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Philips, ResMed highlight research on World Sleep Day

HME News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 09:54
03/17/2017HME News Staff

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Adults recognize that sleep is important, but they still prioritize other things in their lives over sleep, according to a new international survey published by Royal Philips on World Sleep Day.

Ninety-two percent of 6,461 adults across five countries who were surveyed by Harris Poll said sleep is crucial to their overall health and wellbeing. They say even one bad night of sleep can result in looking tired, being less productive and feeling unmotivated.

Yet 84% of adults say other things in their lives are more important than a good night’s sleep, including family time and job responsibilities.

Twenty-eight percent of adults also say that, despite all the literature that screens should be turned off well before sleep, watching TV is the last thing they do before bed.

“Sleep is vitally important to the ‘healthy lifestyle’ equation, but it is often cast aside as less important compared to the other fundamental elements such as eating well or exercising,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, sleep clinician and chief medical liaison, Philips. “We need to start thinking of health and wellness as a table with four legs, each of which representing proper nutrition, exercise, positive mental health and sleep—if we’re only focusing on diet and exercise, that table isn’t going to be balanced.”

Philips aims to use the survey, “Unfiltered Sleep: A Global Prioritization Puzzle,” to start a conversation about the importance of sleep to overall health and wellbeing.

ResMed highlights sleep research

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has picked the top five research findings among more than 3,000 studies published last year in recognition of World Sleep Day.

“Unnecessary hospital readmissions and inefficient practices are huge drivers of today’s exorbitant healthcare costs,” said Adam Benjafield, ResMed vice president of medical affairs. “Recognizing sleep apnea is associated with many other life-threatening conditions and knowing early detection makes a world of difference, treatment efficacy and efficiency have become even more paramount. The research we’ve highlighted today shows that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Summaries of the research are:

  • There is a high prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing among stable chronic heart failure patients (Arzt M et al. JACC Heart Fail 2016).Of 6,876 stable chronic heart failure (CHF) patients across 138 German centers, the prevalence of moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) was 46%, with a significant difference seen between thesexes (36% in women vs. 49% in men). Risk factors included body mass index, left ventriculardysfunction, age, atrial fibrillation and male sex.
  • Early recognition of obstructive sleep apnea in patients hospitalized with COPD exacerbation isassociated with reduced readmission rates (Konikkara J et al. Hosp Pract 2016).Patients consulted for COPD exacerbation underwent a sleep test upon discharge and received positive airwaypressure (PAP) therapy as appropriate. The mean change in the number of clinical events six months prior tointervention compared to six months following intervention favored the group who used their PAP therapy,demonstrating early recognition and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients admitted withCOPD exacerbation may be associated with reduced hospital admission rates and emergency room visits.
  • CPAP significantly improves quality of life, sleepiness and cerebrovascular measures in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (McEvoy RD et al. N Engl J Med 2016).While results in the landmark SAVE trial were neutral on the primary endpoint of whether CPAP can reducemajor cardiovascular events in those with OSA and heart disease, the 2,700-patient study did show that CPAPcan significantly improve the quality of life for people with OSA, and—when used more than four hours pernight—may also lower the risk of stroke and other cerebral events.
  • Access to digital engagement tools improves patient compliance on CPAP therapy (Crocker M et al.CHEST (Suppl) 2016). A study of 128,000 sleep apnea patients found patients with access to digital engagement tools demonstratedimproved adherence to CPAP therapy over a three-month period. Nearly 90% of patients using a patientengagement tool in the study reached this important healthcare standard—a 24% relative increase overpatients who were only managed remotely by a provider.
  • A telehealth program for CPAP adherence reduces labor and yields similar adherence and efficacywhen compared to standard care (Munafo D et al. Sleep Breath 2016).A study evaluating the effectiveness and coaching labor requirements of a web-based automated telehealthmessaging program compared to standard care in newly diagnosed OSA patients found a significant reductionin the number of minutes coaching required per patient in the telehealth vs. standard of care group (23.9 vs.58.3). The majority of patients in this group stated the new approach met or exceeded their expectations.

Verma is your new CMS administrator

HME News - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 07:53
03/14/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The Senate has voted 55-43 to approve the nomination of Seema Verma, a health policy consultant from Indiana, as CMS administrator.

Verma, the president, CEO and founder of SVC, an Indianapolis-based national health policy consulting company, will oversee a $1 trillion agency that serves more than 100 million Americans that access healthcare services through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the Marketplace.

Verma, along with new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, will be tasked with transforming Medicaid and overhauling the Affordable Care Act.

Verma has made a name for herself redesigning Indiana’s Medicaid program. She helped the state expand eligibility, but she required recipients to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts and receive incentives for healthy behavior. She has also helped to develop many other Medicaid reforms, including waivers in Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky.

Verma has comparatively little experience with Medicare.

Prior to full approval by the Senate, Verma was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on March 2 by a vote of 13-12.

During a hearing before that committee on Feb. 16, Verma said that one-size-fits-all approaches to healthcare, like CMS’s competitive bidding program, don’t always work. She made the comment in response to a question from Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., about whether or not she would be willing to continue to have a dialogue about how the bid program can ensure Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural states, get the medical equipment they need.

“I think what you're bringing up in terms of the competitive bidding is an excellent example where, we've got some providers who are being paid—they're rural providers, but they're being paid at a rate that's more appropriate for an urban area. And, so I think that's the type of policy where understanding how that's going to impact our rural provider on the front-end and having that discussion so that we're not having problems later on down the line. And, if we are having issues, we need to be responsive to that because we want to make sure…that seniors and other folks that depend on CMS programs always have high quality care and that they have accessibility. We don't want to see that our policies and our programs are actually preventing providers—that we're losing providers and that they don't want to see Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries anymore. So, we'll be very careful with policies so that we're not pushing providers out of the system, but that we're actually attracting providers to the program.”

Verma replaces Acting Administrator Dr. Patrick Conway, who is also deputy administrator for Innovation and Quality.

It’s a bumpy start for prior authorizations

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:20
03/10/2017Liz Beaulieu

WASHINGTON – CGS and Noridian have begun accepting prior authorization requests for K0856 and K0861, but complex rehab providers say they still don’t have all the information they need to comply with the program.

The contractors on March 6 began accepting requests for dates of delivery on or after March 20.

“We’re as prepared as we can be, with all the unanswered questions,” said Doug Westerdahl, president and CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Monroe Wheelchair, who, because of the uncertainty, planned to push out the door as many wheelchairs as possible before March 20.

CMS is phasing in prior authorizations for the two codes, with this first phase applying to Illinois, West Virginia, Missouri and New York. A national rollout is slated for July 17.

Stakeholders aren’t pleased that CMS has moved forward with prior authorizations despite cancelling a Special Open Door Forum on the topic in January. The agency also included it as an agenda item for a general forum in February and dropped it at the last minute. It finally scheduled another Special Open Door Forum on March 9 for March 16th.

“We’ve gotten no official response on why it was cancelled and taken off the agenda,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We understand that there are changes going on at CMS, but our position is, this is ridiculous.”

Stakeholders pointed out it wasn’t until the last minute that they had access to an operational guide, a document that paved the way for a smooth transition when CMS began requesting PAs for standard power wheelchairs as part of a demonstration project that’s now running in 19 states.

“That’s the one document that has been extremely important for providers who are currently doing the demo,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products. “That really has the necessary information that providers need to implement this and educate their employees.”

Additionally, stakeholders would like further guidance on, among other things, why the prior authorizations, unlike the advance determination of Medicare coverage process currently being used by many providers, only cover the base and not accessories.

“That’s a vague area that could get a little scary,” said Chuck Spiedel, the rehab manager for Springfield, Ill.-based Personal Mobility, who says he’s now sending documentation to the quality review team a second time to make sure it meets all the necessary criteria. “In my opinion, they shouldn’t be doing that. It’s a package of complex equipment.”

While CMS’s implementation hasn’t been seamless, stakeholders stand by the essence of prior authorizations.

“The demo has worked really well for us,” Westerdahl said. “So going into this, we’ve had a positive approach to it.

Round 2019 improves process, but providers wait and see

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:17
03/10/2017Theresa Flaherty

YARMOUTH, Maine – With Round 2019 of the competitive bidding program on hold indefinitely, providers like Woody O’Neal say they’re holding off doing any prep work for submitting bids, when and if it goes forward.

“I don’t think we will even spend any man hours on it until something official is announced, said O’Neal, vice president of O2 Neal Medical in Pelham, Ala. “It could change significantly or not happen at all, and I’d rather not spend staff time on it at this point.”

When and if Round 2019 does go forward, CMS has implemented several changes that could vastly improve the program, providers say.

For provider Steve Ackerman, a new requirement that bidders obtain a $50,000 surety bond for each CBA in which they submit bids will force the hand of providers to really assess whether or not they can actually service a contract for what they bid.

“First of all they are going to be assessed by the insurance company as to whether or not they can actually deliver services,” said Ackerman, owner of Spectrum Medical in Silver Spring, Md.“Nobody will take a chance on losing a bond with speculative bidding. The lesson in this round is, you are in the game or you are not.”

The flip side of requiring surety bonds is it could prevent smaller companies from bidding, says provider Chris Rice.

“For smaller providers that are operating in multiple areas, you now have to show X many dollars of equity to be able to get those bonds,” said Rice, the CEO of Diamond Respiratory in Riverside, Calif.

Providers also have their fingers crossed that the downward spiral in pricing may finally be stopped. In a sign that even CMS knows the bid rates have become unsustainable, the agency has moved the bid ceiling to 2015 fee schedule amounts.

Still, “we might see a bit of a bump there, but I don’t think we are going to see a profound change reimbursement wise,” said Rice.

CORE is key to BioScrip reversal

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:16
03/10/2017Theresa Flaherty

DENVER – BioScrip has pushed closer to its goal of having its core home infusion business make up 85% of its overall revenue, said company executives on a recent earnings call.

On March 3, BioScrip reported net revenues of $166.8 million for its core business for the fourth quarter, an increase of $21.9 million or 15.1% compared to the same quarter in 2015. The core business grew to represent 70% of the company’s total revenues in the quarter.

“We’ve got a great sales team in place, and some terrific initiatives that we’ve kicked off,” said Jeff Kreger, senior vice president, CFO and treasurer. “Once the sales teams is mature in its approach, we’d love to do a half percent to 1% growth a month. We are targeting 7%, 8%, 9% growth this year. We will get this company to a 85% core portfolio mix.”

Overall, net revenues were $240 million for the fourth quarter, a decrease of $3.6 million or 1.5% compared to the same quarter of 2015. Full-year guidance for 2017 is in the range of $920 million to $950 million, and adjusted EBITDA is $45 million to $55 million.

During the fourth quarter, the company launched its CORE initiative to focus on improving home infusion growth, operational efficiencies, revenue collections and employee effectiveness, says Daniel Greenleaf, president and CEO.

“Our most important asset is our workforce of 2,443 teammates,” he said. “We have significantly upgraded our executive team and revamped our compensation structure to align with key sales and operational initiatives.”

Although it didn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2017, BioScrip execs addressed the payment gap for home infusion created by the 21st Century Cures Act. Per a provision in the act, Medicare pays for Part B infusion drugs under an average sales price model, a move that reduces payments so drastically that, essentially, they no longer cover services. Another provision in the act provides payments for these services, but not until 2021.

BioScrip estimates the impact of the provision to be $24 million to EBITDA in 2017, but it says cost-cutting initiatives, including an 11% reduction in workforce, should offset about $15 million of that.

“We are working diligently internally and externally to mitigate the impact,” Greenleaf said. “We are actively working with the National Home Infusion Association to propose an amendment to the legislation and increase awareness of the negative connotation this legislation has on patients.”

Stakeholders chase legislative fix for accessories

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:14
‘This is definitely on their radar screens,’ says NCART’s Don Clayback of Congress03/10/2017Liz Beaulieu

WASHINGTON – Now that bills have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to permanently protect reimbursement for accessories for complex manual and power wheelchairs, stakeholders are in a race against time to get Congress to act on the issue.

Late last year, stakeholders were able to secure a six-month delay in CMS’s plans to apply competitive bidding-related pricing to accessories for complex power wheelchairs—a delay that expires July 1 of this year.

“We’re in a relatively good space,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “The bills have been dropped and we have a good group of original co-sponsors out of the gate. We’ve had communication with staff members on key committees. This is definitely on their radar screens.”

Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and John Larson, D-Conn., introduced H.R. 1361 with 18 other co-sponsors, 10 Republicans and eight Democrats, six of whom sit on the Ways and Means Committee and five on the Energy & Commerce Committee. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rob Portman, D-Ohio, introduced S. 486 with eight other co-sponsors, four Republicans and four Democrats, three of whom sit on the Finance Committee.

The first task at hand now: meet or surpass the number of co-sponsors for last year’s bills—147 and 26 in the House and Senate, respectively, Clayback says.

“We need to move quickly to build on past co-sponsors,” he said.

From there, three different scenarios could play out, stakeholders say: The bills could be attached to a larger vehicle and passed; the bills could be passed on their own, through a suspension process; or, if time is running out, industry champions in Congress could extend the delay.

“We’re working on all tracks, but if there is not an opportunity to address the issue before the July 1 implementation date, they’re ready to provide the additional time needed for a permanent fix,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products.

Stakeholders are also in communication with the new leadership at CMS. They argue it’s within the regulatory authority of Tom Price, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to drop the reimbursement change.

“We’re pursuing whether or not there’s an opportunity there,” Johnson said. “MIPAA, the law passed in 2008 that exempts complex rehab from competitive bidding, clearly exempts complex rehab wheelchairs and options and accessories.”

 

In brief: CMS solicits input on reimbursement, nat’l RAC ready to roll

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:11
03/10/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS has scheduled a call to solicit stakeholder input on its methodology for using information from the competitive bidding program for adjusting Medicare fee schedule amounts in non-bid areas.

The 21st Century Cures Act mandated that the agency solicit and take into account stakeholder input on future pricing in non-bid areas.

The act also mandated that CMS take into account the highest amount bid by a winning supplier in a bid area, as well as make comparisons in bid and non-bid areas for the average travel distance and costs associated with furnishing items and services in an area; the average volume of items and services furnished by suppliers in the area; and the number of suppliers in the area.

The call is scheduled for March 23 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. Register here.

Stakeholders may also submit written comments at DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov.

CMS schedules call for PA process

WASHINGTON – After two cancellations, CMS has scheduled a Special Open Door Forum to discuss the prior authorization process for two complex rehab codes.

The agency’s Center for Program Integrity will host the first in a series of Special Open Door Forums on March 16 to invite suppliers, physicians and other Medicare practitioners or interested parties to discuss the implementation of the prior authorization process for K0856 and K0861. CMS began accepting prior authorization requests for these two codes on March 6 for dates of delivery on March 20.

CMS cancelled a previous Special Open Door Forum on this topic scheduled for January. It then removed the topic from the agenda of a general Open Door Forum in February.

During the forum, CMS says it will outline the process for submitting a prior authorization request to the designated Medicare Administrative Contractor, the timeframes for the MAC to render their prior authorization decisions, and the process for subsequent claims submissions.

To participate in the forum, scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST, dial 800-837-1935 and use the ID 85144406.

HHS still says it can’t meet appeals deadline

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services says it won’t meet a deadline to clear a backlog of appeals unless it settles the claims without seeing if they have merit.

In a status report, HHS told the D.C. Circuit court that its 687,382-claims backlog is projected to reach more than 1 million by the end of fiscal year 2021, according to Law360. The agency made a similar claim in February, saying it needed more money and cooperation from the provider community.

“Although the initiatives undertaken by HHS have significantly slowed the growth of the backlog, the significant annual reductions that this court has directed are not possible given current funding and legislative authorities,” HHS says.

The report also states that the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals would “violate its statutory obligations if it were to resolve cases without deciding them on the merits.”

HHS was ordered in December 2016 to find a way to reduce the backlog of cases at the Administrative Law Judge level by 30% at the end of 2017; 60% at the end of 2018; 90% at the end of 2019; and completely by the end of 2020.

Making things more challenging, HHS says: Hospitals and providers haven’t been as receptive to an initiative to settle claims as predicted.

Performant ready to roll

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Performant Recovery, the new national recovery audit contractor for DMEPOS and home health/hospice, announced March 8 that it has officially received approval from CMS to begin audit activity. The RAC in February posted seven new reviews on its workload page: complex medical necessity chest wall oscillation devices; complex medical necessity tracheotomy suction catheters, suction pumps, catheters and other related supplies and equipment; automated nebulizers not in accordance with billing requirements; automated DME billed while inpatient; complex review osteogenesis stimulators; automated CPM billed without total knee replacement; and complex Group 2 support surfaces without correct diagnosis of condition.

Two longtime complex rehab advocates honored

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Michele Gunn of Browning’s Pharmacy and Health Care, and Gerry Dickerson of National Seating and Mobility were named the inaugural recipients of the Simon Margolis Fellow Award at the International Seating Symposium this month. Gunn, a NRRTS registrant since 1996, currently serves on the NRRTS and NCART boards, and the Professional Standards Board. Dickerson, a NRRTS registrant since 1994, currently serves on the NRRTS Executive Board. Margolis, a longtime leader in the complex rehab industry, passed away in July 2016. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of NRRTS.

New York reduces cut for incontinence supplies

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York Department of Health has announced an average reduction of 20% for incontinence supplies, according to a bulletin from AAHomecare. Previously, it had proposed a 30% reduction, but AAHomecare and the Northeast Medical Equipment Providers Association expressed concerns regarding the unsustainability of the cuts. The new rate takes effect April 3.

VMI names sweepstakes winner

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Vantage Mobility International has named Michael Gallagher as the winner of its Claim More Space Sweepstakes. Gallagher, who suffers from degenerative spine disease, has a VMI Northstar side-entry in-floor conversion for wheelchair access to his 2016 Toyota Sienna. Gallagher, who was chosen from more than 7,000 entries, received $10,000 plus a year’s supply of gasoline. “We are proud to provide wheelchair accessible solutions to improve the quality of life for others,” said Doug Eaton, VMI president and CEO. “In Michael’s case, being the VMI Claim More Space Sweepstakes winner, the dependability of the conversion provides him with the freedom to travel and live to the fullest.”

SoClean releases new video

OXFORD, Mass. – SoClean recently launched the latest installment in its educational video series, “The Bacteria Family Reunion,” aimed at increasing awareness of the value of its CPAP cleaning machine. The animated video is also part of SoClean’s spring giveaway, which will award one winner a free SoClean machine. Deadline for the contest is March 31, 2017, at midnight PST. Go to: https://www.soclean.com/soclean-cpap-signup/.

Philips expands Dream family of respiratory devices

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Royal Philips has expanded its Dream Family of products with the DreamStation Advanced Therapies BiPAP autoSV and AVAPS devices to provide care for patients with complex ventilation needs. The devices are currently available in select markets in the U.S., France and Australia, and will be available globally by the end of this year. They aim to deliver optimal ventilation with minimal intervention so patients experience comfortable, restful sleep and quality of life. The DreamStation Advanced Therapies devices are fully integrated through the Philips Encore Anywhere patient management tool, providing automated support for the patient’s changing needs, as well as remote monitoring capabilities support for physicians, HME providers and caretakers to intervene when needed to minimalize adverse effects. The Dream Family of products launched in 2015 as a full suite of sleep solutions that connect and support the patient, clinician and homecare provider to enhance patient care and quality of life.

Short takes: Ryan French

Ryan French, director of Jim’s Pharmacy & Home Health in Port Angeles, Wash., recently received the 2016 Ambassador Award from Brightree. The award is given to an individual with the greatest involvement and contributions to the Brightree Online Community. French’s contributions include helping to improve software design, answering questions, troubleshooting problems, providing best-practice recommendations and gathering information from other companies.

CMS schedules call for PA process

HME News - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 09:39
03/10/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – After two cancellations, CMS has scheduled a Special Open Door Forum to discuss the prior authorization process for two complex rehab codes.

The agency’s Center for Program Integrity will host the first in a series of Special Open Door Forums on March 16 to invite suppliers, physicians and other Medicare practitioners or interested parties to discuss the implementation of the prior authorization process for K0856 and K0861. CMS began accepting prior authorization requests for these two codes on March 6 for dates of delivery on March 20.

CMS cancelled a previous Special Open Door Forum on this topic scheduled for January. It then removed the topic from the agenda of a general Open Door Forum in February.

During the forum, CMS says it will outline the process for submitting a prior authorization request to the designated Medicare Administrative Contractor, the timeframes for the MAC to render their prior authorization decisions, and the process for subsequent claims submissions.

To participate in the forum, scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST, dial 800-837-1935 and use the ID 85144406.

HHS still says it can’t meet appeals deadline

HME News - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 10:58
03/09/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services says it won’t meet a deadline to clear a backlog of appeals unless it settles the claims without seeing if they have merit.

In a status report, HHS told the D.C. Circuit court that its 687,382-claims backlog is projected to reach more than 1 million by the end of fiscal year 2021, according to Law360. The agency made a similar claim in February, saying it needed more money and cooperation from the provider community.

“Although the initiatives undertaken by HHS have significantly slowed the growth of the backlog, the significant annual reductions that this court has directed are not possible given current funding and legislative authorities,” HHS says.

The report also states that the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals would “violate its statutory obligations if it were to resolve cases without deciding them on the merits.”

HHS was ordered in December 2016 to find a way to reduce the backlog of cases at the Administrative Law Judge level by 30% at the end of 2017; 60% at the end of 2018; 90% at the end of 2019; and completely by the end of 2020.

Making things more challenging, HHS says: Hospitals and providers haven’t been as receptive to an initiative to settle claims as predicted.

CMS solicits input on future reimbursement for non-bid areas

HME News - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 14:26
03/07/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS has scheduled a call to solicit stakeholder input on its methodology for using information from the competitive bidding program for adjusting Medicare fee schedule amounts in non-bid areas.

The 21st Century Cures Act mandated that the agency solicit and take into account stakeholder input on future pricing in non-bid areas.

The act also mandated that CMS take into account the highest amount bid by a winning supplier in a bid area, as well as make comparisons in bid and non-bid areas for the average travel distance and costs associated with furnishing items and services in an area; the average volume of items and services furnished by suppliers in the area; and the number of suppliers in the area.

The call is scheduled for March 23 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. Register here.

Stakeholders may also submit written comments at DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov.

Spring renewal: ‘2017 is our year,’ says AAH’s Tom Ryan

HME News - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:04
03/03/2017Theresa Flaherty

LAS VEGAS – The HME industry descended on Medtrade Spring last week with renewed vigor.

“The challenges keep coming but we have an unprecedented opportunity to move the needle this year,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, during the association’s Washington Update Feb. 28. “2017 is our year.”

The key reason for the overall positive outlook: Tom Price, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who the industry is looking to for help with everything from competitive bidding to the audit mess.

In a Feb. 28 letter to Price, AAHomecare asked Price to repeal Medicare rates that went into effect in non-bid areas July 1, 2016.

“We need to arm Dr. Price with information to work with CMS to make changes,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy for AAHomecare. “We need your continued stories; we need data.”

The show, held Feb. 27–March 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, featured dozens of educational sessions that had a major format refresh. More panel discussions, new seating and a tight focus were the result of a “hard look” at attendee feedback from the fall show in Atlanta, says Show Director Kevin Gaffney.

“We wanted to create a vibe of having a conversation instead of a classroom setting,” he said. “If providers are struggling, we want to address that. We wanted to focus on how we survive and thrive, and go from there.”

On the show floor, which featured about 180 exhibitors, the mood was also upbeat. Although the show is smaller, exhibitors say foot traffic was better than expected.

“There’s been a steady flow—people from all over,” said Tom Miller, with Charlottesville, Va.-based Human Design Medical. “This is still cost-effective way for us to meet customers.”

Michelle Kimball, with Salem, Mass.-based Handy Cane said the company’s booth was packed on Tuesday, the day the exhibit hall opened. Show attendees voted for the *Handy Cane as the No. 1 new product in the show’s New Product Pavilion.

“People want unique products and I think more are looking to do cash and carry,” she said. “It’s important we are connected with decision makers and we met lots of them—lots of distributors and DMEs of all sizes.”

Miller echoed the need for providers to look at more cash items but say it’s a shift in mindset that is slow in coming.

“They are not comfortable asking patients to pay for things beyond the co-pay,” he said. “But, the patients will just go somewhere else that has the products you don’t.”

For their part, attendees came to the show ready to get to work.

“I accomplished what I came to do,” said Hunter Cook, with Woodbury, Ten.-based Action DME, who said he usually goes to the Atlanta show. “Every time, I meet new people, make new opportunities. It’s a no brainer.”

Slow but steady: Industry convinces other payers to delay cuts

HME News - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:03
‘As soon as the Medicare fee schedule is updated, it will be easier’03/03/2017Liz Beaulieu

WASHINGTON – The industry’s attempts to get other payers to honor a retroactive delay to Medicare reimbursement cuts are starting to pay off.

Health Net Federal Services, the contractor for the Tricare North region, has indicated to AAHomecare that it believes the delay also applies to its reimbursement, but it needs a directive from the Defense Health Agency to reprocess claims.

“It’s not a done deal, but we’re heading in the right direction,” said Laura Williard, senior director of payer relations for the association.

The 21st Century Cures Act directed Medicare to delay a reimbursement cut in non-competitive bidding areas from July 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017. Because Tricare and other payers often peg their reimbursement off of Medicare’s, the industry has made the case that they, too, should honor the delay, paving the way for providers to recoup six months of reimbursement.

While trying to make inroads at the Defense Health Agency has been slow, Williard believes that once Medicare issues a new fee schedule for that timeframe—the agency says it will do that on May 1—that will help to speed up the process.

“As soon as that fee schedule is updated, it will be easier,” she said. “Right now, we can tell them what we think will happen, but they want to see it.”

Although there are two other Tricare contractors for the South and West regions, Wiliard says Palmetto GBA processes claims for all three regions. That should make it easy for Tricare to extend the delay across regions, and for Palmetto to reprocess claims instead of having providers resubmit them.

“I feel positive about it,” she said.

Outside of Tricare, however, the battles will be largely state-by-state. That’s why AAHomecare is arming stakeholders in each state with a packet of information that includes an attorney’s opinion on how to interpret the delay and a recent study that shows Medicare reimbursement covers, on average, only 88% of a provider’s overall costs.

“We can’t go in and negotiate, but we can educate,” she said. “They don’t realize how drastic these cuts are. They just think, If Medicare made this cut, we can, too. They don’t understand the true impact of how much these rates have gone down.”

Provider Robert Brown has been hard at work educating a large private payer in his state not to apply the cuts that went into effect Jan. 1 and July 1, 2016, in non-bid areas. That payer has agreed to a retroactive delay, but only going back to Sept. 1, 2016, he says.

“We told them, ‘Sorry, we can’t do this anymore; we can’t afford to service your customers,’ and when they realized that, they came back to the table,” said Brown, vice president of operations for Andrew Brown’s in Scranton, Pa. “But what about the rest of 2016? That’s thousands, if not tens of thousands, in reimbursement that we didn’t get.”

It’s slow but steady progress, Williard acknowledges.

“We’ve started to see people be more open to these discussions,” she said. “But as part of those discussions, we now have data, so we hope to have more of an impact.”

Inogen stays focused on DTC

HME News - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:00
B2B sales are great, but HME providers are unpredictable, company officials say03/03/2017Liz Beaulieu

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen’s B2B business keeps posting the largest numbers, but the company has put a number of wheels in motion to boost its direct-to-consumer business in 2017.

For the third quarter in a row, Inogen’s domestic B2B sales were the strongest in the fourth quarter, with 69% growth compared to the same period in 2015.

“We continue to see more traditional HME providers turning to portable oxygen concentrators to lower their operating costs in the face of reimbursement reductions and, specifically, they are turning to Inogen as the leader in this space,” said Scott Wilkinson, the company’s new president and CEO, who replaces Raymond Huggenberger. “For the third quarter in a row, revenue from our private label partner and traditional HME providers represented more than half of total sales revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016.”

Inogen on Feb. 23 reported total revenue of $50.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 25.7% over the same period in 2015. Net income was $5.3 million, a 36.3% increase. It reported total revenue of $202.8 million for all of 2016, up 27.6% over 2015. Net income was $20.5 million, a 77.1% increase.

While Inogen’s success in B2B sales has been a nice surprise, the company continues to prioritize direct-to-consumer sales, where “the closer we’re to the end user, the more visibility we have on what we can expect in revenue,” said Ali Bauerlein, co-founder and CFO.

“We expect direct-to-consumer to be our fastest-growing channel (in 2017),” she said, while discussing increased revenue guidance of $233 million to $239 million for this year. “We also expected that going into 2016; however, what ended up happening was both B2B domestically and internationally grew faster.”

In play to boost Inogen’s direct-to-consumer business in 2017: opening a new sales office and warehouse in Brooklyn, Ohio, that will serve as its center for eastern U.S. operations. The company currently has locations in California, where it’s based, and Texas, where it’s running out of space.

“We believe that having a sales and service support location based in the Eastern time zone will allow us to better service our customers,” Wilkinson said. “We’re planning on adding approximately 240 people in the Cleveland area location over the next three years.”

By mid-2017, Inogen also plans to have a new customer relationship management or CRM system up and running.

“We have already begun execution of this project and we believe this will help improve productivity of our sales, customer service and billing departments,” Wilkinson said.

At its core, Inogen’s focus on direct-to-consumer sales has to do with its inability to predict the speed with which traditional HME providers, who are concerned about capital expenditures, will adopt POC technology. With the company seeing 1% to 1.5% growth in adoption by providers year-to-year, it knows this is not a “short-term event.”

“We’re cautious on how quickly the HME community will adopt,” Bauerlein said. “We certainly see the large market opportunity that eventually POCs should be the standard of care, but how the HME community will get from where we’re at today to that point and the timing of that—we are still very cautious on that.”

 

In brief: Verma one step closer to CMS, bills introduced to protect accessories

HME News - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:58
03/03/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Seema Verma is headed to the full Senate for confirmation as CMS Administrator.

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday voted 13-12 to advance Verma’s nomination.

“We need experienced and responsible leadership at the helm of our federal agencies and CMS is no exception,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the committee. “The challenges plaguing both Medicare and Medicaid require a strong partnership between the administration and Congress to improve these programs and help enact the necessary reforms to ensure their solvency for future generations. Ms. Verma will help facilitate that partnership and as we work to repeal and replace Obamacare, she will play a vital role in realigning the focus on patient-centered solutions. I look forward to her nomination being considered by the full Senate.”

It was the committee’s second vote on Verma. On Wednesday, it was deadlocked in a tie, 9-9.

Verma is founder and CEO of SVC, a health policy consulting firm. She has worked with a number of states, most notably Indiana, to redesign their Medicaid programs in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.

During a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 16, Verma said that one-size-fits-all approaches to healthcare, like CMS’s competitive bidding program, don’t always work. She made the comment in response to a question from Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., about whether she would be willing to continue to have a dialogue about how the bid program can ensure Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural states, get the medical equipment they need.

Bills introduced to protect accessories

WASHINGTON – Industry champions in the Senate and House of Representatives have introduced bills to permanently stave off Medicare’s plans to apply competitive bidding-influenced prices to accessories for complex wheelchairs.

Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rob Portman, D-Ohio, and Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and John Larson, D-Conn., have introduced S. 486 and H.R. 1361, NCART reported on Friday.

“Our next step will be to secure co-sponsors,” NCART stated in a bulletin. “Stay tuned and polish up your advocacy skills. This is going to be a great year for CRT!”

Stakeholders succeeded late in 2016 to secure a six-month delay in Medicare’s plans, pushing the implementation date to at least July 1, 2017.

Hospice Cloud bulks up business with Genesis Healthcare

ATLANTA and RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – Genesis Healthcare Services and Hospice Cloud, two providers of HME to hospice organizations, have merged, company officials announced Feb. 23.

The acquisition of Atlanta-based Genesis Healthcare helps Richland Hills, Texas-based Hospice Cloud, which owns and operates 60 service centers and has partnerships with more than 200 HME providers, maintain its position as a “market leader” providing HME for the hospice industry.

“The addition of Genesis Healthcare expands our presence in the Southeast and supports our vision of delivering the most comprehensive DME solution to our hospice patients and their partners,” said Bill Monast, president and CEO of Hospice Cloud.

Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot, an HME provider, is the parent company of Genesis Healthcare. It became the majority shareholder of the five-location company in 2012.

Genesis Healthcare represents the third major acquisition in a little over a year for Hospice Cloud.

Hospice Cloud, a management platform and network for providers offering HME to the hospice industry, is the brainchild of National HME, a provider of HME to hospice organizations in the Dallas Forth Worth area.

Tailwind Capital, a growth oriented middle-market private equity firm, is the lead investor in National HME and Hospice Cloud.

Core Products buys Swede-O

OSCEOLA, Wis. – Core Products International, a manufacturer of braces, supports, orthopedic soft goods and hot and cold therapy, has acquired Swede-O. North Branch, Minn.-based Swede-O manufactures products that help to prevent and rehabilitate ankle-related injuries. While Core Products is well known in the alternative healthcare and home healthcare markets, Swede-O is best known in the athletic, rehab and podiatry markets. “We are looking forward to leveraging our innovative capabilities, lean manufacturing process and marketing expertise to grow the Swede-O brand,” said Philip Mattison, president and founder of Core Products. Core Products will continue to operate Swede-O from North Branch. Customers will continue to place orders and receive customer service through the company.

Insulet posts 24% increase in revenue

BILLERICA, Mass. – Insulet Corp. has reported fourth quarter revenue of $103.6 million, representing year-over-year growth of 24%. Net loss was $9.2 million vs. $15.9 million. Fourth-quarter revenue in the U.S. for Omnipod was $61.3 million, a 17% increase, and internationally, $20.8 million, a 35% increase. Revenue from drug delivery was $19.6 million, a 34% increase. Insulet reported full year revenue of $367 million, representing year-over-year growth of 39%. Net loss was $27.2 million vs. $61.6 million. Full-year revenue in the U.S. for Omnipod was $229.8 million, a 21% increase, and internationally, $71.9 million, a 78% increase. Revenue from drug delivery was $65.3 million, a 92% increase. Among Insulet’s highlights in 2016: its divestiture of Neighborhood Diabetes’ medical supplies distribution business to focus on growth opportunities in insulin and drug delivery.

Aetrex buys maker of 3D orthotics, software

TEANECK, N.J. – Aetrex has acquired SOLS Systems, a New York-based company that provides 3D printed orthotics and software used to customize footwear, according to NJBIZ. SOLS will begin integrating its products with Aetrex’s newly launched Albert 3D foot scatter, it reported. “The integration of SOLS technology into our footwear and orthotics business will allow Aetrex to offer unmatched customization and adjustability across our product lines,” said Larry Schwartz, CEO of Aetrex.

Community pharmacy opens new location in medical center

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – NeighboRx Pharmacy has opened a new location within Orange Regional Medical Center’s outpatient building, according to Hudson Valley News. The location offers a full range of prescription medication services, as well as medical equipment and supplies, including walkers and rollators, diabetic supplies, wheelchairs, braces, crutches, and bath and safety supplies. “I can’t stress enough the importance of this new venture, which allows better collaboration among local physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers,” Rory Garland, a pharmacist and owner of NeighboRx Pharmacy, told the newspaper. “The collaborative effort among our established pharmacy and community hospital partner is indicative of effective relationships that should exist in the healthcare arena. These partnerships allow us to be more patient focused and deliver high-quality care.”

Minnesota senators seek to soften blow of upcoming Medicaid cut

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Two senators in the Minnesota state legislature have introduced a bill to address a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act that would limit the federal portion of Medicaid reimbursement for HME to competitive bidding-influenced Medicare reimbursement starting in 2018. The bill, introduced by Sens. Jim Abeler and Greg Clausen and still in draft form, reads: “Effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2018, the commissioner shall make supplemental payments to providers of durable medical equipment and medical supplies, for those items for which application of the medical assistance federal match payment limit specified in United States Code, title 42, section 1396b(i)(27), would result in a reduction in payment from the medical assistance payment rate in effect on December 31, 2017. The supplemental payment for each item shall be no less than the difference between the medical assistance payment rate in effect on December 31, 2017, and the medical assistance payment rate under United States Code, title 42, section 1396b(i)(27).”“There is a lot of work that will continue to see this bill goes through,” the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services stated in a bulletin to members.

Numotion gets exclusive for standing device

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has become the exclusive distributor for Tek RMD by Matia Robotics in the United States. Tek RMD is a motorized standing movement device that offers the ability for those who are in a manual wheelchair to complete everyday activities from a standing position. Unlike other standers, users can board and control the device unassisted. “Tek RMD is a life-enhancing technology that enables wheelchair users to participate in everyday life in a way they may have previously thought was not possible,” said Mike Swinford, CEO of Numotion. “The ability to independently and safely sit, stand and navigate environments that were once inaccessible is now a reality.” Tek RMD is available through assistive technology professionals or online at ShopNumotion.com. Through ShopNumotion.com, customers will be prompted to schedule an evaluation for individually configured customization.

Brightree helps providers get paid

ATLANTA – Brightree has released an app that gives HME providers a quick way to process patient payments through smartphones or tablets anywhere in real time. The Brightree Patient Collections GetPaidHME app, which runs on Apple and Android devices, allows users to scan a sales order directly from a delivery ticket. From there, the patient is added to the delivery queue, and sales order data, including recipient and payment information, is integrated into the app, eliminating the need for paper invoices. The app then posts a payment back into the Brightree core platform, streamlining the manual entry process, and the patient receives an email receipt confirming payment. Additional features of the app include adding orders to the sales order currently in delivery and signing up clients for Brightree’s AutoPay so future payments can be processed automatically.

VirtuOx keeps track with VirtuTrack

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – VirtuOx, a home respiratory diagnostic provider, has released a device that allows HME providers to track their equipment in the patient’s home. VirtuTrack attaches to equipment and automatically sends data daily to VirtuOx, allowing providers to monitor whether or not it is plugged in and turned on. “With VirtuTrack, you will be able to monitor patient compliance to any medical device, which can improve health outcomes, reduce hospital readmissions and eliminate the risk of losing equipment,” said Kyle Miko, founder and COO for VirtuOx. VirtuTrack can also tell providers when equipment is lost: The device pings a portal every hour with its location.

Medforce launches e-signature tool

SUFFERN, N.Y. – Medforce Technologies has launched an electronic signature tool built specifically for the healthcare industry. SignCenter allows providers to “dictate the signing experience,” Medforce says, by determining where and when a document can be signed. It allows signatures to be captured remotely or in-person, and to be executed using a keyboard, mouse or touch screen from any web-enabled device. “Most providers we talk to are still printing out forms for signature and then scanning or faxing them afterward,” said Steve Bainnson, vice president of sales for Medforce. “Paper gets lost, filled out incorrectly, requires manual data entry and causes billing errors that lead to lower reimbursement. Moving to SignCenter and implementing an electronic process adds control and visibility, increases productivity, improves compliance, and decreases time spent chasing paper.”

Medtrade Spring attendees pick top new products

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring attendees voted for the Handy Cane by The Handy Cane of Salem, Mass., as the No. 1 new product in the show’s New Product Pavilion. They voted for VirtuCLEAN by VirtuOx of Coral Springs, Fla., for the No. 2 spot; and the Hoverboard Buddy by Inventor Lady of Denver for the No. 3 spot. The pavilion featured the most innovative HME products that have been on the market for less than one year, according to a press release from show organizers. Medtrade Spring took place Feb. 26-28 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Market for respiratory devices to hit $21.3B in five years

PORTLAND, Ore. – The global respiratory care device market was valued at $12.8 billion in 2015 and is projected to value $21.3 billion by 2022, according to a report published by Allied Market Research in February. That represents a CAGR of 7.4% from 2016 to 2022. Dominating the market, according to the report: the therapeutic segment, which accounted for more than half of the total market share in 2015. “The global respiratory care devices market is driven by factors such as increase in prevalence of respiratory diseases, rapid urbanization, rise in pollution level, growth in geriatric population, and increase in tobacco consumption worldwide,” the report states. North America dominates the market, according to the report, and it’s expected to maintain that stronghold due to the high adoption rate of respiratory devices.

AOPA: Send us your ideas for pilot programs

WASHINGTON – The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, in partnership with the Center for O&P Learning & Evidence-Based Practice, has unveiled its 2017 requests for proposals for research. AOPA plans to give $15,000 each to four pilot programs in 16 potential areas of interest, including the effectiveness of custom vs. off-the-shelf ankle foot orthoses (AFOs), and the effect of prosthetic components on community activity level. “AOPA is dedicated to advancing the O&P evidence base, and these pilot grants give researchers a great opportunity to start projects that they can build on to secure more funding from NIH and other sources,” said Michael Oros, president of AOPA. “We have seen several researchers go on to publish their COPL-funded research, which speaks to the high quality of the research that is resulting from these funds.”

Short takes: QS/1, Active Controls, EZ-DME

Spartanburg, S.C.-based J M Smith, which operates QS/1 and other healthcare technology companies, has named A. Alan Turfe CEO and chairman of the board. Turfe succeeds William Cobb, long-time CEO and chairman. He joins J M Smith from Fresenius Medical Care, where he was senior vice president and chief procurement officer…Sewell, N.J.-based Active Controls has released a 20-page catalog featuring all of the products it offers. The 2017 Reference Guide includes new products like the Modular Harness Mounted Chin Controls and the Eclipse Trays featuring Stealth-linked driving technology…Bill Cobb, the CEO of Spartanburg, S.C.-based JM Smith, which operates QS/1 and other healthcare companies, will retire after 41 years. His successor will be named soon…FDS has named Michael Ziegler vice president, product and client services. He will be responsible for FDS’s reconciliation and claims management solutions, as well as its EZ-DME Billing Solution. “Michael has a strong background and understanding in a variety of pharmacy market segments, including retail pharmacy, home medical equipment and long-term care,” said Peter Fianu, president of FDS.

Bills introduced to protect accessories

HME News - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:10
03/03/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Industry champions in the Senate and House of Representatives have introduced bills to permanently stave off Medicare’s plans to apply competitive bidding-influenced prices to accessories for complex wheelchairs.

Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rob Portman, D-Ohio, and Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and John Larson, D-Conn., have introduced S. 486 and H.R. 1361, NCART reported on Friday.

“Our next step will be to secure co-sponsors,” NCART stated in a bulletin. “Stay tuned and polish up your advocacy skills. This is going to be a great year for CRT!”

Stakeholders succeeded late in 2016 to secure a six-month delay in Medicare’s plans, pushing the implementation date to at least July 1, 2017.

Verma one step closer to CMS

HME News - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 14:36
03/02/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Seema Verma is headed to the full Senate for confirmation as CMS Administrator.

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday voted 13-12 to advance Verma’s nomination.

“We need experienced and responsible leadership at the helm of our federal agencies and CMS is no exception,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the committee. “The challenges plaguing both Medicare and Medicaid require a strong partnership between the administration and Congress to improve these programs and help enact the necessary reforms to ensure their solvency for future generations. Ms. Verma will help facilitate that partnership and as we work to repeal and replace Obamacare, she will play a vital role in realigning the focus on patient-centered solutions. I look forward to her nomination being considered by the full Senate.”

It was the committee’s second vote on Verma. On Wednesday, it was deadlocked in a tie, 9-9.

Verma is founder and CEO of SVC, a health policy consulting firm. She has worked with a number of states, most notably Indiana, to redesign their Medicaid programs in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.

During a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 16, Verma said that one-size-fits-all approaches to healthcare, like CMS’s competitive bidding program, don’t always work. She made the comment in response to a question from Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., about whether or not she would be willing to continue to have a dialogue about how the bid program can ensure Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural states, get the medical equipment they need.

AAH appeals to Price to freeze rates

HME News - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 08:53
03/02/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has asked newly minted Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price to issue an interim final rule to repeal the fully adjusted Medicare rates that originally went into effect in non-competitive bidding areas on July 1, 2016.

In a Feb. 28 letter, the association asks Price to, instead, freeze rates at the 50/50 blended rate that took effect Jan. 1, 2016, and amend the methodology for determining adjusted fee schedules.

“I request for you to take immediate action to provide relief to DME providers and patients in non-CBAs, which have experienced dramatic reimbursement cuts over a short six-month period,” wrote Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare.

CMS implemented phased-in rate cuts on Jan. 1, 2016, and July 1, 2016. In December, however, Congress directed the agency to retroactively delay the July 1, 2016, cuts until Jan. 1, 2017.

AAHomecare included in the letter a chart that depicts the severity of the rate cuts in non-bid areas. Rates for CPAP devices, for example, are $39.59 in 2017 compared to $104.58 in the 2015 fee schedule.

“It is still too soon to have accurate figures on suppliers’ sales and closures in response to the adjusted rates, but we know from CMS data that there are 38% fewer suppliers enrolled in Medicare today than there were in 2013,” Ryan wrote. “Given the unprecedented magnitude of the payment cuts under the adjusted rates, it is reasonable to expect a high rate of supplier attrition in non-CBAs if adjusted rates remain at current levels.”

AAHomecare argues that if Price waits for CMS to finalize overdue annual reports on the overall impact of competitive bidding—the last was published in 2011—and to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking, “access to DMEPOS in non-CBAs will deteriorate quickly.”

“Using an IFR to suspend or repeal rules implementing the adjusted fee schedules would also allow the secretary to align the transition to DMEPOS adjusted fee schedules with similar transitions to payment adjustments in other Medicare benefits,” Ryan wrote.

Inogen rides POC wave

HME News - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 09:55
03/01/2017HME News Staff

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen on Feb. 23 reported total revenue of $50.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, up 25.7% over the same period in 2015. Net income was $5.3 million, a 36.3% increase.

“We’ve once again seen solid revenue growth led by continued strong adoption by home medical equipment providers turning to portable oxygen concentrators,” said CEO Raymond Huggenberger. “We continue to demonstrate that we are not only providing the best in class portable oxygen concentrators to our patients, but also helping our business-to-business customers improve their cost basis in the face of a challenging reimbursement climate.”

Inogen reported total revenue of $202.8 million for all of 2016, up 27.6% over 2015. Net income was $20.5 million, a 77.1% increase.

Inogen has increased its revenue guidance for 2017 to $233 million to $239 million, representing year-over-year growth of 14.9% to 17.8%. It has increased net income and adjusted net income guidance to $21 million to $23 million, representing growth of 2.3% to 12.1%.

Hospice Cloud bulks up business with Genesis Healthcare

HME News - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 11:31
02/28/2017HME News Staff

ATLANTA and RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – Genesis Healthcare Services and Hospice Cloud, two providers of HME to hospice organizations, have merged, company officials announced Feb. 23.

The acquisition of Atlanta-based Genesis Healthcare helps Richland Hills, Texas-based Hospice Cloud, which owns and operates 60 service centers and has partnerships with more than 200 HME providers, maintain its position as a “market leader” providing HME for the hospice industry.

“The addition of Genesis Healthcare expands our presence in the Southeast and supports our vision of delivering the most comprehensive DME solution to our hospice patients and their partners,” said Bill Monast, president and CEO of Hospice Cloud.

Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot, an HME provider, is the parent company of Genesis Healthcare. It became the majority shareholder of the five-location company in 2012.

Genesis Healthcare represents the third major acquisition in a little over a year for Hospice Cloud.

Hospice Cloud, a management platform and network for providers offering HME to the hospice industry, is the brainchild of National HME, a provider of HME to hospice organizations in the Dallas Forth Worth area.

Tailwind Capital, a growth oriented middle-market private equity firm, is the lead investor in National HME and Hospice Cloud.

Caring for a Loved One at Home Can Be Challenging

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 02/26/2017 - 20:00
Informal caregivers are family, friends and volunteers who provide care and support for an aging loved one. These selfless individuals are rarely paid for their services and often endure a significant amount of stress while providing care.
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