In brief: RMS buys Med City Mobility, SC holds back on some cuts

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Friday, June 28, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – Reliable Medical Supply has made its first acquisition since taking on an outside investor last year: Med City Mobility.

Med City, founded in 2000, has locations in Austin, Faribault and Rochester, Minnesota, providing complex rehab technology and HME.

“When we decided to launch an aggressive growth plan in late 2018, we targeted companies who share the same patient-centric attitude that has led to RMS’s success,” said Debra Kalk, CEO of RMS. “By partnering with Med City, I am confident we can continue to improve care solutions across Minnesota.”

Last November, RMS announced a recapitalization of its equity by Seven Hills Capital, a Chicago-based “operator-centric” private equity firm.

RMS also provides complex rehab and HME, as well as clinical respiratory products.

South Carolina spares some HME from cuts

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Medicaid officials in South Carolina announced this week that the state would exempt certain product categories from reimbursement cuts when it adjusts rates to mirror Medicare’s non-rural rates, according to AAHomecare. Those categories are: oxygen, PAP and supplies, ventilators, nebulizers, enteral, hospital beds, wheelchairs and certain wheelchair accessories. Medicaid officials, the South Carolina Medical Equipment Services Association and AAHomecare have worked together in recent months to minimize the impact of the proposed changes. "SCMESA is most appreciative of the work of Laura Williard and David Chandler of AAHomecare with the South Carolina Medicaid program relating to reimbursement rates for DME," said Bobby Horton, executive director of SCMESA. "Laura‘s efforts on behalf of South Carolina DME providers, working alongside our Medicaid Relations Committee, have been very effective in minimizing rate decreases, while a majority of codes will realize increasing reimbursement rates.” Of the 989 DME HCPCS codes on the South Carolina Medicaid fee schedule, 568 will increase, 188 will decrease and 233 codes will stay the same.

Survey: Providers aren’t jumping to buy POCs

NEW YORK – Providers expect only 2.6% growth in their POC purchases over the next 12 months, according to a new survey from Needham & Company.

This, despite also expecting POCs to increase from 21.5% of the ambulatory oxygen market to 31.5% over the next 12 months, according to the 2Q19 HME Oxygen, Sleep and Complex Rehab Survey.

Additionally, providers report Applied Home Healthcare’s OxyGo as the highest rated POC at 5.1 out of 7, followed by Applied’s OxyGo Fit.

On the sleep side, providers say their sleep patient volume increased 10% in the last 12 months and they expect their volume to grow 11.2% in the next 12 months. They say flow generator prices decreased 2% in the last 12 months, while mask prices decreased 0.2% for the same period.

On the complex rehab side, providers say Pride Mobility/Quantum Rehab has the highest rated power wheelchairs for Group 3, followed by Invacare, Permobil and Sunrise Medical. They expect Invacare’s share of power wheelchair purchases to increase 2.5% in the next 12 months.

When it comes to Round 2021, providers expect oxygen reimbursement to decrease, on average, 2%, and CPAP reimbursement to decrease, on average, 2.8%.

State legislature recognizes complex rehab

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed legislation recognizing the “specialized nature” of complex rehab, according to NCART. A7492 and S5741 also improve policies and provider standards, the organization says. “This is the result of collaboration with the Center for Disability Rights and Monroe Wheelchair in Rochester, N.Y.,” according to a bulletin. The legislation now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature. NCART urges stakeholders in the state to contact the governor’s office asking him to support the legislation. If signed into law, New York will become the eighth state to recognize complex rehab, following Tennessee earlier this year.

VMI shuttles elite athletes for Warrior Games

TAMPA – Vantage Mobility International (VMI) is volunteering drivers and wheelchair accessible vehicles to serve the military community at the Department of Defense’s Warrior Games in Tampa, Fla., June 21-30. For 10 days, 16 VMI employees will use seven of the company’s minivans to transport dozens of active-duty service members and veteran athletes between their hotels and various competition venues around Tampa, as well as Amalie Arena for the opening and closing ceremonies. An additional two-dozen VMI employees will be working behind the scenes to ship, prepare and maintain vehicles, coordinate logistics, and juggle all of the accounting, product and operation needs to keep the minivans operating during the games. This year, about 300 athletes are competing from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as armed forces from the U.K., Australia, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. They’re competing in 13 sports. The Warrior Games were established in 2010 to enhance the recovery and rehab of wounded, ill and injured service members, and expose them to adaptive sports.

Southwest Medical receives award

LAS VEGAS – Southwest Medical, part of OptumCare, has been named one of the winners of the annual Intalere Healthcare Achievement Awards, according to Nevada Business Magazine. Southwest Medical, specifically its Southwest Medical Pharmacy & Home Medical Equipment division and its Pharmacy Transitions of Care Program, was recognized in the Quality/Patient Care Delivery and/or Patient Satisfaction category. Intalere, a healthcare services company, recognizes its members for their outstanding and innovative contributions to their patients, community and business partners in reducing healthcare costs and improving healthcare quality. Southwest Medical was founded in 1972 and is Nevada’s largest multi-specialty medical group with 370 local healthcare providers.

Freedom Mobility Center redesigns website

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Freedom Mobility Center has launched a newly designed website with an “intuitive user interface and enhanced functionality for seamless browsing on all types of computer and mobile devices.” “Our recent website upgrade is in line with our mission to provide a digital platform where people can find the information they need regarding Freedom Mobility Center’s products and services,” said Tina Robertson of Freedom Mobility Center. “Our aim is to help patients and their families find the most suitable power wheelchair or complex rehab chair for their needs.” Freedom Mobility Center is a 16-year-old, locally owned and operated DME/pharmacy specializing in complex rehab chairs and other power mobility devices.

Joerns files for bankruptcy protection 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Joerns Healthcare, a manufacturer of patient handling and wound care products, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it announced June 25. The company is seeking court approval of a restructuring plan that will eliminate a “substantial” amount of debt and provide operating capital. "By strengthening our financial footing, Joerns will be well-positioned to capitalize on the momentum we have started over the past six months, launching four new products to serve a range of customers throughout the complete continuum of patient care,” said President and CEO David Johnson. Joerns, which has more than 1,700 employees throughout North America and Europe, manufactures, supplies and services more than 120,000 items to more than 40,000 patients a day. Its international operations are unaffected by the restructuring.

NCPA launches Fix DIR day

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association is launching Fix DIR Day today, June 27. The association is asking stakeholders to contact members of the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to address pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees in an upcoming drug pricing package. “Fix DIR Day will remind legislators that, as pharmacy DIR fees have grown increasingly oppressive in the last three years, perhaps as many as 5% of all pharmacies including both big chains and regional and community pharmacies have closed their doors,” said Douglas Hoey, CEO. “If leaders in Washington truly want to lower drug costs, they must fix pharmacy DIR.”

NSM receives workplace recognition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has been named a 2019 Middle Tennessee Top Workplace by The Tennessean. The list is based on employee feedback gathered via a third-party survey that measures key aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution and connection. “NSM is proud to be named a Middle Tennessee Top Workplace, an award that reflects the culture we’ve worked hard to cultivate,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “Our client-centric culture is about collectively understanding that we serve a mission, and the power of commitment and importance of family are integrated in the culture we embrace for our staff and clients.”

Aeroflow broadens access to Elvie Pump

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Breastpumps, a subsidiary of Aeroflow Healthcare, has added the U.K.-based Elvie Pump to its portfolio. The hands-free pump fits inside any nursing bra, giving women the flexibility to maintain their daily routine while pumping. “Aeroflow Breastpumps is thrilled to broaden access to the Elvie Pump for breastfeeding women across the country,” said Jennifer Jordan, director of Mom & Baby at Aeroflow. “It’s exciting to see innovation in the technology and supplies that our moms are using daily, and we believe deeply in offering these resources through insurance to make them more readily available.” In a retail setting, Elvie sells for $499 for a double unit and $279 for a single unit. At Aeroflow, women will now have the option of applying their breast pump insurance allocation toward that cost.

Rehab Medical Supply receives top vote from consumers

INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical Supply has been named Oklahoma’s Best Medical Supply Company by The Journal Record as part of the newspaper’s 2019 Reader Rankings Awards. “For more than 30 years, Rehab Medical Supply has served the Oklahoma City and Kingston communities, so we are truly honored to receive this award,” said President Kevin Gearheart. “It is especially meaningful knowing that it was our consumers who selected us based on the quality service we provided them over the years.” Rehab Medical Supply, formerly known as Family Medical Supply, recently rebranded following its merger with Rehab Medical in 2018.