In brief: Senate presses CMS on vents, C2C loses protest

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, have sent a letter signed by 38 senators to HHS and CMS asking them to drop non-invasive vents from Round 2021 of competitive bidding, according to AAHomecare.

The letter highlights the critical role that vents play in supporting patients with severe health issues, including individuals with neuromuscular diseases and terminal respiratory conditions.

“Rather than moving forward with an abrupt effort to include all non-invasive vents in the competitive bidding program, CMS could evaluate other options to help address increased utilization of the products, such as considering possible changes to criteria for coverage,” the letter reads. “We urge you to evaluate alternative ways to address the increase in utilization.”

The House of Representatives has also sent a similar letter to CMS signed by 180 representatives.

AAHomecare praised members and stakeholders for working diligently to collect signatures for the Senate letter in such a short time frame.

“This is an exceptional showing for a letter that was only open for one week,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare.

CMS announced in March that non-invasive vents were one of 16 product categories to be included in Round 2021. The bid window for the program opens July 16.

C2C loses protest

WASHINGTON – C2C Innovative Solutions has lost its bid to remain CMS’s Qualified Independent Contractor for HME, according to AAHomecare.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based C2C has popularized a demonstration project that allows HME providers to speak with reconsideration professionals by phone to try and resolve their cases.

Last year, when CMS awarded the new QIC contract to Reston, Va.-based Maximus, C2C protested.

C2C will offer its last phone discussion on Sept. 15 and will complete all decisions by Dec. 31, AAHomecare reports.

Industry stakeholders have expressed concerns with the switch, noting Maximus’ lack of experience with DME.

CMS drops two codes from Round 2021

WASHINGTON – CMS has removed HCPCS codes E0992 and K0056 from the product category for standard power mobility devices for Round 2021 of competitive bidding. The reason: The two codes are only applicable to the standard manual wheelchairs product category. CMS was unable to remove the two codes from DMEPOS Bidding System (DBidS) before the bid window opens on July 16, but it has removed them from the product categories files and utilization report and will remove them from the lead-item pricing calculator and HCPCS Lookup Tool on the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor website before the bid window opens. E0992 is a manual wheelchair accessory, solid seat insert; and K0056 is a seat height less than 17 inches or equal to or greater than 21 inches for a high strength, lightweight or ultra-lightweight wheelchair.

Agile Medical forms comprehensive sleep company

WEST BERLIN, N.J. – Agile Medical, parent company of The CPAP Shop, has partnered with Welltrinsic, a network of sleep medicine physicians, and CleveMed, a home sleep testing company, to launch Sleep Care online. The comprehensive sleep care services will enable patients to use an online telemedicine portal to connect with board-certified sleep physicians for services that include evaluation, home sleep testing, CPAP equipment and sleep coaching. “Sleep Care online is the natural progression of effective sleep management,” said Anthony Zadnik, CEO of Agile. “We combine the convenience of telemedicine and home sleep apnea testing with the expertise of board-certified physicians, expert therapy providers, and sleep coaches to eliminate all the pain points of traditional lab testing.” Agile Medical in May launched The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop.

PHS recognized as top workplace

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pediatric Home Service has been recognized as one of the Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune for the ninth consecutive year. The annual ranking recognizes companies based on employee surveys measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. “We want work to be a place where our employees enjoy coming,” said CEO Cameo Zehnder. “We have outstanding individuals who work every day to ensure our patients are receiving the very best care and service.”

Dynarex expands DME offerings

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – Dynarex has added several new products to its line of durable medical equipment, including two new wheelchairs, and an elongated raised toilet seat. It also has in stock its line of homecare bariatric beds. Dynarex’s complete DME line launched last year as part of its “We Care Like Family” commitment to offer a one-stop-shop experience for distributors. Other products include mobility items, rollators, bath safety, mattresses, beds rails and accessories. “We are pleased to expand our new DME product category to serve the growing customer base,” said Zalman Tenenbaum, CEO. “We continue to meet the demands of our distributors, while offering added sales and profit opportunities.”

IPI poised for national expansion

CHICAGO – CEO Danilo Coite, M.D., is buying into Independence Plus, a provider of high-tech respiratory services, nursing, rehabilitation and equipment for children and adults with complex medical needs. IPI, which has served northern Illinois for more than 30 years, plans to expand nationally. “This company has a rich history of being a necessary, crucial part of patients’ live and we want to continue to offer that and also offer our services on a larger scare,” said Coite. “If you’re doing something great, you want to share it with the world and that’s what we are planning to do.” Coite, who joined IPI as CEO in 2016, will see his title change to CEO/president and will become a member of the board of directors.

VMI, Numotion partner to ensure right fit

PHOENIX and BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Vantage Mobility International and Numotion will collaborate to increase awareness of mobility solutions under a new partnership. “This partnership with Numotion is designed to offer information, raise consumer awareness and create a total solution for our mutual customers from a single, convenient location,” said Mark Shaughnessy, CEO of VMI. “We believe that our customers will greatly benefit from this and ensure that their mobility solutions fit together for the best possible experience with their vehicle and adaptive equipment.” The partnership follows a successful pilot program at a select number of locations that will now roll out over the coming months to all Numotion’s 140 locations.

Invacare supports wheelchair games

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare is a “National Host Sponsor” for the annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games, July 11-16 in Louisville, Ky. The company has supported NVWG since the event’s inception 39 years ago. “For 39 years, Invacare has dedicated its time and energy to ensure that veterans are ready to compete in an empowering week of wheelchair sports,” said Matthew Monaghan, chairman, president and CEO. “The Veterans Affairs care providers know the power of sport and recreation in the recovery process, and we are pleased to be able to support them in recreation and competitive sport. They embody the ‘Yes, You Can’ spirit of Invacare.” Invacare associates will meet veteran athletes arriving at the airport to ensure their wheelchairs are unloaded and reassembled properly. They will also offer repairs and tune-ups throughout the week.

Quantum looks for Roll Models

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab is searching for five wheelchair users from across the country to be Q Roll Models. Winners of the Q Roll Model Contest will each win a four-month paid contract, as well as a Quantum Power Chair with iLevel technology with complimentary future service and parts. “We want to bring five people on board who could benefit from iLevel the most,” said Megan Kutch, director of Quantum Marketing. “The winners will share their new experiences so people can see how iLevel benefits them in their daily activities, makes social interactions more fulfilling and increases their quality of life.” Judging will consist of public voting (10%), picture content (30%) and an explanation of how iLevel would help the participant live his or her best life (60%). The contest runs July 1-31. It’s open to legal residents of the U.S. who are 18 years old or older, or 10 years old or older with written consent from a parent or guardian. To enter, participants go to www.lifeatilevel.com and click on the contest box.

Option Care opens center in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Option Care Enterprises has opened a new state-of-the-art Care Management Center in Atlanta. At a ribbon cutting and open house in late June, attendees had the opportunity to tour the new center, which features up-to-date infusion technology and equipment in a comfortable setting. “The new center not only expands Option Care’s capacity to provide vital care services to more patients in the Atlanta area, its full-service pharmacy and sterile compounding room meet and surpass current regulatory standards,” the company says. The center will provide care for about 1,000 patients, either in their home or at the Ambulatory Infusion Suite, who rely on complex infusion therapies for anti-infectives, clinical nutrition support, immunoglobulin therapy, and conditions like inflammatory and bleeding disorders.

Soleo fast tracks growth

MCKINNEY, Texas – Soleo Health has ranked sixth in Dallas’ 50 Fastest-Growing Middle Market Companies by the Dallas Business Journal. Each year, the journal ranks the 50 fastest growing companies headquartered in the Dallas-Forth Worth area with annual revenues of $25 million to $750 million. A company’s ranking is based on revenue growth over a three-year period. It’s the second year in a row that Soleo has placed in the top 10. “In 2018, the company achieved a 83.2% three-year annual revenue growth rate, continued double-digit growth in patient census and increased its access to multiple limited drug distribution pharmacy networks with pharmaceutical manufacturers,” said Drew Walk, CEO. “We continue to meet significant growth and expansion benchmarks, despite the industry reimbursement-related headwinds.” Also during 2018, Soleo grew its workforce to more than 450 employees, increased its physician referral network 35% and expanded its geographic presence nationwide. It operates 20 locations with national nursing coverage and pharmacy licensure in 50 states.

RESNA highlights busy RehabWeek2019

TORONTO – RESNA doled out a bevy of awards during its annual conference—part of RehabWeek 2019, June 24-28 in Toronto— including naming the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) as the recipient of the RESNA Leadership Award. The honor recognizes a company, agency or organization for significant contributions to the field of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering, and for supporting and recognizing RESNA and its mission of promoting access to AT for people with disabilities. John Anschutz, a RESNA board member and the assistive technology manager at the Shepherd Center, nominated NMEDA for the award. “NMEDA has enhanced the public’s knowledge about quality resources available to help people with disabilities and mobility impairments, and has made sure they have the freedom of travel with various wheelchair accessible vehicles, whether the individual travels as a passenger or a driver,” he said. NMEDA is a nonprofit trade association with more than 600 members, including mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers and drive rehab specialists…Other awards and honors handed out included naming Michelle Lange as a Fellow (recognizes members who have made long-term and substantial contributions to the field of rehab and assistive technology, as well as significant contributions to RESNA); Chapal Khasnabis, honorary fellow (recognizes non-members who have promoted issues and demonstrated leadership highly relevant to the field and who have encouraged the independence of individuals with disabilities); Travis Tallman, Samuel McFarland Memorial Mentorship Award (recognizes members or groups of members who have influenced, counseled and nurtured others in the field); Perry Loh and Sue Redepenning, Emerging Leader Award (recognizes new members who have made significant contributions, provided leadership and have made an impact to RESNA during their first several years of participation); and Seanna Kringen and John Anschutz, Distinguished Service Award (recognizes members for their sustained contributions and service to RESNA and the field)…RESNA also elected officers for three open positions on its board of directors. They are: Jennifer Boger, a RESNA member since 2008, and a member of the Cognitive and Sensory Loss, Engineers and Technologies, ATSC Cognitive Accessibility, Conference Planning committees (also a chair); Ed Giesbrecht, a RESNA member since 2014, and a member of the Conference Planning Committee (also a chair); Seong-Hee, a RESNA member since 2015 and an ATP since 2016, and a member of the Engineers and Technologists and Marketing & Communications committees. They will join the board in August. Leaving the board are John Anschutz, Doug Gayton, Vince Schiappa and Cher Smith.