In brief: Upstate HomeCare leverages HealthSqyre for growth, ResMed joins forces with Verily

 - 
Friday, July 13, 2018

CLINTON, N.Y. – Upstate HomeCare has announced a strategic partnership with HealthSqyre, a Denver-based online CPAP marketplace.

Per the partnership, Upstate HomeCare is the exclusive provider for CPAP devices, supplies and accessories on HealthSqyre for New York state.

“This partnership allows Upstate HomeCare to expand its offering of its CPAP supply services across the globe using HealthSqyre’s online platform,” Upstate HomeCare stated in a press release.

HealthSqyre allows customers to buy their supplies using insurance or cash—an option that no other online marketplace offers, according to Upstate HomeCare.

What’s more, the online marketplace allows customers to compare product pricing using their insurance, with real-time transparency of their deductibles, co-insurances rates and out-of-pocket maximums, so they can make informed buying decisions, the provider says.

“As more high-deductible plans become commonplace, it only makes sense that people will become more educated and look for ways to make those dollars go further,” said Gregory LoPresti, senior vice president and CEO of Upstate HomeCare.

Upstate HomeCare expects e-commerce to become a bigger part of their sales and the HealthSqyre partnership positions the provider to leverage that growth.

“Healthcare e-commerce is only going to become larger,” LoPresti said. “Upstate is committed to bringing customers not only the products they want but in the way they want them delivered.”

Upstate HomeCare is based in Clinton, N.Y., with physical locations in Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Canadaigua, Buffalo and Albany. It employs 160 people.

ResMed, Verily join forces on sleep apnea

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has partnered with Verily on a new joint venture to study the health and financial impacts of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea, the companies announced today. They will also develop software solutions to enable healthcare providers to more efficiently diagnose, treat and manage individuals with sleep apnea and other breathing related sleep disorders. “The vast majority of people with sleep apnea don’t realize they have it, and therefore don’t seek accessible, effective treatment to mitigate its effects and long-term health risks,” said ResMed Chief Medical Officer Carlos M. Nunez, M.D. “The combined industry expertise, scalable infrastructure, and data analytics capabilities of ResMed and Verily can unlock meaningful ways to identify these individuals and support their journey to improved sleep, health and quality of life.” Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet that develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates interventions to prevent and manage disease. Its mission: “Make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives.”

Motivation goes exclusive with Numotion

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has announced an exclusive partnership with Motivation to distribute the company’s Multisport wheelchairs in the U.S. The wheelchairs will be available on ShopNumotion.com. The Multisport is a “court-based wheelchair,” tough enough to be used across a wide range of sports and activities at both national and local club levels, Numotion says. “We are excited about this high quality, affordable option that will allow wheelchair users to participate in a variety of sports, play and exercise—ultimately promoting better health and wellness,” said John Pryles, senior vice president of sales at Numotion. There are two models available: the Multisport and Multisport Junior, each available in multiple sizes.

Mediware bolsters home health presence

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems has acquired Fazzi Associates, a Northampton, Mass.-based provider of coding services to the home health and hospice market. Fazzi also provides consulting, training, benchmarking and research to more than 1,400 agencies across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. “The acquisition creates a unique alignment between two health care (companies)—one in innovative software, the other in outsourced services, consultation, and education,” Mediware stated in a press release. “The combined company will have a greater capacity to help post-acute and community-based providers increase efficiency and improve clinical, financial, and operational performance to advance patient care.” Mediware plans to maintain Fazzi’s brand and headquarters, and retain the company’s leadership team. Dr. Bob Fazzi will serve in a strategic advisory role with Mediware, consulting on industry relations, home health advocacy, growth opportunities, and innovation.

Bonafide touts new searching functionality

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Bonafide Management Systems now has Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality. The technology, being offered at no additional charge, allows customers to efficiently and instantly search all scanned documents on the Bonafide system. “We are adding this technology based on the fact that OCR will result in significant cost savings for our customers by reducing costly manual searches and manual data entry,” said Wayne Bailey, director of customer service. “With DME margins shrinking every day, we are dedicated to providing critical cost-savings opportunity with our software.” The technology works by analyzing the structure of scanned documents and recognizing elements like blocks of text, tables and images. It can then identify characters and words within the scanned document, eliminating costly data entry functions.

Invacare to sponsor Ms. Wheelchair USA

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare is the presenting sponsor of Ms. Wheelchair USA for 2018. The competition will be held in northeast Ohio July 15-22, according to a press release. “We are proud to continue our support of the Ms. Wheelchair USA program and its mission to help promote self-confidence and the achievements of women with disabilities,” said Jonathan Miller, senior director, custom manual mobility and seating, at Invacare. “Although there can be only one Ms. Wheelchair USA, all of these women should be extraordinarily proud of their accomplishments.” The weeklong event will consist of activities, competitions, community services and more. From now until July 21, the public can also vote for their favorite contestant as part of “Invacare People’s Choice.” Each $5 vote benefits the Dane Foundation, a disability services and support organization based in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

EZ-Access, VGM team up on lift

WATERLOO, Iowa – Hannah Smith, one of six children who received specialized equipment during the VGM Heartland Conference in June, has also received a new vertical lift platform from Algona, Wash.-based EZ-ACCESS. VGM helped coordinate the donation and Nucara assisted in delivering the lift to nine-year-old Hannah’s Evansdale, Iowa, home. “VGM and its partners and members always look to step in for someone who might need just a little help,” said Jim Greatorex, vice president of VGM Live at Home. “We’ve had a long-standing relationship with EZ-ACCESS. They are a family-owned company with a history of giving back.”

FODAC expands outreach

TUCKER, Ga. – Friends of Disabled Adults and Children and Goodwill North Georgia are partnering to collect, repair and redistribute home medical equipment and assistive technology through a 2018 Collaborative Innovation Grant from the Home Depot Foundation. As part of the partnership, the organizations have established 10 new HME collection sites at Goodwill facilities. “Something as simple as a wheelchair or a shower bench can totally change a person’s life by unlocking their independent spirit, allowing them to engage more fully in work, community and life,” said Chris Brand, FODAC CEO. “Partnering with Goodwill will enable us to collect more equipment and help more people in need.” FODAC also received two 2018 Collaborative Innovation Grants in February.

Executive appointments: Aeroflow, BioScrip

Aeroflow Healthcare has named Scott Sonnone as CFO. He will play a vital role in expanding business for the Asheville, N.C.-based provider. He previously held executive positions at Zealandia Holding Company and Cane Creek Cycling Components…BioScrip, a Denver-based home infusion provider, has named Richard Denness as senior vice president, chief commercial officer. Denness has 29 years of healthcare experience, including roles at Schering-Plough, IVAX Laboratories and Vycor Medical.

NSM expands in Oklahoma

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired the rehab division of All Saints Home Medical, including its locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. The deal makes NSM the largest complex rehab provider in the state, it says. “We look forward to partnering with health care providers and therapists across the state to provide innovative mobility solutions for their patients,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO, in a release. Steve Asbury, an ATP who led the rehab division will transition to NSM, along with three other ATPs.

Ms. Wheelchair protests incontinence program

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Sheri Melander-Smith, Ms. Wheelchair America, has filed an official protest with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to object its plans to implement a preferred incontinence product program that would award a contract to a single company, MAMES reports. “Patients will have reduced access to high-quality incontinence products, while costs will likely go up,” said Melander-Smith in a press release. “I’m proud to join with the disability community in the fight against this unnecessary and dangerous program that puts patients at risk.” Melander-Smith also signed a petition requesting that DHS initiate an official rulemaking process before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

AvaCare Medical buys Murse World

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – AvaCare Medical and its sister company, Medical Scrubs Collection, have announced their most recent acquisition: Murse World, an online men’s scrub store. AvaCare says Murse World is the first and only medical scrubs store specifically geared toward male nurses, doctors and other medical professionals. “We see this as an opportunity to grow our market share in the medical scrubs industry, as well as to get into this growing demographic of male doctors and nurses,” said Steven Zeldes, president of Medical Scrubs Collection and CEO of AvaCare Medical.

Invacare backs National Veterans Wheelchair Games

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has signed on as a National Host Sponsor of the 38th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games. This year’s games will take place July 30-Aug. 4 in Orlando, Fla., and will feature a variety of sporting events, including basketball, hand cycling, track and table tennis. Invacare associates will be on site throughout the week offering wheelchair repair and tune ups to address anything that may have been bumped out of place during travel, warm up or competition. The company will also have a booth during the event’s expo day. Invacare has supported the games since their inception 38 years ago.

VA taps SoftWheel for shock absorption system

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded its business relationship with SoftWheel, a Tel Aviv-based company that makes a flexible shock absorption system that’s built into wheels, according to the Times of Israel. As part of a deal between VA-approved wheelchair manufacturer Key Mobility and SoftWheel, 2,000 sets of shock-absorbing wheels will be provided to veterans over a period of three years, the news outlet reports. The VA has already approved supplying some 361wheelchairs outfitted with the technology, it says. Company officials told the Times that this is its largest deal to date. SoftWheel, which employs 34 and has production facilities in Haifa and Canada, also supplies its wheels through national complex rehab provider Numotion. Officials told the news outlet that Numotion has been buying hundreds of pairs of wheels a year.