a marketplace need, so we organized all the pieces to get it going,” he said. Integrated HomeCare’s top-selling HME include sleep therapy equipment, beds, mobility products and lift chairs…Cheboygan, Mich.-based VitalCare, the home care, hospice, private duty, HME and adult day center affiliate of McLaren Northern Michigan, will take the McLaren name starting Jan. 1, according to the Cheboygan News. The HME business, specifically, will be renamed McLaren Home Medical Equipment.

People news

Laura Williardhas been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Home Medical Equipment & Services Association of New England. Williard is vice president for payer relations at AAHomecare…VGM & Associates has announced that Scott Owen will transition from vice president of sales to vice president of contracting. Taking Owen’s spot as vice president of sales: RJ Meyer, previously with Biotronik Cardiac Rhythm Management…Merits Health Products has named Kirk Grau as regional rehab sales manager of central U.S. and Bret Tracy as regional rehab sales manager of East Coast. Grau and Tracy will work directly with Chris Blackmore, national director of business and product development.