In brief: PromptCare buys Premier, Rehab Medical buys Mobility Specialists

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Friday, January 31, 2020

NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. – The PromptCare Companies has acquired Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Premier Specialty Infusion, further expanding its footprint in the Midwest.

PromptCare, a regional provider of complex respiratory and specialty home infusion services, has acquired Premier Specialty Infusion from the family of its CEO, Ashar Hasan.

“Ashar has built an impressive team at Premier and we are delighted to welcome them into the PromptCare family,” said Tom Voorhees, CEO of PromptCare. “Premier’s patient-centric approach is well-aligned with our mission and its focus on specialty therapies is an excellent fit without our current portfolio of offerings.”

Premier Specialty Infusion’s primary focus has been on managing neuroimmunology conditions in select markets within the United States.

PromptCare, established in 1985, serves more than 2,900 ventilator patients and more than 1,300 specialty infusion patients from 28 locations in 16 states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Rehab Medical extends reach in Florida

INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical has acquired Winter Park, Fla.-based Mobility Specialists, which has been providing mobility equipment in central Florida for more than 16 years.

“We are excited to continue our expansion throughout the state of Florida, where we have had great success over the last decade,” said Rehab Medical President Kevin Gearheart. “This move will allow us to expand our footprint outside of Northern Florida and service more people in the central part of the state, while continuing our mission to improve lives.”

All Mobility Specialists employees will transition to Rehab Medical.

Rehab Medical has made several acquisitions in the past year and was named one of Indiana’s Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies by the Indianapolis Business Journal last year.

Large number of vets not receiving follow-up care for their sleep apnea, OIG says

WASHINGTON – The Veterans Health Administration is at risk of potentially spending $261.3 million over the next five years on sleep apnea devices and supplies that veterans will not use, according to the Office of Inspector General.

Nearly half of the almost 114,000 veterans who were not consistently using their devices did not receive the necessary follow–up care, the OIG found.

“Sleep medicine clinicians at VA medical facilities told the audit team they were unable to use available usage data to proactively monitor veterans’ use on a large scale because they do not have enough staff resources,” the report states. “The OIG found that VHA did not have a staffing model for sleep medicine, though it is developing one.”
The number of veterans being treated for sleep apnea has skyrocketed from about 342,000 in FY2014 to about 669,000 in FY2018, a 96% increase, according to the OIG. The VHA spent about $147.6 million on devices and supplies in FY2014, an amount that grew to about $233.9 million by FY2018, a 59% increase, it found.

The VHA could save up to about $39.9 million per year by implementing alternative processes used by other insurers, such as loaning devices to veterans during a trial period, according to the OIG. It could also reduce the risk of needlessly purchasing supplies for veterans who will not or cannot use their devices, potentially saving up to $12.4 million per year, it found.

“With an average annual cost of about $540 per veteran for sleep apnea devices and an additional average annual cost of about $190 per veteran for device supplies, VHA is exposed to significant financial risk when veterans do not regularly use their devices as recommended by VHA’s source book to derive benefit from the expenditures,” the OIG states.

The OIG recommends the under secretary for health determine if sleep medicine staffing levels are sufficient for monitoring sleep apnea device use and conducting follow-up appointments. It also recommends that the under secretary ensure VHA is leveraging existing technologies to routinely monitor veterans’ use of sleep apnea devices to more promptly identify individuals at risk of noncompliance.

The OIG further recommends the under secretary coordinate with appropriate offices to assess whether purchasing sleep apnea devices is in VHA’s best interest.

The under secretary concurred with the OIG.

Survey predicts nice bump in POC adoption

NEW YORK – Portable oxygen concentrators are expected to increase from 23.9% of the ambulatory oxygen market to 28.2% over the next 12 months, according to the results of a new survey from Needham.

Respondents expect 11.3% growth in their POC unit purchases over the next 12 months, with Applied Home Healthcare’s OxyGo and Inogen’s G4 the two highest rated devices, according to the 4Q19 HME Oxygen, Sleep and Complex Rehab Survey of 48 companies.

“Inogen looks likely to gain market share,” the report states. “Over the next 12 months, expect Inogen and Applied Home Healthcare’s share of POC purchases to increase by 1.8%.”

Sleep

Respondents saw their sleep patient volume increase 15% in the last 12 months and they expect it to increase 15.5% in the next 12 months—both growth rates well above prior survey results.

“However, ResMed looks likely to lose market share,” the report states. “Over the next 12 months, respondents expect ResMed’s share of their flow generator purchases to decrease by 0.4% and its share of their mask purchases to decrease by 2.8%.”

Respondents indicated flow generator prices declined by 1% in the last 12 months, while mask prices declined 1.1% for the same period.

Complex rehab

Respondents rated Sunrise Medical’s Group 3 power wheelchairs the highest, followed by Quantum Rehab/Pride Mobility, Permobil and Invacare.

“Despite these ratings, respondents expect Invacare’s share of their power wheelchair purchases to increase by 1.2% over the next 12 months.”

Judge approves AHP settlement

TAMPA, Fla. – A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a class action settlement, the latest development in a lawsuit charging American HomePatient with negligence and invasion of privacy.

The lawsuit stems from the burglary on Jan. 6, 2017, at AHP’s Newark, Del., office of five unencrypted computer hard drives potentially containing sensitive and protected health information, medical information and other personally identifiable information of up to 13,701 customers.

“Plaintiff brings this class action against American HomePatient for failing to adequately secure and safeguard the PII of plaintiff and the class, for failing to comply with industry standards encrypting computers and hard drives that contain PII, and for failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice to plaintiff and other class members as to precisely how and when their sensitive personal information had been given to unknown persons,” states the class action lawsuit, filed by Joseph Kuss in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida.

A final approval hearing for the settlement is set for June 26.

OIG: Non-mail order makes up majority of DST claims

WASHINGTON – Non-mail order claims for diabetes testing supplies made up 85% of the total Medicare market between April 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. Suppliers provided 25 brands of testing supplies to Medicare beneficiaries via non-mail order and 21 brands via mail order. The OIG sent documentation requests to 594 non-mail order suppliers and 18 mail-order suppliers to conduct its study. A rule outlined in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) requires providers to make available at least 50% (by volume) of all the types of test strips. Bidding contracts for mail-order diabetes supplies ended Dec. 31, 2018. CMS has not announced when the program will resume.

VGM announces Heartland keynote speaker

WATERLOO, Iowa – Mark Scharenbroich will keynote VGM’s 2020 Heartland Conference, which takes place here June 15-17. Scharenbroich is an Emmy award winner and award-winning author of “Nice Bike: Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life.” “Mark is phenomenal at creating those authentic connections our members want with their customers and co-workers,” said Sarah Conger, vice president of events and corporate projects at VGM Group. “His messages are a great fit for our event, as connection is at the core of everything we do at Heartland.” For more information on the Heartland Conference, visit vgmheartland.com. Registration opens Feb. 17.

RESNA seeks board nominations

ARLINGTON, Va. – RESNA is seeking nominations to fill several positions on its board, including two officer positions (president-elect and secretary) and three member positions. Candidates for president-elect must have previously been a member of the board of directors and served at least one year as an elected officer or director. Candidates for secretary must have previously been a member of the board of directors. All candidates must be RESNA members in good standing. Deadline for nominations is Feb. 20. For more information or to download a nomination form, go here.

3M lays off employees at Acelity

ST. PAUL, Minn. – 3M has laid off about 20 employees at Acelity, a provider of advanced wound care products marketed under the KCI brand, according to MassDevice. The lay off follows the news that eight executives have left the San Antonio-based Acelity, the news site reported. 3M completed its acquisition of Acelity for $6.7 billion in October. A company once best known for its offices supplies, 3M has expanded into healthcare products like adhesive and tapes, hand hygiene, patient monitoring and surgical solutions.

Bongo Rx apnea device nominated for award

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – AirAvant Medical’s Bongo Rx sleep apnea devices has been nominated for an Edison Award. The awards are granted to “game changing” new products that embody human-centered design and innovation, according to the company. The Bongo Rx is a reusable nasal device that works by creating back pressure when an OSA sufferer exhales. "We believe that the Bongo Rx embodies the essence of the Edison Awards," said Javier Collazo, vice president of AirAvant Medical. "The device may look very simple at first, but its design is deceptively sophisticated and innovative in function and how it is manufactured.”

ProSomnus takes to social media

SAN FRANCISCO – ProSomnus Sleep Technologies has launched #ShareYourStory, a social media campaign designed to raise awareness that prescription intraoral devices are a comfortable, effective and recommended alternative to CPAP. “Few are aware that CPAP is no longer the only treatment option for people suffering from sleep breathing issues, such as OSA,” stated ProSomnus, which manufacturers such devices, in a press release. “Covered by most medical insurances and Medicare, the AASM/AADSM joint guidelines recommend prescription oral devices, such as ProSomnus Sleep Devices prescribed by physicians and fitted by dental sleep medicine providers as frontline therapy for patients who fail CPAP or simply prefer alternative treatment.” The campaign aims to raise awareness by empowering patients treated with ProSomnus Devices to share their treatment stories across social media. Patients who share their stories will be eligible to win a $500 Visa prepaid card. A panel of experts will examine tagged posts on social media and select one patient winner each month of 2020.

Pride Mobility rebrands scooters

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility has rebranded its scooters, creating the Zero Turn Series. The formerly named Jazzy Zero Turn Scooter and ZT10 Scooter are now the Zero Turn 8 Scooter and the Zero Turn 10 Scooter, respectively. “As our sales, marketing and research and development departments looked at how these products were evolving, we realized having a series would better show the consistencies of the two units,” said Renae Storie, vice president of Pride Mobility. “We want to have an extremely defined line between scooters and power chairs, and feel it’s important to distinguish the Zero Turn Series products as scooters. These scooters are the same products you’ve come to love, but with a fresh spin.” The Zero Turn scooters are driven by dual motors that allow the outer drive wheel to turn forward as the inner drive wheel turns in reverse, providing a better turning radius.

Avera@Home seeks HME exec

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Avera@Home seeks a vice president of home medical equipment, responsible for overseeing its HME division. Responsibilities include: ensuring the delivery of high quality, safe and efficient care/equipment delivery; planning, directing and evaluating operations within budget parameters; and setting performance expectations based on industry best practice operations and clinical guidance. Avera@Home prefers candidates with five years direct experience managing and leading HME services. The company was named to Forbes’ Best-In-State Employers List in 2019. It was ranked No. 1 in South Dakota and in the top 20 in Minnesota.

People in the news: Rene Anirudhan, Dave MacDougall

Boulder, Colo.-based Quality Biomedical has hired Rene Anirudhan, a Six-Sigma Black Belt, as vice president, service operations. Quality Biomedical describes Anirudhan as a “vision-driven operations professional with extensive experience in both forward and reverse logistics, warehouse operations, supply chain, distribution and logistics management.” The company recently opened its sixth respiratory equipment service facility in Allentown, Pa. These facilities specialize in the warranty and non-warranty service and management of oxygen concentrators, POCs, vents and other respiratory and infusion-related products…Winter Haven, Fla.-based 3B Medical has hired Dave MacDougall as COO. Previously, he was the senior vice president and CFO of United Health Services, a network of 350 acute-care hospitals across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.K. “The hiring of Dave aligns with our plans for aggressively growing the company,” said Alex Lucio, CEO of 3B Medical. “Dave is the right person to put our systems and processes in place to help navigate 3B Medical to another year of triple digit growth.”