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Updated: 22 hours 37 min ago

COVID-19: Need a back-to-office primer?

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:19
AMARILLO, Texas – Employers that are calling on employees to return to the office need to navigate a number of “sticky subjects,” including whether they can require them to get vaccinated and wear masks. Allison Davis, a shareholder and employment law attorney at Brown & Fortunato, answers those questions and emphasizes why it’s important to stay up to date on changing guidelines. HME News: Can employers require that employees get vaccinated? Allison Davis: You can, as an employer, require your employees to get vaccinated. But I will tell you that most of my clients, even those in the medical field, are choosing not to do so. There are exemptions for anyone with a religious belief and anyone with a disability, and frankly, dealing with exemptions is a headache, because you can really get in trouble in a hurry. I also think the general stance is that employers don’t want to mandate anything medical-related for their employees. Most are encouraging their employees to get vaccinated and some are even providing a gentle nudge by providing an additional day of PTO or a gift card. I know there’s information out there saying giving something of value is OK, but I haven’t given that advice. You could end up in a situation where you’re withholding something of value based on someone’s protected class. HME: So, if it’s in some ways impractical to require vaccines, should employers require employees to wear masks? Davis: Right now, masks are the stickier subject. As you know, there has been new guidance from the CDC that fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to socially distance or wear masks or even quarantine after exposure in most instances. That has pushed a lot of states and cities to lift their mask mandates. I’m working with a lot of clients dealing with if they’re going to change their mask policy and how. You can have two sets of rules: Fully vaccinated don’t need to wear masks; unvaccinated need to wear masks. That’s legally permissible. HME: Sounds pretty clear. Why is this “sticky”? Davis: Where it gets sticky is tracking who has been vaccinated, because employers should always ask for the bare minimum amount of medical information. Do you just ask someone to verify their vaccinated status? Do you take a copy of their vaccine card? If it’s the latter, how do you store that information because it is confidential? Every layer opens up a new set of potential issues. That’s why I have one client who has completely lifted the mask mandate at their place of business. They feel everyone has now had the opportunity to get vaccinated and if they chose not to that’s their choice and their risk to accept. HME: Can an employee refuse to say whether they’re vaccinated or not? Davis: It is important to keep in mind that, while you can ask, if they refuse to answer, you don’t want to follow up, because you’re potentially digging into a religious belief or disability issue.  HME: You spoke of the recent changes to CDC guidance. Should we expect further changes? Davis: You do have to be careful and look at your state and local requirements because they can be all over the map. Basically, for the past year and a half, that’s all we’ve been doing – trying to stay on top of what’s new, because it’s constantly changing. We’re also awaiting guidance from OSHA and that could turn us in one direction or the other.

Providers worry about CPAP report’s ripple effect

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:16
WASHINGTON – Providers say a recent draft report on the effectiveness of CPAP is questionable, but they worry it could still impact everything from patient confidence in the therapy to adequate access and payment for equipment and services. The report, released in April by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, states that published studies show little evidence of long-termbenefits ofCPAP therapyon cardiovascular and other health outcomes. “I think it was a fairly biased study that selectively reviewed certain data that supported a viewpoint that was maybe predetermined,” said Gary Sheehan, senior vice president, regional operations, for AdaptHealth New England. “It’s hard to know what’s its purpose was, and I don’t think it’s a good representation of the complete long-term benefits of treating OSA.” It was CMS that asked the AHRQ to evaluate the evidence on the improvement of long-term clinical health outcomes with CPAP treatment, as well as the validity of the criteria used as surrogate outcomes. There has already been pushback against the draft report by the sleep community, including the AmericanAcademy of Sleep Medicine, but providers say they hope patients hear the full story, too. “I think the public is very quick to side with whatever (comments become public) instead of doing research,” said Robyn Parrott, president of Detroit, Mich.-based Sleep Solutions. “It’s on Facebook, so it must be true. Whereas if they take the time to ask their physician, the physician will be able to set them straight.” Stakeholders are concerned that such a report could, ultimately, impact coverage of CPAP therapy for Medicare and beyond. “The results of this study will drive the decision making not only for the Medicare program but also other federal health insurance programs like Medicaid, as well as commercial payers,” stated AAHomecare in the comments it submitted to the report. “This is critically important in terms of protecting patient access to CPAP, which is the recognized gold standard of care for OSA in the United States and worldwide.”

Gary Sheehan on industry’s shared vision

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:13
SANDWICH, Mass. – Just a year after forming through the merger of America's HealthCare at Home, Cape Medical Supply and Health Complex Medical, Spiro Health was acquired by AdaptHealth – and no one was more surprised than CEO Gary Sheehan. “That was never part of the plan, but life happens,” he said. “We watched the merger of Adapt and AeroCare and have a ton of respect for both senior management teams. So, we took the call to discuss what it might look like and we’re happy with the outcome, the team and the vision that we share for what the HME market could and should look like.” Sheehan, now senior vice president, regional operations, for AdaptHealth New England, spoke with HME News recently about the future of the HME industry – what he calls the important “last mile” of health care’s infrastructure. HME News: Cape Medical Supply got its start as a small family-owned business. How does it feel to now be part of a national company? Gary Sheehan: We started out of a rented home and ran it out of my parent’s house for the first eight or nine years. Fourteen months ago, we partnered with private equity. In terms of how we went from a small local company to part of a larger national, it felt just natural. A lot of key employees – people that have been with us since the 80s – are super excited with what AdaptHealth is continuing to build. HME: What did Spiro Health bring to the table for Adapt? Sheehan: The biggest is, we have a significant presence on the ground in the New England area where they did not. We have a mature senior leadership team in place, and we can and will run the business well in this region and identify new opportunities along the way. HME: Where do you think the future of HME is headed? Sheehan: I think the future is value-based and cloud connected in the home. Now, we do annual visits that feel arbitrary. We could more actively monitor patients and do it at scale. When certain key indicators are high or low, we can interface with the patient to say, “Hey, we need to do a consult.” Blood glucose, blood pressure, sleep – all are different things that the health care system could do more efficiently because of technology, and HME is the boots on the ground.

In brief: Medline investment, SoClean award, MAC reviews

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:09
NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Medline Industries has entered into an agreement to receive a majority investment from a group of private equity firms, including Blackstone, Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, worth a reported $30-plus billion. Medline, which generated revenues of $17.5 billion in 2020, will use the new resources from the partnership to expand its product offerings, accelerate international expansion and continue to make new infrastructure investments to strengthen its global supply chain. “Making health care run better has been our focus for decades,” said Charlie Mills, CEO. “This investment from some of the world’s most experienced and successful private investment firms will enable us to accelerate that strategy, while preserving the family led culture that is core to our success.” Following the close of the deal, Medline will remain a privately held company led by the Mills family, which will remain the largest single shareholder. The entire senior management team will also stay in place. GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, is also part of the group making the investment. The investment is expected to be completed in late 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. SoClean wins legal action Company awarded damages of up to $100K from each of 800-plus defendants PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently issued an order in favor of SoClean in its legal action against 861 websites and web stores for allegedly marketing and selling products that are counterfeit and products that infringe on its intellectual property rights. The court’s order awards damages against the defendants of up to $100,000 each, which SoClean may seize from the defendant’s accounts, including those held with payment processors like Alipay, Amazon, eBay, PayPal and others. “We are very pleased with the court’s decision to hold the defendants accountable for their illicit activities,” said Robert Wilkins, CEO. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to uphold the integrity of our products for our customers and business partners who rely on us for safety and quality of life. We will also continue to vigorously protect our intellectual property and innovations in the marketplace.” The court’s order permanently enjoins the defendants and their associates from using SoClean’s “trade dress” – or any reproductions, counterfeit copies or colorable imitations of it – in connection with the distribution, marketing, advertising or sale of any item that is not a genuine SoClean product. MACs restart reviews WASHINGTON – The Medicare Administrative Contractors may now begin conducting post-payment medical reviews for dates of service later than March 2020, CMS has announced. In August 2020, the MACs resumed post-payment reviews of items and services with dates of service before March 2020. The Targeted Probe and Educate program, which involves intensive education to assess provider compliance through up to three rounds of review, will restart at a later date, CMS says. The MACs will continue to offer detailed review decisions and education, as appropriate, the agency says. Hospice Source makes acquisition in California DALLAS – Hospice Source has acquired Respiratory Therapy Home Care of Bellflower, Calif., further expanding its presence in the state.  "Hospice Source is committed to providing exceptional patient care to all its hospice partners,” said Jeff West, CEO. “The acquisition of RTHC allows us to extend that passion for service to a greater number of Southern California hospice patients and hospice partners.” Founded in 1997, Hospice Source offers full-service DME to hospice providers from 62 locations in more than a dozen states. RTHC President Tim Hansen will transition to the Hospice Source team. "In contemplating the sale of our business after nearly 25 years, it was critically important that we found a buyer who has the same focus on excellent patient care,” he said. “Jeff and his team at Hospice Source fit that description to a T. I'm thrilled to be staying on with the Hospice Source team, with the goal of expanding our reach in the Eastern United States and beyond." The latest acquisition is the company’s 14th in the past five years, including, in late 2020, the acquisition of Martinez, Calif.-based Superior Healthcare. Survey: Americans mostly unaware of sleep apnea DARIEN, Ill. – Nearly 70% of Americans who sleep with a bed partner report those partners snore while sleeping, according to a 2021 survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).  Snoring can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea and AASM is asking Americans to consider, “Is it more than a snore?” “While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously,” said Dr. Kannan Ramar, AASM president. “If your bed partner snores, or if you’ve been told that you snore, then it is important to talk to a medical provider about screening or testing for sleep apnea. Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea can improve overall health and quality of life.” Nearly 30 million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea, with about 23.5 million of those cases still undiagnosed, according to AASM. In the same survey, a quarter of Americans (26%) admitted they were not at all familiar with OSA, and nearly half (48%) acknowledged they do not know the symptoms of the disease. Permobil, Pirates surprise fan with custom wheelchair NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Permobil Foundation, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Pirates, LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta, surprised a fan with a team-branded, custom power wheelchair at a home game on June 3. The reveal was part of the first-ever Lou Gehrig Day celebrations that Major League Baseball will hold each June in honor of Gehrig, who died of ALS. “We are honored to be part of the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day and to partner with MLB to raise awareness in the fight against ALS,” said Ashley Davis, executive director of the Permobil Foundation. “Our goal is to ensure that every person has the right to mobility and through impactful partnerships such as LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta we help fulfill those needs.” OneDrop surpasses 25 billion data points NEW YORK – OneDrop, which provides solutions for people with chronic health conditions, has surpassed 25 billion biometric data points on its health platform. Those data points include glucose, A1C, blood pressure, weight, medications, food intake, physical activity, heart rate, other self-care data (e.g., sleep) and personal data (e.g., gender, year of diagnosis). "We can't keep throwing money at treating the symptoms of sickness and neglect the investment in prevention required to keep people healthy," said Jeff Dachis, One Drop CEO and founder. "Prevention is possible when we arm people with real-time information and empower them to make meaningful behavior changes that we know lead to sustained health and improved outcomes. One Drop uses artificial intelligence to forecast biomarkers (e.g., blood sugar and blood pressure) and offers real-time practical advice to change or reinforce behaviors. As our data wealth continues to grow in size and diversity, so will the strength of our predictive capabilities and the impact we drive on long-term outcomes and cost savings." One Drop uses its data to train the proprietary machine learning algorithms behind its CE-marked eight-hour glucose forecasts, predictive capabilities for people using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), CE-marked blood pressure insights, and long-term outcomes forecasts for diabetes-related biomarkers.  Event news: NCPA, ISS Registration is now open for the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2021 Annual Convention, Oct. 9-12 in Charlotte, N.C. This year’s in-person event is a great opportunity to reconnect with neighborhood pharmacy colleagues and allies at the premier event for owners and their staff, says NCPA President Brian Caswell. “Though travel was curbed and meetings were held online, in many ways, independent pharmacy came together as never before to serve our communities, adapt to the many challenges thrown our way, and help lead the fight against COVID,” says Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs, Kan. “Our teams worked hard and demonstrated the value and the beauty of independent neighborhood pharmacy.” For more information or to register, go *here…The International Seating Symposium, which takes place Oct. 28-30 in Pittsburgh, is looking to get at least 100 followers on its social media channels, including on Facebook, Instagram (iss.pitt) and LinkedIn. It will award three free conference passes to supporters once it gets to 100 followers on each channel. Stock watch: Apria, Option Care Health Apria has announced a price to the public of $27 per share for a previously announced secondary offering of 4.5 million shares of common stock by a selling stockholder affiliated with Blackstone. The selling stockholder has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 675,000 additional shares of common stock. The offering is expected to close on June 14, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions…Option Care Health has announced that an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners has agreed to sell 15 million shares of the company’s common stock at a price to the public of $20 per share in an underwritten public offering, an increase from a previously announced 10 million shares. The selling stockholder has also granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 2.25 million additional shares of common stock. The offering is expected to close on June 10, 2021. Abilities Expo returns with in-person events for 2021 LOS ANGELES – The Abilities Expo will return to live events this year, kicking off with the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumberg, Ill., June 25-27, 2021. The free events offer an exhibit hall and workshops that explore vital areas of lifestyle support like employment guidance, financial planning, home accessibility, traveling and therapeutic activities. “We offer something for everyone in our content schedules—from workshops on travel or cannabis to events encouraging everyone to dance, play sports or stretch out those tired muscles,” said Christine Selinger, director of education and events. “Our schedule for each show is packed with new information and things to try.” Other events are planned for Houston, Phoenix, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Soleo Health earns URAC accreditation FRISCO, Texas – Soleo Health’s Phoenix location has earned Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation from URAC, the leading independent accrediting organization focused on supporting the quality of health care through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation standards and programs. With this URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation, Soleo Health Phoenix demonstrates the highest value and quality in delivering enhanced clinical services to patients, payers, manufacturers and providers. “We always strive to ensure the delivery of quality patient care, and the prominence of this URAC accreditation is further validation of our dedication to our patients and providers,” said Drew Walk, CEO. “It is a testament to the levels of care that our highly experienced interdisciplinary team of therapy care pharmacists, registered nurses and patient care specialists delivers as well as the stringent therapeutic protocols to which we adhere.”  New executive hires: Inogen, Permobil Inogen has appointed Dr. Stanislav Glezer as executive vice president and chief medical officer. Glezer has more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and medical affair roles, most recently at Becton, Dickinson and Company as worldwide vice president of medical affairs for Diabetes Care.  “I look forward to contributing to the next phase of Inogen’s planned growth as we continue to seek ways to design patient centric outcomes studies to improve access to our best-in-class product offerings, enable prescribers to better serve their patients and enhance our market position and value for our stockholders,” said Glezer…Permobil has named Charlotta Nyberg as chief financial officer where she will play a pivotal role in driving sustainable long-term business growth and success through corporate development and profitability management. Nyberg has more than 20 years of experience in business finance, building new and emerging businesses and change management, most recently as vice president of corporate control at Swedish telecommunications multi-national Telia. "Her extensive experience will make an immediate impact as we navigate the current turbulent economic situation and continue to grow the business,” said Bengt Thorsson, CEO. Lifestyle Mobility Aids to transition to Rhythm Healthcare ST. PETERSBURGH, Fla. – Lifestyle Mobility Aids is changing its name to Rhythm Healthcare to better reflect the clinically complex nature of its products. The new name is also a nod to the company’s relationship with customers, says Doug Francis, president and CEO. “The new company name is meant to point toward the operating rhythm that exists between our provider partners and us,” he said. “Because we don’t connect directly with the consumer, there’s a real need for us to be ‘in sync’ and aligned with our partners.” The company will use both Lifestyle Mobility Aids and Rhythm Healthcare at the upcoming Medtrade shows, but it plans to complete the transition to Rhythm Healthcare by the end of the year. Lifestyle Mobility Aids launched a portable oxygen concentrator in December and a 5-liter stationary oxygen concentrator in March, and plans to launch a range of aerosol devices later this year. Rehab Medical supports 3,000th ramp build INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical is supporting Servants at Work (SAWs) to raise awareness of the organization’s 3,000th wheelchair ramp build. SAWs, a faith-based nonprofit organization, has been building high-quality, removable and reusable wood ramps for those using wheelchairs, scooters or walkers since 2013. “SAWs is honored to partner with Rehab Medical for this milestone event since they’re one of the largest distributors for customer wheelchairs and our missions are so complimentary,” said Bob Richmond, executive director of SAWs. “We both want to improve the lives of people who need accessibility options to overcome physical disabilities and are freed from the confines of their homes with special chairs and ramps.” As part of their alliance, Rehab Medical is helping SAWs look for mobility users who live in central Indiana who would benefit from a ramp. Rehab Medical has also donated $3,000 toward the organization’s campaign to raise $30,000. “Rehab Medical has worked with SAWs in the past on a ramp build and it was a great experience,” said Kevin Gearheart, president of Rehab Medical. “Their ability to impact wheelchair users fits perfectly with our mission to Improve Lives.” To apply for the ramp build, go here. To donate, go here. BraunAbility, Q’STRAINT unite for customers INDIANAPOLIS – BraunAbility and Q’STRAINT have launched a new venture to accelerate innovation for their customers and keep pace with the technologies that are rapidly transforming the automotive landscape. As part of the venture, the two companies will work together to integrate the design process, setting the stage for systems-based solutions that will enhance safety, quality and reliability for the disability community. “Wheelchair passengers face such a segmented experience when they travel,” said Patrick Girardin, co-president of Q’STRAINT. “We see huge opportunities for integrating technologies and creating a new story, rewritten for inclusion. Together, we help ensure that new products create a more intuitive and effortless experience for our customers.” The venture will prioritize consumer innovation like QUANTUM, a system that offers wheelchair passengers of public transit buses complete independence by allowing them to secure themselves without assistance from the bus operator. Together, BraunAbility and Q’STRAINT do business in more than 70 countries, primarily in North America and Europe. Oventus Medical reorganizes with new president/COO and CFO BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus Medical has appointed John Cox as its president and COO. Cox was previously president and CEO of Somnera, where he developed a cloud-connected alternative to CPAP therapy and built out direct-to-consumer, customer engagement and channel partner programs. Oventus has tasked him with adapting the company’s go-to-market model and its patient services infrastructure to meet customer needs in a rapidly accelerating environment of virtual and telehealth-based marketing, diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. “John is a fantastic addition to the team and brings value and leadership in our critical areas of execution, especially in acceleration of our go-to-market strategy,” said CEO Chris Hart. “He will also continue to strengthen our operations by increasing efficiency and capacity at all levels of the organization.” Oventus has also appointed Jim Hunter as CFO, replacing Dan Parry, who is moving on to another opportunity. Hunter has more than 30 years of experience. NCART: ‘The time has come’ WASHINGTON – NCART has updated www.protectmymobility.org to allow advocates to send a pre-written email to their members of Congress asking them to permanently exempt accessories for complex rehab manual wheelchairs from competitive bidding pricing. “As we have been sharing, June 30 marks the end of the 18-month suspension preventing Medicare from inappropriately applying competitive bid program rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories,” NCART stated in a bulletin. “The time has come for everyone in the CRT community to add their voices and request immediate action.” The email asks members of Congress to urge CMS leadership to take action before June 30 to stop the cuts and avoid the negative access consequences for people with disabilities who depend on complex rehab manual wheelchairs. Emmy award winner to kick off Heartland Conference WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM & Associates has announced Mark Scharenbroich as the keynote speaker for its 20th Heartland Conference, Sept. 13-15 in Waterloo, Iowa. “Mark is phenomenal at creating those authentic connections our members want with their customers and co-workers,” said Sarah Conger, vice president, corporate projects, VGM Group. “His messages are a great fit for our event, as connection is at the core of everything we do at Heartland.” Scharenbroich is best known for his award-winning book Nice Bike: Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life. He is also a National Speakers Association Hall of Fame inductee and an Emmy award winner. VGM members can register for Heartland with special early bird pricing until July 15.

Permobil, Pirates surprise fan with custom wheelchair

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:21
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Permobil Foundation, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Pirates, LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta, surprised a fan with a team-branded, custom power wheelchair at a home game on June 3. The reveal was part of the first-ever Lou Gehrig Day celebrations that Major League Baseball will hold each June in honor of Gehrig, who died of ALS. “We are honored to be part of the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day and to partner with MLB to raise awareness in the fight against ALS,” said Ashley Davis, executive director of the Permobil Foundation. “Our goal is to ensure that every person has the right to mobility and through impactful partnerships such as LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta we help fulfill those needs.” 

OneDrop surpasses 25 billion data points

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:19
NEW YORK – OneDrop, which provides solutions for people with chronic health conditions, has surpassed 25 billion biometric data points on its health platform. Those data points include glucose, A1C, blood pressure, weight, medications, food intake, physical activity, heart rate, other self-care data (e.g., sleep) and personal data (e.g., gender, year of diagnosis). "We can't keep throwing money at treating the symptoms of sickness and neglect the investment in prevention required to keep people healthy," said Jeff Dachis, One Drop CEO and founder. "Prevention is possible when we arm people with real-time information and empower them to make meaningful behavior changes that we know lead to sustained health and improved outcomes. One Drop uses artificial intelligence to forecast biomarkers (e.g., blood sugar and blood pressure) and offers real-time practical advice to change or reinforce behaviors. As our data wealth continues to grow in size and diversity, so will the strength of our predictive capabilities and the impact we drive on long-term outcomes and cost savings." One Drop uses its data to train the proprietary machine learning algorithms behind its CE-marked eight-hour glucose forecasts, predictive capabilities for people using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), CE-marked blood pressure insights, and long-term outcomes forecasts for diabetes-related biomarkers.

Event news: NCPA, ISS

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:18
Registration is now open for the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2021 Annual Convention, Oct. 9-12 in Charlotte, N.C. This year’s in-person event is a great opportunity to reconnect with neighborhood pharmacy colleagues and allies at the premier event for owners and their staff, says NCPA President Brian Caswell. “Though travel was curbed and meetings were held online, in many ways, independent pharmacy came together as never before to serve our communities, adapt to the many challenges thrown our way, and help lead the fight against COVID,” says Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs, Kan. “Our teams worked hard and demonstrated the value and the beauty of independent neighborhood pharmacy.” For more information or to register, go here…The International Seating Symposium, which takes place Oct. 28-30 in Pittsburgh, is looking to get at least 100 followers on its social media channels, including on Facebook, Instagram (iss.pitt) and LinkedIn. It will award three free conference passes to supporters once it gets to 100 followers on each channel. 

Stock watch: Apria, Option Care Health

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:16
Apria has announced a price to the public of $27 per share for a previously announced secondary offering of 4.5 million shares of common stock by a selling stockholder affiliated with Blackstone. The selling stockholder has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 675,000 additional shares of common stock. The offering is expected to close on June 14, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions…Option Care Health has announced that an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners has agreed to sell 15 million shares of the company’s common stock at a price to the public of $20 per share in an underwritten public offering, an increase from a previously announced 10 million shares. The selling stockholder has also granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 2.25 million additional shares of common stock. The offering is expected to close on June 10, 2021.

Survey: Americans mostly unaware of sleep apnea

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:14
DARIEN, Ill. – Nearly 70% of Americans who sleep with a bed partner report those partners snore while sleeping, according to a 2021 survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).  Snoring can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea and AASM is asking Americans to consider, “Is it more than a snore?” “While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously,” said Dr. Kannan Ramar, AASM president. “If your bed partner snores, or if you’ve been told that you snore, then it is important to talk to a medical provider about screening or testing for sleep apnea. Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea can improve overall health and quality of life.” Nearly 30 million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea, with about 23.5 million of those cases still undiagnosed, according to AASM. In the same survey, a quarter of Americans (26%) admitted they were not at all familiar with OSA, and nearly half (48%) acknowledged they do not know the symptoms of the disease. 

Abilities Expo returns with in-person events for 2021

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:46
LOS ANGELES – The Abilities Expo will return to live events this year, kicking off with the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumberg, Ill., June 25-27, 2021. The free events offer an exhibit hall and workshops that explore vital areas of lifestyle support like employment guidance, financial planning, home accessibility, traveling and therapeutic activities. “We offer something for everyone in our content schedules—from workshops on travel or cannabis to events encouraging everyone to dance, play sports or stretch out those tired muscles,” said Christine Selinger, director of education and events. “Our schedule for each show is packed with new information and things to try.” Other events are planned for Houston, Phoenix, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Soleo Health earns URAC accreditation

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:45
FRISCO, Texas – Soleo Health’s Phoenix location has earned Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation from URAC, the leading independent accrediting organization focused on supporting the quality of health care through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation standards and programs. With this URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation, Soleo Health Phoenix demonstrates the highest value and quality in delivering enhanced clinical services to patients, payers, manufacturers and providers. “We always strive to ensure the delivery of quality patient care, and the prominence of this URAC accreditation is further validation of our dedication to our patients and providers,” said Drew Walk, CEO. “It is a testament to the levels of care that our highly experienced interdisciplinary team of therapy care pharmacists, registered nurses and patient care specialists delivers as well as the stringent therapeutic protocols to which we adhere.”

New executive hires: Inogen, Permobil

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:43
Inogen has appointed Dr. Stanislav Glezer as executive vice president and chief medical officer. Glezer has more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and medical affair roles, most recently at Becton, Dickinson and Company as worldwide vice president of medical affairs for Diabetes Care.  “I look forward to contributing to the next phase of Inogen’s planned growth as we continue to seek ways to design patient centric outcomes studies to improve access to our best-in-class product offerings, enable prescribers to better serve their patients and enhance our market position and value for our stockholders,” said Glezer…Permobil has named Charlotta Nyberg as chief financial officer where she will play a pivotal role in driving sustainable long-term business growth and success through corporate development and profitability management. Nyberg has more than 20 years of experience in business finance, building new and emerging businesses and change management, most recently as vice president of corporate control at Swedish telecommunications multi-national Telia. "Her extensive experience will make an immediate impact as we navigate the current turbulent economic situation and continue to grow the business,” said Bengt Thorsson, CEO.

Hospice Source makes acquisition in California

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:41
DALLAS – Hospice Source has acquired Respiratory Therapy Home Care of Bellflower, Calif., further expanding its presence in the state.  "Hospice Source is committed to providing exceptional patient care to all its hospice partners,” said Jeff West, CEO. “The acquisition of RTHC allows us to extend that passion for service to a greater number of Southern California hospice patients and hospice partners.” Founded in 1997, Hospice Source offers full-service DME to hospice providers from 62 locations in more than a dozen states. RTHC President Tim Hansen will transition to the Hospice Source team. "In contemplating the sale of our business after nearly 25 years, it was critically important that we found a buyer who has the same focus on excellent patient care,” he said. “Jeff and his team at Hospice Source fit that description to a T. I'm thrilled to be staying on with the Hospice Source team, with the goal of expanding our reach in the Eastern United States and beyond." The latest acquisition is the company’s 14th in the past five years, including, in late 2020, the acquisition of Martinez, Calif.-based Superior Healthcare.

Marketing: Help them think of you

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 11:52
Q. How can I stay "in front" of customers while we are still social distancing? A. When you hear “stay in front of the customer,” you might first think of web and social media marketing tactics. True, these are important. You want customers to find you. But the best place to start is to leverage your expertise to “stay in front” of a patient’s pain points. In our last article, we discussed Harold, a new CPAP user, and suggested ways to build a relationship through tips and advice. Let’s take it a step further now.   When you set up a new patient, you know not only what questions and pain points they’ll likely have, but also when. After all, you field these questions daily. You know when they might experience dry mouth, nose irritation or general discomfort. You know when maintenance and re-supplies should take place.  Use that knowledge to develop an automated program.  If Harold, Taylor and Robin are new CPAP patients, what should they know in the first, third, even sixth month? Send a couple recommendations every other week (not everything in one communication). Balance is crucial and helps the advice feel more personalized. Because remember, while the message might be automated, it should still be personalized. Email is a fine place to start, but don’t neglect text messages and, especially, mailers. Research shows brand recall is 70% higher for direct mail vs. digital ads. The key is to establish yourself as a partner in the patient’s compliance. This keeps you “in front” of the customer, growing trust, loyalty and future purchases. But it also shows your value as a provider. Discuss your program with referral sources in your area. They’re looking for a partner in compliance, too. So, the next time they have a patient in need of DME, they’ll think of you.  Christina Throndson is business developer with Moxie & VGM OTS. Reach her atChristina.Throndson@ExperienceMoxie.com.

Telehealth: Look outside the box

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 11:47
Q. How can I grow my home ventilation program? A. In part 1 of this series, I talked about “raising some eyebrows in a good way.” The topic was remote PAP setups. Let’s continue with remote ventilator follow-ups. The RT labor shortage has hit HME companies particularly hard, so looking “outside the box” for solutions is certainly a good idea. Removing barriers to success is essential for providing telehealth in the home setting. This is important whether you are using your RT staff to perform the remote visits or seeking outside assistance. Telehealth can provide the HME company with the tools necessary to remotely provide ongoing follow-ups with non-invasive and invasive ventilator care. I suggest using a simple video chat solution that is HIPAA-compliant without having to download an app or having patient usernames, passwords etc. Speaking of video-chat, the ability to visualize the customer’s equipment and environment is beneficial when performing routine follow-up on the ventilation services you are providing. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes to mind. Assessing and troubleshooting is much easier when you don’t have to rely on verbal descriptions. Outsourcing a ventilation follow-up process allows for your protocols to be followed without having to worry about finding and hiring RTs. Let your staff take care of other business and allow for convenient virtual visits for routing follow-ups. Your customers and caregivers may find the remote visits less intrusive, simpler and easier to schedule. While the pandemic has given us a lot of problems, it has also provided opportunities.Growing your ventilation program fearlessly is now possible with tele-respiratory therapists and technology. Curt Merriman is chief sales officer for rtNow. Reach him at curt@rtNow.net.

Accreditation: Rely on AOs to guide you

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 11:42
Q. How do I prepare for my accreditation site survey? A. Once you’ve applied for DMEPOS accreditation, the next step is your site survey. This is how you demonstrate compliance with federal, state and local laws, and CMS regulations.  While the accreditation site survey process might seem intimidating, an accrediting organization (AO) that is invested in your success will guide you through with exceptional customer service. Here are some tips for how to prepare: Document your business practices. Related reviews during the survey include:• Analyzing your corporate structure.• Confirming your accounting practices and billing procedures.• Inspecting your employee files and training documentation.• Examining documentation regarding proper exchange of information with physicians, as well as proof of delivery to patients.• Reviewing your quality improvement plan.• Confirming compliance with patient information privacy and HIPAA protocols.Prepare your staff. Make certain your staff knows and understands your policies and procedures and can locate important documents.Prepare your documentation. Documents to have on-hand include:• Employee handbook• Policies and procedures• State licenses• Proof of liability insurance• Business license and permits• At least five patient files• Well-ordered employee filesRemain open and available during posted business hours. Your unannounced site survey will occur during posted business hours. A staff member with high-level accountability must be present and have authority to access everything requested by the surveyor.  In addition to following these suggestions, rely on your AO to guide you. Although timing varies among the AOs, some offer expedited surveys within as few as 30 days. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS approved AOs to conduct virtual surveys for businesses unable to allow in-person visitors. If you require this arrangement, ask your AO for more information. Matt Gruskin is the credentialing director for BOC. Reach him at matt.gruskin@bocusa.org.

Legal Update: Know your waivers

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 11:36
Q. What waivers related to the public health emergency do I need to keep track of? A. On April 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the public health emergency (PHE) for another 90 days, meaning the PHE will last until at least July 19, 2021. This PHE is expected to continue through at least the end of 2021. This is important news to HME providers since numerous waivers and flexibilities will continue to remain in place at a federal level during the duration of the PHE. A brief overview of relevant HHS waivers includes the following: • Expansion of permitted telehealth services, including all professionals eligible to bill Medicare are now permitted to provide telehealth services and receive payment for same.• Waiver of the in-person initial assessment requirements for home health agencies by permitting remote visits or record review.• Allowing DME MACs to waive replacement requirements for lost, destroyed or irreparably damaged DME.• Waiving licensure requirements for physicians providing Medicare services to out-of-state beneficiaries whether in-person or via telehealth.  (State law still applies.)• Relaxation of various HIPAA requirements and enforcement actions that may be brought during the PHE.Also relevant to HME providers is the NSC’s still-current waiver of DMEPOS supplier standards #9 and #30 related to maintenance of a primary business phone and hours of operation. The NSC has resumed normal site visits and enrollment criteria. Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic and the guidance coming from HHS, it is important to closely monitor HHS updates regarding emergency blanket waivers and the status of the PHE. The PHE can also affect certain state laws, such as the recently enacted law in Washington requiring insurers to pay providers a PPE-cost reimbursement for all in-person visits. Kelly T. Custer is a shareholder with the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato. Reach him at (806) 345-6343 or at kcuster@bf-law.com.

MACs restart reviews

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:18
WASHINGTON – The Medicare Administrative Contractors may now begin conducting post-payment medical reviews for dates of service later than March 2020, CMS has announced. In August 2020, the MACs resumed post-payment reviews of items and services with dates of service before March 2020. The Targeted Probe and Educate program, which involves intensive education to assess provider compliance through up to three rounds of review, will restart at a later date, CMS says. The MACs will continue to offer detailed review decisions and education, as appropriate, the agency says. 

Lifestyle Mobility Aids to transition to Rhythm Healthcare

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:16
ST. PETERSBURGH, Fla. – Lifestyle Mobility Aids is changing its name to Rhythm Healthcare to better reflect the clinically complex nature of its products. The new name is also a nod to the company’s relationship with customers, says Doug Francis, president and CEO. “The new company name is meant to point toward the operating rhythm that exists between our provider partners and us,” he said. “Because we don’t connect directly with the consumer, there’s a real need for us to be ‘in sync’ and aligned with our partners.” The company will use both Lifestyle Mobility Aids and Rhythm Healthcare at the upcoming Medtrade shows, but it plans to complete the transition to Rhythm Healthcare by the end of the year. Lifestyle Mobility Aids launched a portable oxygen concentrator in December and a 5-liter stationary oxygen concentrator in March, and plans to launch a range of aerosol devices later this year.  

Rehab Medical supports 3,000th ramp build

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:15
INDIANAPOLIS – Rehab Medical is supporting Servants at Work (SAWs) to raise awareness of the organization’s 3,000th wheelchair ramp build. SAWs, a faith-based nonprofit organization, has been building high-quality, removable and reusable wood ramps for those using wheelchairs, scooters or walkers since 2013. “SAWs is honored to partner with Rehab Medical for this milestone event since they’re one of the largest distributors for customer wheelchairs and our missions are so complimentary,” said Bob Richmond, executive director of SAWs. “We both want to improve the lives of people who need accessibility options to overcome physical disabilities and are freed from the confines of their homes with special chairs and ramps.” As part of their alliance, Rehab Medical is helping SAWs look for mobility users who live in central Indiana who would benefit from a ramp. Rehab Medical has also donated $3,000 toward the organization’s campaign to raise $30,000. “Rehab Medical has worked with SAWs in the past on a ramp build and it was a great experience,” said Kevin Gearheart, president of Rehab Medical. “Their ability to impact wheelchair users fits perfectly with our mission to Improve Lives.” To apply for the ramp build, go here. To donate, go here.