In brief: VGM provides talking points, Viemed shares take hit

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has pulled together suggested talking points for providers who plan to comment on CMS’s proposal to include vents in its next round of competitive bidding.

“There are major concerns with life-sustaining equipment such as ventilators being restricted to contracted suppliers given the instability that the program has caused within the DMEPOS industry,” VGM stated in a bulletin.

CMS has proposed adding the following codes to the program: E0465 (invasive), E0466 (non-invasive) and E0467 (multi-functioning). The agency expects to roll out the next round of the program in 2021, after a two-year gap period.

VGM encourages providers to use real examples in their comments.

“Providing real examples of patients who suppliers serve can effectively demonstrate the need to keep this product category out of the competitive bidding program,” VGM stated.

VGM’s talking points include:

·      This market serves a highly vulnerable patient population with life-sustaining equipment.

·      Vent patients require highly skilled respiratory therapists beyond the average oxygen patient.

·      Ventilation is a small market with few suppliers in certain areas having proper resources.

·      The negative impacts from competitive bidding on the DME community should not be replicated to life-sustaining equipment such as vents.

CMS will accept comments on its proposal until Dec. 3. Send comments to DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov.

Viemed shares take hit due to vent proposal?

LAFAYETTE, La. – Viemed Healthcare on Nov. 19 commented on a “trading halt” of its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company says it is “not aware of any material undisclosed information in the business, operations or affairs that may be contributing to the level of trading activity of its shares” on the exchange. It suspects, however, that the activity could be related to CMS’s plans to possibly include ventilators in the next round of its competitive bidding program, set to start, at the earliest, in 2021. Viemed does not support CMS’s plans and says it will submit comments to the agency by a Dec. 3 deadline.

Quantum Rehab launches app

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has launched Interactive Assist, a new app that provides a direct, real-time connection from a power wheelchair’s electronics to a provider’s programming station. The connection helps to eliminate wasteful service trips. “For both providers and consumers, Interactive Assist saves time, money and frustration,” said Jay Brislin, vice president of Quantum Rehab. “We didn’t just want data snapshots. (Our app) features real-time monitoring; mirroring access; and the ability to adjust certain parameters.” The app is available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Here’s how it works: The consumer links his or her controller to the app using a smart device, making a secure connection to the provider; the provider or technician can then view every aspect of the wheelchair’s electronics, even as it operates. While connected, the consumer and provider can also communicate via text chat.

WHILL named one of TIME’s 50 best

SAN FRANCISCO – TIME Magazine has named WHILL’s Model Ci personal electric vehicle one of the “50 Best Inventions of 2018.” The wheelchair was selected out of hundreds of editor and expert submissions from around the world. TIME evaluated each contender on key factors, including originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness. Of the Ci, TIME wrote, “Thanks to its specially engineered front ‘omni-wheels,’ it can ride up to 10 miles indoors or outdoors, climb obstacles up to two inches in height and easily navigate cramped quarters; it can also be disassembled in minutes, enabling easy transport.” Also this year, the Ci received the CES “Best of Innovation Award” in the Accessibility Tech category and was named an Engadget “Best of CES 2018” finalist. Additionally, Fast Company has recognized WHILL as one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” in robotics for 2018.

Ascensia updates app

PARSIPPANY, N.J. ­ – Ascensia Diabetes Care has updated its Contour Diabetes app to enable seamless integration with Apple Health. Connectivity between the two apps means users are able to share blood glucose readings and carbohydrate data from the app with Apple Health. “This upgrade is part of the Ascensia’s focus on interconnected diabetes management and building a seamless integrated journey between device, systems and smartphone apps that will allow people with diabetes to more easily and effectively manage their diabetes,” the company stated. “This upgrade is the result of feedback from users of the Contour Diabetes app vie App Store reviews and social media.” Once enabled, data from the Contour Diabetes app will automatically transfer and be visible in the Health app. Ascensia says many people with diabetes are already using the Health app as the primary application.

ResMed’s board members honored

SAN DIEGO – Two members of ResMed’s board of directors have been named to WomenInc. Magazine’s “2018 Most Influential Corporate Directors,” a list of women executives, influencers and achievers contributing leadership to corporate boards. Carol Burt has served on ResMed’s board since November 2013 and is chairwoman of its Audit Committee. She is principal of Burt-Hilliard Investments. Karen Drexler has served on the board since November 2017 and is director of the Compensation Committee. She is CEO of Sandstone Diagnostics. “We’re honored to be listed among so many successful, innovative women driving businesses and the products and services they provide,” Burt and Drexler said in a joint statement. “Diversity at the board level and in the workplace contributes unique perspectives that help support the companies and communities they serve.”

Numotion buys Carr Rehab

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has expanded its footprint in Tennessee with the acquisition of Carr Rehab. Carr Rehab has been serving East Tennessee for more than 27 years from locations in Knoxville and Johnson City. Twenty five employees from Carr Rehab have transitioned to Numotion. They include: ATPs, and customer care, service and repair, payer relations, medical documentation and order processing professionals. "The Carr Rehab team has a solid reputation for providing quality equipment, along with a real passion for their customers," said Mike Swinford, CEO of Numotion. "We are excited to add this experienced group of professionals to the Numotion team."