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CMS approves CGMs—what now?

HME News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:43
01/27/2017Theresa Flaherty

WASHINGTON – CMS’s recent decision to classify certain continuous glucose monitoring systems as DME is a positive step, but there are a few dominoes that need to fall before they are paid for, say stakeholders.

In a Jan. 12 ruling, CMS said that “therapeutic” CGMs would meet the definition of DME if, among other criteria, they are approved by the FDA for use in place of a blood glucose monitor for making diabetes treatment decisions.

“We’re waiting for directions from the DME MACs and CMS on the effective date and how we get the claims paid,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare.

In the ruling, CMS set a one-time fee of $236 to $277 for the CGM receiver, and a monthly allowable of $248.38 for for related accessories.

The question now is, how do providers bill Medicare for CGMs? Because existing HCPCS codes include all CGMs, Brummett thinks the Dexcom G5, the only CGM to currently meet CMS’s definition as “therapeutic,” would need to be billed with a miscellaneous code—like E1399—and would need to be documented somehow in the claim.

Even once all the details are worked out, providers say they will proceed with caution.

“This is a complicated issue that I have not had the time to evaluate fully yet,” said president of the Raleigh, N.C.-based Active Healthcare.“My major concern is that the cumulative revenue gained from handling CGMs may not be worth the potential audit risk.” 

All agree, however, that this is a step forward in diabetes treatment and, while the Dexcom is the only CGM to currently meet CMS’s definition, the ruling will likely open the door for other devices.

“I suspect that as other devices achieve the same label from the FDA, they would be able to qualify for the same benefit,” said Bennet Dunlap, a patient advocate and founder of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition.“I think it will be major step toward acceptance of the technology.”

Stakeholders await instructions on PA process

HME News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:39
01/27/2017Liz Beaulieu

WASHINGTON – The cancellation of a Jan. 26 Special Open Door Forum on the upcoming prior authorization process for two complex rehab codes means industry stakeholders will have to wait longer to get their concerns and questions addressed.

During the forum, CMS was to outline the process for submitting a PA request to the designated Medicare Administrative Contractor, the timeframes for the MAC to render their decisions and the process for subsequent claim submissions.

“It’s all unknown territory until CMS releases instructions,” said Martin Szmal, founder of The Mobility Consultants.

CMS in December announced K0856 and K0861 as the first two codes that will require PAs, as part of its goal of eventually requiring the process for a broader range of DME. The agency will implement PAs for the two codes in two phases: On March 20, it will apply the requirement to one state in each of the four DME MAC jurisdictions (Illinois, Missouri, New York and West Virginia); on July 17, it will expand the requirement to the remaining states.

CMS does have a PA process already up and running in 19 states as part of a demonstration project, mainly for standard power wheelchairs, though there are some Group 2 complex rehab codes included.

Chief among the concerns stakeholders have is the difference between the PA process and the advance determination of Medicare coverage process currently being used by many providers to help ensure payment for complex power wheelchairs. In the PA process, stakeholders suspect the clock will not stop on the 120 days that providers have to deliver products from the time of the face-to-face evaluation. In the ADMC process, providers have a six-month window to deliver equipment, which comes in handy when they need to re-submit claims or when they’re configuring wheelchairs with accessories from several manufacturers.

“Now, more than ever, the supplier’s documentation needs to be able to ‘pass’ the PA review on the first submission to ensure timely delivery of the equipment,” Szmal said.

The people reviewing claims as part of the PA process also have a different “skill set” than those reviewing claims as part of the ADMC process, stakeholders say.

“The ADMC reviewers have more in-depth clinical knowledge in regard to complex rehab,” said Sylvia Toscano, the owner of Professional Medical Administrators. “The PA process is a more simplistic approach.”

Stakeholders also pointed out that the ADMC process covers the base and accessories of a wheelchair, but it’s unclear whether or not the PA process will do the same.

“If they’re just approving the base and if the accessories are not medical necessary, then is the base not medically necessary?” Toscano said. “Are they going to expand the prior authorization to include all the codes that make up the chair?”

Additionally, stakeholders suspect that, like with the demo, CMS will automatically deduct 25% from reimbursement for claims submitted without prior authorizations.

“This is a step in the right direction, but providers need to be aware of these things that could—not go wrong—potentially be pitfalls,” Szmal said.

ResMed prepares to grow demand for travel CPAPs

HME News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:35
Company officials also address minimal growth in mask revenues01/27/2017Liz Beaulieu

SAN DIEGO – ResMed aims to blow up the market for travel CPAP devices with its soon-to-be launched AirMini, company officials said during a conference call Jan. 23 to discuss second quarter earnings.

When an analyst on the call asked how big the market is for travel CPAPs, CEO Mick Farrell acknowledged that it’s a “a very small niche,” but that HME providers and their customers are increasingly embracing cash sales, and that ResMed is ready to leverage that changing mindset.

“We think we will actually expand on what is currently a very small niche and create a sizeable segment of travel CPAP users that are willing to pay cash,” he said. “(We will) work with our homecare providers to access these products and really make it part of their care, so that you can have the same experience when you’re traveling around the country and around the world as you do at home.”

ResMed announced in early January that it had received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its AirMini, which it bills as “the world’s smallest continuous positive airway pressure device.” It plans to launch the device sometime before June 30.

Jim Hollingshead backed Farrell’s optimism on the AirMini, saying that there is “pent up demand” from HME providers and patients for a travel CPAP, despite other companies already in the market.

“There are solutions on the market, but they’re not up to snuff,” said Hollingshead, president of the Americas. “We believe ours is superior and that we’ll grow demand in that category.”

ResMed officials also addressed minimal growth in the quarter for masks and accessories—just 4%, compared to 13% for flow generators. They expect that number to improve in the third and fourth quarters, as the company makes inroads with its recently launched AirFit F20 full-face mask and N20 nasal mask, which feature an “InfinitySeal” technology that allows the masks to fit 97% to 99% of patients.

“It’s early days in the rollout,” Farrell said. “The U.S. team got (these products) the week of Thanksgiving, so they’ve really only had half a quarter (to show them to providers), with Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do expect as we look at Q3 and Q4 and start to ramp up production, there’ll be a slow steady gradual increase. These technologies have a lot of legs.”

ResMed officials said the reception in the market to the F20 and N20 has been so good that the company hasn’t been able to keep up with demand for some SKUs.

“What we’re finding with the new production technology that we’re using for this InfinitySeal is that, as we ramp up across the different stocking units, for some of those SKUs, we are not keeping up with very high demand,” Farrell said. “But as we look forward to Q3 and Q4, we will start to catch up and we expect by certainly the end of Q4 we’ll be well ahead of the demand for the product.”

NCART fights for separate billing

HME News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 10:18
01/27/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – NCART has formed a work group and developed an issue paper in response to CMS’s decision not to allow separate billing for titanium wheelchair frames and heavy duty upgrades.

The agency argues these features are included in the initial fee schedules developed for manual wheelchairs.

“This is the most recent example of policy changes and re-interpretations over the past few years implemented by CMS and its contractors that eliminate access,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “This policy announcement prevents Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities from obtaining complex rehab technology, even in they are willing to pay for the upgrades themselves.”

In its issue paper, NCART argues that CMS must rescind the announcement, and issue a policy clarification stating suppliers can use K0108 to bill for titanium for wheelchairs for K0005, and can use K0108 to bill for heavy duty upgrades for K0004, K0005 and E1161 manual wheelchairs.

NCART says it has reached out to CMS to express its concerns, and is pursuing “other channels in the congressional and advocacy arenas.”

Home infusion stakeholders press for fix

HME News - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 14:55
01/26/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – More than 170 home infusion stakeholders signed a letter asking lawmakers to fix the “damaging” reimbursement gap created by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The letter, which was spearheaded by the National Home Infusion Association, has the support of home infusion providers, patient advocacy groups and healthcare systems, including the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern.

“The home is a safe, cost-effective site of care for delivering high-quality infusion care and is considered the preferred site of care by physicians and patients alike,” said Tyler Wilson, president & CEO of the NHIA. “Heart failure patients and those living with primary immunodeficiency diseases are particularly impacted by the shift in drug reimbursement. Until the gap in reimbursement is fixed, these already fragile beneficiaries may be forced to undergo treatment in an institutional setting where they are at a higher risk of infection and their quality of life is diminished.”

A provision in the Cures Act modifies the payment structure for certain infusion drugs under the Part B benefit, drastically reducing their reimbursement. The modification, which went into effect Jan. 1, essentially means that payments now cover only drug costs, not clinical services. Another provision in the act provides payments for these clinical services, but not until 2021.

Earlier this week, Option Care and other leading home infusion providers and the NHIA launched Keep My Infusion Care at Home, a coalition to press lawmakers to address the payment gap.

Moneyline: PharMerica, FOSRx make buys

HME News - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 10:51
01/25/2017HME News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Amerita, the Specialty Infusion Division of PharMerica, has acquired Fairlawn, N.J.-based Nextron, a provider of certain specialty medications in the home. The move allows Amerita to further its expansion in the eastern United States.

“This expansion is consistent with our strategy to become a national home infusion provider,” said Greg Weishar, PharMerica's CEO, in a press release.

Paragon Ventures served as adviser to Nextron. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FOSRx closes deal

CUMBERLAND, Md. – Factor One Source Pharmacy has acquired Metairie, La.-based Fast Access Specialty Therapeutics. Together the two companies generated approximately $136 million dollars in revenue in 2016 and are projected to generate $156 million in revenue for 2017.

Sajal Roy, CEO of FOSRx, will become CEO of the combined companies.

FAST, which has 42 employees and annual revenue of nearly $100 million, will retain its brand but operate under the FOSRx umbrella.

Paragon Ventures served as adviser to Nextron. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ResMed, 3B Medical end ‘very long battle’

HME News - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 13:21
01/23/2017HME News Staff

SAN DIEGO and WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – ResMed and 3B Medical have agreed to settle years of litigation, the two companies announced Jan. 21.

Per the five-year settlement, 3B Medical and its parent company, Beijing-based BMC, will be permitted to sell their existing products in exchange for making royalty payments to ResMed.

For its part, ResMed will make a one-time payment to 3B Medical to close ongoing litigation between the two companies in Florida.

“This agreement brings a very long battle with ResMed to a final conclusion and allows all of our companies to focus on developing great products to service the needs of our patients,” said James Xu, general manager of BMC, in a press release.

Additionally, the settlement resolves all pending litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission, lawsuits pending in district court in Florida and California, foreign litigation in China and Germany, and validity challenges pending in various patent offices around the world.

ResMed says the settlement will allow the company to “avoid the distraction and ongoing expense of continued litigation.”

“We are pleased to bring our litigation with BMC and 3B to a resolution and to have our intellectual property and patents recognized through this settlement,” said David Pendarvis, global general counsel for ResMed, in the release. “This agreement allows us to continue the important work we are doing for the patients and providers who count on us.”

ResMed and BMC/3B Medical having been volleying legal charges back and forth for years. At the crux of the battle: ResMed’s patent on its CPAP humidifier, and whether or not it was valid and whether or not 3B Medical was violating it with its own humidifier.

Providers stay grounded in retail

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:26
See and feel matters, say majority of respondents to HME Newspoll01/20/2017Liz Beaulieu

YARMOUTH, Maine – The larger trends in retail may point to the cloud, but for HME providers, it’s still all about bricks and mortar, according to a recent HME Newspoll.

A large majority of respondents to the poll (71%) say they are focusing their retail efforts in-store, not online. That’s because, according to a large majority of respondents (78%), their customers prefer to buy HME in-store.

“Our elderly clients still want to touch the item before they buy it,” said Kevin Jones of Travis Medical in Oklahoma. “They are also scared of identity theft.”

Deb Swaim of Riverside Health Equipment in Illinois agrees.

“The demographics of the customers in our location prefer to see and feel the items vs. purchasing online,” she said.

Several respondents did make the distinction that a customer’s preference to buy in-store vs. online depends on the type of HME. And they say they’re upfront with their customers about that.

“Familiar items or items needing no customer service are sought online,” said one respondent. “We freely tell customers that if they don’t need the services that we layer on the product (billing, set up, adjustment, teaching, etc.), then by all means save some money by buying online. They appreciate the advice and come back when they do need a service-intensive product.”

Because a customer’s preference may depend on the product, several respondents emphasized the importance of having a presence both in-store and online.

“We use a combination,” said one respondent. “Some people want to come in and see the product and get educated on how to use it. Others have researched and know what they want—these people are more online-oriented. Also, having online retail increases our coverage area.”

The decision to buy in-store or online really comes down to whether or not a product needs service, respondents say. Some argue most HME—save supplies—does.

“Yes, plenty of people buy online but they are finding out that the retailers charge more to service products purchased online,” said one respondent. “Most DME needs servicing—that is the catch.”

Because HME providers have an increasing number of competitors from both an in-store and online perspective (think Walmart and Amazon, respectively), one of the keys to success is appropriate pricing, respondents say.

“We have been doing retail for about nine years,” said Bob Forbes of Advantage Home Oxygen in Pennsylvania. “We’ve always looked at Internet pricing and, more importantly, Walmart pricing, and set our prices accordingly.”

AASM adds video communication to HME toolbox

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:24
‘The opportunities are limited only to someone’s imagination, as to how they can run their business a little better’01/20/2017Theresa Flaherty

CHICAGO – Ensuring compliance with sleep therapy can be time consuming and expensive for HME providers and patients alike. A new telemedicine platform from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine aims to make things easier.

The group recently made AASM SleepTM, a proprietary web-based video platform, available to DME providers. It was already available to physicians and sleep labs.

“It occurred to us a fair number of the questions and concerns that come up could be addressed over a telemedicine platform,” said Jerry Barrett, executive director of AASM. “The patient’s ability to get to the DME company, the DME company’s need to hire RTs—these things can be handled (using telemedicine). It will help patients stay on their therapy and we will all see better adherence.”

The platform, which is available for a $250 setup fee and $500 annual fee, allows for appointment scheduling, file sharing and messaging.

If communicating with patients via the web seems daunting, think again.

“It was designed with ease of use in mind,” said Steve Van Hout, assistant executive director for AASM and the chief architect of AASM SleepTM. “There are no new programs that need to be learned—just go into your browser and log on.”

But it’s the platform’s video communication, specifically, that’s key to patient compliance, AASM says.

“One of the core issues is trying to explain a visual concept over the phone,” said Tom Duffy, director of telehealth operations. “If you are having an issue with your mask, you could spend several minutes trying to explain it (over the phone), whereas if you hopped on a video encounter, the DME could see what the issue is and rectify it very quickly.”

For DME providers seeking to balance high-touch services with an increasing need for efficiency, AASM SleepTM makes it easier to cut costs, even as they see more patients, AASM says.

“You can have an RT working out of their home on weekends or in the evenings when people are more available,” Barrett said. “The opportunities are limited only to someone’s imagination, as to how they can run their business a little better.”

While telemedicine is still in its early stages, AASM expects it to be a huge driver in reducing healthcare costs going forward, especially in rural areas where people don’t have easy access to care.

“The only way to effectively reach these areas is through technology used on the diagnostics side, as well as on the therapeutic side, to get people care that they just don’t have available to them right now,” Barrett said.

Stakeholders home in on Medicaid strategy

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:23
‘The states are going to get less money and the big question now is, how are they going to deal with that?’01/20/2017Liz Beaulieu

WASHINTON – A directive from Congress to tie Medicaid reimbursement to Medicare reimbursement will be a tough pill to swallow for not only HME providers but also states, industry stakeholders say.

A “pay for” in the 21st Century Cures Act stipulates that the federal government’s share of Medicaid reimbursement to states for DME be limited to Medicare payment rates, rates that have been decimated by subsequent rounds of competitive bidding.

“The states and the DME providers are in the same boat,” said Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare. “The states are going to get less money and the big question now is, how are they going to deal with that?”

The change in Medicaid reimbursement is slated for Jan. 1, 2018.

AAHomecare convened a sub-group of its Regulatory Council recently to strategize how to best handle the change in Medicaid reimbursement. What the 15 members came away realizing: There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

“Like a lot of laws, it gets passed and then everyone goes, ‘How does it actually get implemented’?” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. “What are the states actually required to do?”

It’s Brummett’s initial sense that the money the states get from the federal government for Medicaid isn’t tied to the Medicare fee schedule per se, but to a formula. So the big question isn’t, do they have to match the bid rates, but, how does that formula change, she says.

Members of the sub-group are in the throes of doing research on this and other details, so they can then approach state Medicaid programs with “really good information,” Brummett said.

“We want to be able to go to them and say, ‘This is a law, here is a legal opinion (on how to implement it),’” she said. “As opposed to them going, ‘We have to meet those competitive bidding fee schedules.’”
The earlier stakeholders start having conversations with state Medicaid programs, the better, Bachenheimer says.

“Getting in with state officials to talk through this is key, so that maybe we can figure out ways to make whole the payment amount in some way,” she said. “States don’t have a pot of gold to pour into it, so it’s not going to be easy.”

In brief: CMS greenlights CGMs for coverage, Bain Capital makes bolt-on acquisition in pediatric market

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:18
01/20/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS classified “therapeutic” continuous glucose monitoring systems as durable medical equipment in a Jan. 12 ruling.

CMS says CGMs are considered therapeutic and meet the definition of DME if:

·      They are approved by the FDA for use in place of a blood glucose monitor for making diabetes treatment decisions (for example, changes in diet and insulin dosage);

·      They are generally not useful to the individual in the absence of an illness or injury;

·      They are appropriate for use in the home; and

·      They include a durable component (a component that CMS determines can withstand repeated use and has an expected lifetime of at least three years) that is capable of displaying the trending of the continuous glucose measurements.

“In all other cases in which a CGM does not replace a blood glucose monitor for making diabetes treatment decisions, a CGM is not considered DME,” the agency states in the ruling.

CMS says it will pay a monthly fee schedule amount of $248.38 for CGMs in 2017, plus monthly fee schedule amounts for the replacement of the sensors, transmitters and all other accessories and supplies. It says the fee schedule amount will be increased in 2018 and subsequent years based on the covered item update factors.

The ruling is effective Jan. 12.

Bain Capital makes bolt-on acquisition in pediatric market

ATLANTA – Bain Capital Private Equity plans to buy PSA Healthcare, combining it with another recent purchase, Epic Health Services.

“The combination of these two companies promises to create a unique and highly differentiated pediatric care platform that offers the highest quality care and the best clinical outcomes for our patients,” stated Rod Windley, chairman of PSA. “Together, we have the opportunity to become the fastest growing and most efficient provider network of home care to medically fragile children in the United States.”

Per the agreement, the current equity holders of PSA Healthcare, including its senior management team and J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, its current majority owner, have agreed to roll over their current ownership interests into the newly formed affiliate.

The combined company will be led by Windley as executive chairman; current PSA CEO Tony Strange as CEO; and several members of Epic Health’s senior management team.

For Dallas-based Epic Health, the deal extends its geographic reach. PSA Healthcare, based here, has more than 75 locations in 16 states, including Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas and Louisiana.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Epic Health announced it would be acquired by Bain Capital in December.

Both the PSA Healthcare and Epic Health deals are expected to close in the first quarter of this year.

Gov’t sums up healthcare fraud and abuse control

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have released their “Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016.”

The DME-related items in the report include:

·      In March 2016, Respironics paid $34 million to resolve civil False Claims Act allegations for paying kickbacks to DME suppliers to induce those suppliers to buy the company’s masks that treat sleep apnea.

·      In April 2016, Hollister and Byram Healthcare Centers paid $20.8 million to resolve FCA allegations that Hollister paid unlawful kickbacks to Byram with the intent to induce Byram to conduct promotional campaigns designed to refer patients to Hollister’s products.

The report also highlights findings by HHS and the Office of Inspector General that certain DME is available to CMS at a cost well below what is available to state Medicaid agencies. In audits of four state Medicaid agencies, they found that the state could have saved $18.1 million on the purchase of certain DME items if they obtained pricing comparable to pricing under Round 1 of Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

Deadline to sign infusion letter looms

WASHINGTON – The National Home Infusion Association seeks signatures for a letter that urges Congress to align the effective dates of switching to an average sales price reimbursement model for Part B infusion drugs and initiating payments for infusion services.

In the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the association requests “quick action” to ensure beneficiaries have access to services, equipment and drugs.

“The disconnect between these two provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act creates a four-year gap that needs to be closed,” states the letter. “Due to the required shift in drug reimbursement…Medicare emergency department, hospital, and infusion costs may increase for this population of beneficiaries.”

The ASP language was built in to the Cures Act to help “pay for” key elements of the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act, which were also included in the bill.

Deadline for signatures is Jan. 24.

CMS details 2017 calculations for oxygen

WASHINGTON – CMS has made available its 2017 calculations for oxygen generating portable equipment, stationary oxygen contents and portable oxygen contents. Each year, the monthly fee schedule payment amounts for stationary oxygen equipment—HCPCS codes E0424, E0439, E1390 and E1391— are adjusted to make the additional payment classes for oxygen and oxygen equipment that were added in 2007 budget neutral. Separate payment classes were added in 2007 for portable concentrators, portable oxygen transfilling systems, stationary oxygen contents and portable oxygen contents. Medicare expenditures each year may not be more or less than they would have been if these separate payment classes had not been established. Therefore, the fee schedule amounts for stationary oxygen equipment are reduced by a certain percentage each year to balance the increase in payments made for the additional separate payment classes. CMS details these calculations in a new download on its website. Industry stakeholders have argued that the calculations apply a “double dip,” using this methodology and the competitive bidding rates to artificially lower payment amounts in rural areas.

HHS finalizes appeals rule

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services has published a final rule that addresses the massive appeals backlog. The proposed rule, published in July, established precedential authority to the fourth level of appeals and created attorney adjudicators at the third level of appeals. The final rule did not have major modifications. It will go into effect March 20.

CMS issues guidance for dual-eligibles

WASHINGTON – CMS has published guidance to help states ensure access to DMEPOS is available for dual-eligible beneficiaries. Those strategies are: recommend prior approval; ensure DME claims for dual-eligibles are assessed against Medicaid’s broader coverage criteria; and ensure Medicaid is only looking for Medicare prior authorizations on those items and in those states that Medicare requires it. The guidance also states that states should consider incorporating these requirements and strategies into contracts with Medicaid MCOs.

New data submission period opens for Audit Key

WASHINGTON – The HME Audit Key is now open for submitting data for the fourth quarter of 2016, according to AAHomecare. The association launched the HME Audit Key in 2014 to track audit activity and present findings to lawmakers. AAHomecare recently took steps to increase participation in the Audit Key, including partnering with Brightree to begin beta testing a report that would give providers many of the answers to the toughest questions in the survey.

Pride Mobility hits sales milestone with retail power chairs

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products says its provider customers have sold more than 1,000 units of each the Jazzy Air and Go-Chair retail power wheelchairs. “The Jazzy Air has already generated $4 million in sales and $1.6 million in provider profit in just 10 months,” stated Micah Swick, director of sales. “These checkbook-friendly products prove a huge revenue generator for providers and a testimony to the vast potential within the retail market.” Both the Jazzy Air and the Go-Chair were launched in 2016. Pride says it is supporting providers with a “big digital marketing push” for these products in 2017.

PSP Homecare taps into IPAs

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – PSP Homecare has obtained contracts with two Independent Practice Associations to provide products to their insured patients. IPAs are businesses organized and owned by a network of independent physicians for the purpose of reducing overhead and pursuing business ventures such as direct healthcare services contracts with employers. IPAs range in size from small three physician networks to larger organizations with hundreds of physicians. PSP Homecare believes it will obtain more contracts with IPAs as it ramps up its marketing strategy and expands into new regions. “We are only just beginning to realize the growth potential of our unique business model,” said Michelle Rico, CEO of Proto Script Pharmaceutical, which owns PSP Homecare. “With more than 600,000 IPAs and more than 4,000 other private insurers in the United States, the opportunity to expand our business on a national scale is truly enormous.”

Ottobock partners with TaiLor Made

AUSTIN, Texas, and ORLANDO, Fla. – Ottobock and TaiLor Made Prosthetics have reached an agreement for Ottobock to be the exclusive distributor of the TaiLor Made prosthetic foot globally, starting in the United States. “The TaiLor Made prosthetic foot is a great complement to Ottobock’s growing portfolio of prosthetic feet,” said Brad Ruhl, president of U.S. HealthCare for Ottobock. The TaiLor Made prosthetic foot is designed with toe and heel elements that move independently along with a shock absorbing mechanical spring pack. It has a unique Control Hub that houses vertical shock springs, allowing for easy in-clinic customization and optimization, according to a press release. TaiLor Made says Ottobock, with its proven track record of introducing “superior microprocessor and endoskeleton components,” is “the perfect company” to introduce the TaiLor Made prosthetic foot to the market.

New sleep apnea device hits U.S. market

BRISBANE, Australia – Oventus on Jan. 16 announced the U.S. launch of O2Vent, what it calls the first and only sleep disorder device cleared by the Food and Drug Administration that provides relief for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea via a unique, separate airway that avoids multiple sites of obstruction, including the nose, soft palate and the tongue. The device, which uses 3D printing technologies and is customized for each patient from medical-grade titanium, works by stabilizing the jaw position, bringing the tongue forward to reduce airway collapse, according to a press release. Oventus is launching the device first in San Francisco, as part of the G’Day Australia events being held there on Jan. 21.

Drive DeVilbiss bows out of Medtrade Spring

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:52
Company says it’s rethinking its marketing strategy01/20/2017Liz Beaulieu

LAS VEGAS – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has had one of the busiest and liveliest booths at Medtrade Springs past, but not this year.

The manufacturer has bowed out of the HME industry’s second largest trade show and educational conference, slated for Feb. 28 to March 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, HME News learned last week.

“The industry continues to change,” said Ed Link, chief marketing officer, in an email response. “It requires everyone to rethink their marketing strategy to develop the recipe for success. Our prime concern is to support our channel partners in the most beneficial way, which is changing from years past.”

It won’t be the first time a big manufacturer skips one or both of the Medtrade events. Invacare did not attend either Medtrade or Medtrade Spring in 2008, saying the two events “easily” cost them more than $1 million to attend. It has attended Medtrade since then, but with an admittedly smaller booth.

Permobil also stopped attending the two shows in 2008 and never returned.

At press time on Friday, the Medtrade Spring website listed 167 exhibitors for the upcoming event, including big names like Pride Mobility, Golden Technologies, ResMed and Philips Respironics.

“Fortunately, we have many major manufacturers signed up for Medtrade Spring, and they are enthusiastic about seeing HME providers in what we hope will be a year in which the entire industry, slowly but surely, starts to rebound,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director for Medtrade.

Gaffney credited Drive as a “longtime exhibitor” and pointed out that the company has signed up for Medtrade in the fall in Atlanta.

The news about Medtrade Spring follows a flurry of changes at Drive, most recently a new private equity owner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The company has also been busy making a number of acquisitions, most notably DeVilbiss Healthcare in 2015.

Gov’t sums up healthcare fraud and abuse control

HME News - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:49
01/20/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have released their “Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016.”

The DME-related items in the report include:

  • In March 2016, Respironics paid $34 million to resolve civil False Claims Act allegations for paying kickbacks to DME suppliers to induce those suppliers to buy the company’s masks that treat sleep apnea.
  • In April 2016, Hollister and Byram Healthcare Centers paid $20.8 million to resolve FCA allegations that Hollister paid unlawful kickbacks to Byram with the intent to induce Byram to conduct promotional campaigns designed to refer patients to Hollister’s products.

The report also highlights findings by HHS and the Office of Inspector General that certain DME is available to CMS at a cost well below what is available to state Medicaid agencies. In audits of four state Medicaid agencies, they found that the state could have saved $18.1 million on the purchase of certain DME items if they obtained pricing comparable to pricing under Round 1 of Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

Deadline to sign infusion letter looms

HME News - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 13:39
01/19/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The National Home Infusion Association seeks signatures for a letter that urges Congress to align the effective dates of switching to an average sales price reimbursement model for Part B infusion drugs.

In the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the association requests “quick action” to ensure beneficiaries have access to services, equipment and drugs.

“The disconnect between these two provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act creates a four-year gap that needs to be closed,” states the letter. “Due to the required shift in drug reimbursement…Medicare emergency department, hospital, and infusion costs may increase for this population of beneficiaries.”

The ASP language was built in to the Cures Act to help “pay for” key elements of the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act, which were also included in the bill.

Deadline for signatures is Jan. 24.

Bain Capital makes bolt-on acquisition in pediatric market

HME News - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 13:45
01/18/2017HME News Staff

ATLANTA – Bain Capital Private Equity plans to buy PSA Healthcare, combining it with another recent purchase, Epic Health Services.

“The combination of these two companies promises to create a unique and highly differentiated pediatric care platform that offers the highest quality care and the best clinical outcomes for our patients,” stated Rod Windley, chairman of PSA. “Together, we have the opportunity to become the fastest growing and most efficient provider network of home care to medically fragile children in the United States.”

Per the agreement, the current equity holders of PSA Healthcare, including its senior management team and J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, its current majority owner, have agreed to roll over their current ownership interests into the newly formed affiliate.

The combined company will be led by Windley as executive chairman; current PSA CEO Tony Strange as CEO; and several members of Epic Health’s senior management team.

For Dallas-based Epic Health, the deal extends its geographic reach. PSA Healthcare, based here, has more than 75 locations in 16 states, including Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas and Louisiana.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Epic Health announced it would be acquired by Bain Capital in December.

Both the PSA Healthcare and Epic Health deals are expected to close in the first quarter of this year.

CMS greenlights CGMs for coverage

HME News - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 14:29
01/17/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS classified “therapeutic” continuous glucose monitoring systems as durable medical equipment in a Jan. 12 ruling.

CMS says CGMs are considered therapeutic and meet the definition of DME if:

·      They are approved by the FDA for use in place of a blood glucose monitor for making diabetes treatment decisions (for example, changes in diet and insulin dosage);

·      They are generally not useful to the individual in the absence of an illness or injury;

·      They are appropriate for use in the home; and

·      They include a durable component (a component that CMS determines can withstand repeated use and has an expected lifetime of at least three years) that is capable of displaying the trending of the continuous glucose measurements.

“In all other cases in which a CGM does not replace a blood glucose monitor for making diabetes treatment decisions, a CGM is not considered DME,” the agency states in the ruling.

CMS says it will pay a monthly fee schedule amount of $248.38 for CGMs in 2017, plus monthly fee schedule amounts for the replacement of the sensors, transmitters and all other accessories and supplies. It says the fee schedule amount will be increased in 2018 and subsequent years based on the covered item update factors.

The ruling is effective Jan. 12.

Stakeholders streamline complex rehab fly-in

HME News - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:32
‘We feel that with the constraints we’re working under, a condensed version will be easier for folks,’ says Don Clayback01/13/2017Liz Beaulieu

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCART and NRRTS are shaking up their annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., to accommodate complex rehab providers who are strapped for time and cash.

The groups have slated the event for April 26-27—two days instead of the customary three days—at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

“We feel that with the constraints we’re working under, a condensed version will be easier for folks, and just as effective,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “We’ll offer the same, if not better, coverage.”

NCART and NRRTS are still working on the details of the event, but Clayback says April 26 will feature optional education in the morning and mandatory preparation for the following day’s Hill visits in the afternoon. Also slated for April 26 in the afternoon: an annual industry update from a panel of leading providers and manufacturers.

By the event in April, Clayback says NCART and NRRTS expect to have bills introduced to permanently delay CMS’s plan to apply competitive bidding-derived pricing to accessories for manual and power wheelchairs, and to create a separate benefit for complex rehab.

“We’re getting everything lined up,” he said in January. “We’re working with the same sponsors as last year on the mechanics of getting the bills introduced and we’re working on re-securing co-sponsors for them.”

Thanks to legislation passed in December, CMS’s plan to apply bid pricing to accessories has been delayed until June 30, giving stakeholders a small window to get a more permanent fix through Congress.

Last year, NCART and NRRTS hitched their event to the annual RESNA conference. Because this year’s RESNA conference will be June 26-30 at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, the groups decided to return to holding their own event, though Clayback says he will be attending and participating in the RESNA conference.

Also, that doesn’t mean the three groups won’t partner again in the future, Clayback says.

“Every year their event is in a different location, and every year we want to be in Washington, D.C., to carry on our message with Congress,” he said. “We’re still talking about potential plans for 2018.”
Attendees will be able to register for the fly-in through NCART or NRRTS soon.

 

 

Remedy for retail

HME News - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:29
Provider bets on wellness model01/13/2017Kelly Bothum

FLETCHER, N.C. – As many retailers push for a greater online presence to woo would-be customers, Remedy Health & Wellness is taking a different approach, putting the focus squarely on customers who walk through its doors.

The Fletcher, N.C., store is designed to help customer with just about any health or wellness issue, whether it’s a new mom looking for a breast pump or a weekend warrior hoping to stay active and reduce discomfort, said Marcus Suess, who co-owns the store with Jason De Los Santos.

“We’re focusing on the active community, from birth all the way to aging in place,” added Suess, CEO of All-States Medical Supply. “We have a comfortable environment where people can come in and talk about the things they need.”

Remedy Health & Wellness is stocked with traditional medical equipment like lift chairs, canes and walkers, but there’s also retail space for aromatherapy, support pillows, Vionic orthotic shoes and recovery socks for athletes. Employees are not only knowledgeable about the products they sell, but they can also educate customers about their particular health needs.

The result is an optimal shopping experience for consumers seeking “caretailing”—a hybrid blending traditional HME, retail and concern for the needs of caregivers. It’s a reflection of the needs of today’s shoppers who often want more than what is written on a doctor’s pad and are willing to pay the difference, said Maria Markusen, director of operations and development for VGM Retail, which worked with Suess on Remedy’s launch. 

“We’ve been focused on the sick for so long, but now with boomers, we have a market of consumers who are focused on the healthcare experience,” she said. “We may shop online, but if we go into the store we want the experience to be as useful as possible. We are willing to spend time and money if it’s valuable.”

Remedy is a retail venture, but it also operates a traditional pharmacy within the store that provides prescription medications and accepts insurance. Suess is confident the Remedy model will succeed because of its customer-centric approach.

“Our business plan calls for five stores in five years,” said Suess, who has operated a traditional mail-order supplies business since 2001. “As soon as this is looking strong, we plan to invest in the next one.” 

U.S. Rehab leverages outcomes tool to score big contract

HME News - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:28
01/13/2017Liz Beaulieu

WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab has secured a Humana contract for its members for complex rehab and mobility products and services at higher reimbursement rates.

The key: using the Functional Mobility Assessment outcomes tool, or FMA, to show that quality products and services are worth paying more for.

“We didn’t have a contract with Humana and now we have one,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group. “We were able to show them the level of quality of our independent providers and now those providers have access to that business. Those that were not in-network with Humana can become in-network.”

The contract, which carves out complex rehab and mobility products and services from other DME, goes into effect Jan. 1. VGM’s Homelink division will manage the contract, funneling business to participating U.S. Rehab members.

U.S. Rehab’s not ready to release specific data from the FMA, but Packer says it was able to use the outcomes tool to show Humana that “there are indications that a quality ATP and a quality CRT provider reduces wounds in the data set.”

“Overall, it also increases healthy days,” he said. “It has shown that if you catch possible negative effects quickly and you’re able to address them quickly, you can prevent them before there are dramatic readmissions.”

U.S. Rehab secured exclusive rights to the FMA, which measures patient satisfaction with assistive devices like walking aids, prosthetics and wheelchairs, in 2015. After piloting the tool with about 20 members that year, the group rolled it out to all members in 2016.

Packer calls leveraging the FMA to secure a big contract a “very high point in our performance here” at U.S. Rehab.

U.S. Rehab member Jerry Stalls, president and owner of Stalls Medical, a complex rehab provider based in Cary, N.C., agreed, adding that he hopes other payers take note.

“What Humana will see in the months and years to come is the predicted cost savings of supporting features on a chair that prevents more expensive procedures down the road,” he said. “They’ll see it was a good decision and a good investment.”

 

In brief: Mum’s still the word at CMS, Drive makes buy

HME News - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:24
01/13/2017HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders were still waiting for word from CMS at press time on Friday on how the agency plans to retroactively delay a second round of reimbursement cuts in non-competitive bidding areas.

The recently passed 21st Century Cures Act included a provision to retroactively delay the cuts from July 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017.

When CMS had to delay its plans to apply bid pricing to accessories for complex power wheelchairs at the last-minute per a bill signed into law on Dec. 28, the agency didn’t come out with guidance until the third week of January, points out Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare.

Stakeholders have argued that CMS should bear the responsibility of re-processing the claims over the six-month period.

Drive buys U.K. bed manufacturer

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has already kicked off 2017 with an acquisition.

The company announced Jan. 9 that it has acquired Sidhil Group, a U.K. manufacturer of hospital and long-term care beds, pressure prevention products and a range of aids to daily living for the homecare, acute care and long-term care markets in the U.K. and throughout Europe.

“This acquisition will expand Drive’s existing manufacturing capabilities in the U.K., while adding significant manufacturing expertise to our European platform,” said Harvey Diamond, CEO of Drive, in a press release.

Sidhil Group has been manufacturing healthcare products in the U.K. for more than 130 years, with a focus on research and development. It currently operates from a state-of-the-art, 105,000-square-foot facility in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and has a nationwide service center network.

For Sidhil Group, which had its start as a small, family-run business, the acquisition allows the company to bring its product line to “new markets the world over,” said Peter Siddall, chairman of the Sidhil Group, in the release.

Drive has already made a number of acquisitions in the bed market, most recently U.K.-based Park House Healthcare in 2015.

Terms of the deal with Sidhil Group were not disclosed.

Obamacare enrollments outpace last year

WASHINGTON – More than 11.5 million people nationwide were signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage as of Dec. 24, 2016, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

That’s an increase of 286,000 compared to the same period the previous year.

Additionally, more than 700,000 residents of New York and Minnesota also signed up through the Basic Health Programs offered by those states, bringing the total to 12.2 million enrolled.

More than 8.7 million people signed up for coverage through healthcare.gov for 2017. They included:

·      8 million female and 4 million males;

·      9 million white, 584,000 African-American, 882,000 Latinos and 573,000 Asian consumers; and

·      6 million rural Americans.

“Nationwide demand for health coverage is higher than ever, as Americans prove again that Marketplace coverage is vital to them and their families,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Work group expands focus on Medicaid issues

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare’s State Leaders Council has formed a work group to explore ways to address competitive bid pricing for Medicaid.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed in December, contained a provision that limits the federal portion of Medicaid reimbursement to Medicare’s bid pricing for DMEPOS starting in 2018.

The work group will assess what level of flexibility states have in setting Medicaid rates, and will develop approaches to educate state Medicaid directors about their options under the new law.


“We’re excited to expand the focus of AAHomecare’s partnership with our local HME associations to tackle increasing state issues facing our members as a result of the changes mandated in the Cures Act that affect Medicaid reimbursement,” said Kam Yuricich, who chairs the work group and the State Leaders Council, and is executive director of the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services and Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association.  

Arriva gets day in court

WALTHAM Mass. – CMS has agreed not to terminate Arriva Medical’s mail-order contract while the provider appeals to have its license reinstated.

An administrative law judge has required both parties to have initial briefings finished by Jan. 18. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 8 before the Federal District Judge, stated Alere, Arriva Medicals’s parent company, in a press release. CMS revoked Arriva Medical’s billing privileges in November for allegedly submitting 211 claims for deceased patients between April 15, 2011, and April 25, 2016.

Bill seeks payment for pharmacy services

WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have re-introduce a bill to help pharmacists provide healthcare services to Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas. The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, S.109, seeks to offer Medicare payment for services such as wellness screenings, immunizations and diabetes management. “Across the country and in Pennsylvania pharmacists play a critical role in helping seniors receive access to routine healthcare services like wellness checks,” said Sen. Casey in a release. “This legislation will aid those in rural communities who may not live in close proximity to the doctor but do have regular contact with their pharmacist. The National Community Pharmacists Association supports the bill. “Pharmacists are highly trained professionals and the most accessible health care providers for patients,” said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey.The bill has 27 original co-sponsors.

ResMed set to launch travel CPAP

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its AirMini, a device that the company says is “the world’s smallest continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.” ResMed expects to launch the AirMini later this year. It is designed as a secondary CPAP, making it easier for users to continue their sleep therapy while traveling. “ResMed AirMini is the portable travel CPAP patients and home medical equipment providers have been waiting for, and we look forward to bringing it to market later this year,” said ResMed CEO Mick Farrell in a press release. “It fits easily in carry-on luggage—even in the seatback pocket on the plane.” Human Design Capital, which is owned by private investment firm PBM Capital, launched a portable CPAP device called the Z1 in 2013. It is sold direct to consumers.

AASM launches platform for HME

DARIEN, Ill. – AASM SleepTM, a telemedicine platform for board-certified sleep physicians and accredited sleep centers from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is now available for the HME industry. AASM SleepTM offers a secure web-based video platform to facilitate live consultations and follow-up visits between DME providers and patients, including equipment set-up and troubleshooting potential problems. “Telemedicine is changing the health care landscape by increasing connectivity between patients and health care providers, and now that convenience is available to DME providers and their at-home patients,” said Jerry Barrett, AASM executive director.

Senators take NTSB to task

WASHINGTON – Five U.S. senators have asked the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct a review of the implementation of sleep apnea testing for engineers for all passenger railroads. In a letter to NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart, Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut note that operator fatigue and sleep apnea have been cited in recent train crashes, including a fatal crash in Hoboken, N.J., last September, and is being looked at in conjunction with a recent crash in Brooklyn. "What's even more concerning than the slow progress railroads are making is an apparent growing trend of railroads pledging to implement sleep apnea testing and inward cameras only after a derailment has occurred on their system," the senators wrote in the letter.

Inogen expects to recoup $2M

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen expects to recoup up to $2 million in rental revenues for the fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of a provision in the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act. The provision requires CMS to retroactively delay a second round of reimbursement cuts in non-competitive bidding areas from June 30, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016. The company based its estimate on preliminary, unaudited financial data, it said in a press release. “We are pleased that the Cures Act reverses some reimbursement cuts in 2016 and are encouraged that it calls for a study of the impact of the competitive bidding pricing on rural areas,” said CEO Raymond Huggenberger in the release. The cuts went back into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Aeroflow launches petition to protect breastfeeding support

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has created a petition to keep breastfeeding support as a women’s preventative care guideline available through the Affordable Care Act. Currently, pregnant and new mothers are covered for services like breastfeeding support, but these services are “on the chopping block,” the company states in a press release, under a new administration and a new Congress. “Replacement insurance plans may still include preventative care in bits and pieces, but the most vulnerable populations—young mothers and the children they support—will likely be the hardest hit by elimination of these guidelines,” the release states. Aeroflow’s Mom & Baby division provides lactation support, breast pumps and pumping supplies.

PSP Homecare sees sales increase

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Proto Script Pharmaceutical, doing business as PSP Homecare, has increased its sales by nearly 75% over the past year, the company announced Jan. 11. The provider has competitive bid contracts for standard mobility equipment and general home medical equipment. "I am pleased to report that during the three months ended Sept. 30, 2016, we were successful at increasing our topline sales by almost 75% over the previous year and actually turned a very small profit," said Michelle Rico, CEO and president. "As positive as this sales increase has been, we are very confident that this is only the beginning of our growth strategy taking hold and that there is much more to come."

Save the date: Essentially Women sets fall conference

WATERLOO, Iowa – Essentially Women has scheduled its annual education conference and trade show for Sept. 16-18 in Minneapolis. “We’re excited to bring our members and vendors to the Midwest next fall,” said Christa Miehe, president, in a press release. “Minneapolis was chosen as our destination for 2017 because it’s an equitably accessible location in the center of the country.” The three-day “Focus” conference will provide members with continuing education and training, resources to improve operational efficiencies, and networking opportunities. Registration will open in March. The VGM Group bought EW, a member services organization with more than 600 members in 1,000 locations, in late 2015. It has moved the annual conference from the spring to the fall.

BOC elects new members

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The BOC board has elected its 2017 executive committee. Bradley Watson, president of Clarksville Limb + Brace + Rehab in Bowling Green, Ky., chairman; Rod Borkowski, president of Health Essentials in Calif., vice-chairman; Wayne Rosen, owner of W.R. Rosen, Inc., in South Florida, secretary; Shane Ryley, area clinic manager at Hanger Orthopedic Group in Torrance, Calif., treasurer; and Jeffrey Hedges, president of R.J. Hedges & Associates in New Florence, Pa., member-at-large. James Hewlett continues to serve as immediate past chairman. The board also named Von Homer and John Owen to the board.

Carex light therapy lamp shines bright

QUINCY, Mass. – Carex Health Brands’ Day-Light Classic Plus, was recognized by The Sweethome as the “best light therapy lamp,” the manufacturer announced in a recent press release. "At Carex Health Brands, we strive to deliver quality, innovative and affordable products that will help consumers live their best lives,” said Jeff Swain, vice president of marketing, retail, for Compass Health Brands. “We are absolutely thrilled that our Day-Light Classic Plus bright light therapy lamp has been recognized for just that.” The Day-Light Classic Plus can help consumers experience relief from seasonal affective disorder in 20- to 30-minute treatment sessions. The Sweethome, part of The New York Times Company, examined about 40 lamps.

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