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  • 07/21/15--09:40: NSM taps new CEO
  • 07/21/2015
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has named William Mixon as its new CEO, the provider announced July 20. Mixon joined the company as president in July 2014.“NSM’s exceptional performance during the past twelve months is clear evidence that Bill Mixon is a perfect fit to lead this company forward,” said company founder Mike Ballard, in a press release. Mixon has 25 years of healthcare and professional services experience, including 11 years at Philips Medical Systems.


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    08/04/2015
    HME News Staff

    Nashville-based National Seating & Mobility has appointed Steve Penny as CIO. Penny comes to NSM from Nashville-based Ardent Health Services, where he served as chief technology officer. The appointment allows Bill Noelting, who has held the dual positions of CIO and vice president of marketing, to focus solely on marketing. Penny will focus on IT infrastructure services and architecture, including operations and security, network management and voice communications…Handicare US has named Tom Rolick, formerly of Permobil, as CEO. During his more than 20 years at Permobil, Rolick built one of the industry’s most respected and successful sales teams, according to a press release. Hans Sigvardsson will remain with Handicare and will focus on key accounts.


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    11/06/2015
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – Orthotics and vents are among the HME that the Office of Inspector General plans to focus on in fiscal year 2016, according to a work plan published last week.

    The OIG plans to determine the reasonableness of Medicare fee schedule amounts for orthotic braces. The agency will compare Medicare payments made for braces to amounts paid by non-Medicare payers to identify potentially wasteful spending. It will also estimate the financial impact on Medicare and on beneficiaries of aligning the fee schedule for braces with those of non-Medicare payers.

    Also for orthotics, the OIG plans to review Medicare Part B payments for braces to determine whether the claims of DME providers were medical necessary and were supported in accordance with Medicare requirements. Prior work by the OIG has indicated that some providers were billing for services that were medical unnecessary or were not documented in accordance with Medicare requirements.

    The OIG also plans to describe billing trends for vents, RAD and CPAP devices from 2011-14, as well as examine factors associated with the increase in vent claims. From 2013-14, there has been a 127% increase in allowed amounts for E0464, and during that same period, the number of beneficiaries receiving the devices increased from 8,633 to19,085. The OIG says providers may be inappropriately billing for vents for beneficiaries with non-life threatening conditions, which would not meet the medical necessity criteria for vents and might instead be more appropriately billed to codes for RADs or CPAPs.

    In addition to orthotic braces and vents, the OIG plans to examine provider compliance with payment requirements for power mobility devices, and nebulizer machines and related drugs.

    The agency also plans to examine the effectiveness of system edits to prevent inappropriate payments for blood glucose test strips and lancets to multiple providers, and access to DME in competitive bidding areas.

    Rep. Tipton throws support behind rural providers

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., is collecting signatures for a “Dear Colleague” letter that asks for legislative relief from impending Medicare cuts for HME providers in rural areas, VGM announced yesterday.

    On Jan. 1, CMS plans to apply bid pricing in non-bid areas. Though pricing will be slightly higher in rural areas, the agency intends to use regional prices limited by a national ceiling (110% of the average of regional prices) and floor (90% of the average of regional prices).

    “There are already larger barriers to access for home health services in rural parts of the country, and decreasing compensation for the services required to deliver equipment to this area reduces the likelihood that providers will continue to operate there,” wrote Tipton.

    Tipton noted that the 10% adjustment to reimbursement in rural areas will not cover the cost of services provided and questions whether CMS’s phase-in timeline is realistic. He also highlighted concerns about the potential impact the cuts will have on beneficiary access.

    VGM encourages stakeholders to contact their representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter by Nov. 16before it makes its way to leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee.

    Max Mobility gets smarter

    ANTIOCH, Tenn. – Max Mobility has created a new position, SmartDrive Educator, and has named Devon Doebele, the Florida territory manager for MSL Associates, to fill it. He will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and education of the company’s SmartDrive wheelchair power assist technology, working with manufacturers like Easystand, Ki Mobility, Roho and TiLite. Doebele will be a member of the company’s executive team and report to President Mark Richter.

    Mediware stands by existing platforms

    LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware will not “sunset” any of its existing platforms in the near future, it told its providers customers in an email blast last week. “We are allowing customers to plan and prepare for any future migration, which we anticipate will occur over several years,” the company stated. “In the meantime, we continue to invest in and update our established products with regulatory revisions, defect changes and enhancements, as required.” In the past few years, Mediware has acquired a number of platforms from different software vendors, including Definitive Homecare Solutions, Fastrack and CareCentric.

    Former Numotion execs launch company

    HARTFORD, Conn. – Well-known industry execs Paul Bergantino and Tim Burfield have launched Lifeway Mobility, which will provide home accessibility equipment like ramps, lifts and bath safety solutions. Bergantino, president of Lifeway, has held several high-profile positions, most recently CEO of Numotion. He also spent five years as CEO of ATG Rehab; Numotion was formed when ATG Rehab and United Seating & Mobility merged in 2013. Burfield, chairman of Lifeway, has worked side by side with Bergantino, holding the CEO post at ATG Rehab prior to Bergantino, and serving as a director at Numotion. "Paul and I look forward to building another company that will enhance the wellbeing of those who face extraordinary challenges every day from the effects of accidents, illnesses and aging," Burfield stated in a press release.

    NSM makes second buy of year

    NASHVILLE - National Seating & Mobility has acquired Garden City, N.Y.-based Home Medical Equipment, the provider announced this week. HME provides seating and mobility systems and home accessibility equipment to all five New York City boroughs. “As we continue to grow our footprint in the Northeast, we’re pleased to add the expertise and dedication of all the HME staff members,” said Bill Mixon, president and CEO of NSM. “Bill (Tobia) and his team have created a great company that we are proud to bring into the NSM family.” Prior to HME, NSM’s most recent acquisition was Denver-based USA Mobility in June.

    BioScrip shows progress

    ELMSFORD, N.Y. – BioScrip today reported third quarter revenues from continuing operations of $247.3 million, a 6.8% increase over the same period last year. Gross profit was $63.1 million, a 3.9% increase, and net loss was $24.2 million, the company reported. BioScrip announced last quarter that it was refocusing on its core infusion business. It sold its non-core pharmacy benefit management business for $25 million, and reduced its workforce by 12%.

    Medtrade exhibitors snag product, booth awards

    ATLANTA – Before Medtrade closed on Thursday afternoon, show organizers bestowed awards on several exhibitors for their products and booths. The Providers Choice Gold Award went to Urifunnel, a product that enhances bathroom sanitation and safety; The Providers Choice Silver Award to EZ-Sit, a product that attaches “arms” to an armless chair, helping the user to stand independently; and the Providers Choice Bronze Award to College Canes, canes decorated with college logos. The Best Booth Award went to Mediware, and the Creative Concept Booth Award went to McKesson Medical-Surgical.

    Renfro launches wholesale website for hosiery

    MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – Renfro in October launched an online store (www.medicalprosocks.com) to provide licensed medical professionals and businesses the opportunity to order hosiery for a variety of medical conditions. While product information on the website is viewable by anyone, medical professionals must request an account to access wholesale pricing and place an order. Once the account is approved, professionals can log in anytime to place orders using a credit card. Orders ship between two to three business days. “The new website gives medical offices, pharmacies and medical supply retailers a quick and easy way to order new or replenishment stock of all our medical hosiery,” said Brad Ballentine, senior vice president. “They can order 24/7 from any device, including desktop and mobile device.” All hosiery is produced under the Dr. Scholl’s or Copper Sole brands.

    Sigvaris marks start of expansion

    PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – Sigvaris held a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 2, kicking off its plans to build a 40,000-square-foot facility with office, manufacturing and warehouse space. The new North American headquarters will allow Sigvaris to move manufacturing, warehouse and customer care all under one roof. Currently, the company occupies two locations. Sigvaris expects the expansion to provide growth opportunities for 10 years and create more than 70 new jobs.

    Short takes: Medtrade, ING Source, Laboratory Tactical, TiLite, BOC

    Attendance for Medtrade, held Oct. 26-29 in Atlanta,was up overall. Registration for educational sessions was up 17%, while non-exhibitor attendance was up 1% compared to last year...ING Source’spending patent application for the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve has been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We can now aggressively protect the invention and market creation for which we are so proud, but more importantly, protect the consumers from ineffective look-a-likes and imitators," said CEO Dave Higgins, in a press release…Laboratory Tactical Consultinghas named Bryan Hines COO. Hines previously lead Genpact’s venture into health care and will be responsible for development and operational excellence across the company…More than 50 TiLite employees participatedin the Trios Health Tri-Cities Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 26. Employees worked in teams of four, with each person rolling about 6.5 miles…Claudia Zacharias, president and CEO of the Board of Certification/Accreditation, recently took over as chairwoman of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) board of directors. ICE is a professional membership association that advances credentialing through education, standards, research and advocacy.


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    AccessNSM builds on Hudson’s experience
    11/20/2015
    Tracy Orzel

    Editor’s note: Last week, we ran a story about former Numotion exec Paul Bergantino getting into this market. This week, it’s National Seating & Mobility. Check back in next week for a look at what it means when complex rehab’s biggest names get into a market full force.

    POMFRET CENTER, Conn. – National Seating & Mobility is now among the players looking to get a piece of the home accessibility pie.

    In October it launched AccessNSM, which offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers through seven locations stretching from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

    “When NSM acquired HudsonSeating & Mobility (in 2014),Hudson was in the accessibility products and services business,” said Mark McLean, communications director at NSM. “NSM had also acquired two other businesses in that same business. So the general idea was to take those businesses—which were successful on their own—and present them as a single brand.”

    AccessNSM has used Hudson’s as the foundation for that brand and has added some updates and modifications, including the ability to shop from home.

    “Potential end-users who need assistance going upstairs or downstairs in their homes may not be too mobile, and so they can look at what products are available online and compare them without getting in their car or needing someone to drive them (to a store),” said McLean.

    Although the home accessibility market is booming, Jack Hogan, manager of home accessibility at AccessNSM, says it’s not a segment providers should take on lightly.

    “Most states have licensing requirements, and if you don’t have a license you have to do an apprenticeship program and that can last up to four years,” said Hogan, who worked at Hudson Accessibility Solutions for more than a decade before NSM purchased the company. “I think people see this business as a golden goose, but we’ve been at it for decades.”


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    ‘The market is only tapping—at most—15% of its potential’
    11/25/2015
    Tracy Orzel

    Editor’s note: Previously, we ran stories about former Numotion exec Paul Bergantino and National Seating & Mobility getting into this market. This week, we look at what it means when complex rehab’s biggest names get into a market full force.

    YARMOUTH, Maine – Even with two of complex rehab’s biggest names entering the home accessibility market, HME consultant Bill Stelzer says there’s more than enough business for everyone.

    In October, National Seating & Mobility launched AccessNSM in Pomfret Center, Conn., which has seven locations stretching from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and former Numotion CEO Paul Bergantino recently launched Lifeway Mobility in Windsor Locks, Conn.

    “I think the market is underserved,” said Stelzer, HME consultant to Accessible Home Improvement of America, a division of The VGM Group. “If I had to make an estimate I would say that the market is only tapping—at most—15% of its potential.”

    If anything, Stelzer says smaller companies will only benefit from the new entrants to the market—particularly when it comes to advertising.

    “I think nationals tend to advertise or promote more, which is going to create an awareness of this industry,” he said.

    As the former general manager of Green Bay Home Medical Equipment,Stelzer would know. When Green Bay first entered the home modifications segment more than 15 years ago, Ed McMahon was promoting walk-in tubs for Premier Bathrooms on TV.

    “People would come into our store and say, ‘There’s the tub that Ed McMahon advertises for you,’ and it wasn’t ours, it was Premier’s, which was a national company,” he said.

    Like Stelzer, Lloyd McIvor, home environmental access consultant at Handi Home Living Solutions in St. Paul, Minn., sees the addition of AccessNSM and Lifeway Mobility to the home accessibility market as a good thing.

    “I think more competition in this field only brings about better results for customers,” he said.

     


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    05/19/2016
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wellspring Capital Management is shopping for a buyer for National Seating & Mobility, according to news reports.

    The private equity firm has hired Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm offering M&A services, to find a buyer for the complex rehab provider, which it says could be worth $400 million, according to an item on Fortune.com citing The Wall Street Journal.

    Wellspring Capital acquired NSM in early 2013. At the time, the provider had 68 branches located across 30 states.

    Since then, NSM has rolled up dozens of mobility providers, including, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in Reading and Allentown, Pa., in February, and Home Medical Equipment in Garden City, N.Y., last November.

    NSM has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October. AccessNSM offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers through seven locations from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

    Bill Mixon took over the reins as CEO of NSM from founder Mike Ballard in July 2015.


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    05/20/2016
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wellspring Capital Management is shopping for a buyer for National Seating & Mobility, according to news reports last week.

    The private equity firm has hired Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm offering M&A services, to find a buyer for the complex rehab provider, which it says could be worth $400 million, according to an item on Fortune.com citing The Wall Street Journal.

    Wellspring Capital acquired NSM in early 2013. At the time, the provider had 68 branches located across 30 states.

    Since then, NSM has rolled up dozens of mobility providers, including, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in Reading and Allentown, Pa., in February, and Home Medical Equipment in Garden City, N.Y., last November.

    NSM has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October. AccessNSM offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers through seven locations from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

    Bill Mixon took over the reins as CEO of NSM from founder Mike Ballard in July 2015.

    Home Health United closes four retail stores

    MADISON, Wis. – Home Health United-Home Medical Equipment blames recent changes in Medicare reimbursement rates for its decision to close retail stores in Johnson Creek, Platteville, Portage and St. Mary’s Hospital. The provider will continue to provide these communities with HME, as well as home health, hospice and palliative care, but it will no longer have retail storefronts as of May 20. “Suppliers of home medical equipment across the country are dealing with the challenge of how to provide high quality products and services at severely reduced reimbursement rates,” the company says on its website. “These reductions have necessitated many changes in the way in which Home Health United provides equipment to patients and referral sources. Unfortunately, to manage these cuts, we have been forced to make some difficult decisions.” The company still has retail locations in Baraboo, Janesville, Madison West, Prairie du Sac and Reedsburg.

    Caire launches program to help with cash flow

    BALL GROUND, Ga. – Caire, a Chart Industries company, has launched a new program to help HME providers in today’s challenging reimbursement environment. As part of the Caire Cash Flow Management Program, providers can purchase a complete oxygen setup for $54 per month for 36 months with free shipping. “We understand the challenges that the industry faces and we have created a program that helps our provider partners address some of the challenges stemming from national competitive bidding,” said George Coppola, director of marketing at Caire. The package includes the AirSep, FreeStyle and Caire Companion 5 oxygen concentrators, all with a three-year warranty. A FreeStyle and Companion bundle gives providers a complete setup for a monthly cost well below the declining reimbursement rates for E1390 and E1392, Coppola says. “Providers can switch to a non-delivery modality to eliminate expensive cylinder deliveries, or upgrade their existing non-delivery fleet with new inventory,” he said.

    VGM broadens financing options

    WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM and Associates and Whitebridge Financial have forged a partnership to provide VGM members with better access to financing options. Per the partnership, Whitebridge will offer VGM’s more than 3,000 members nationwide a variety of flexible financing options to meet their diverse needs, with the goal of becoming their “one-stop shop.” “We are constantly looking for better ways to help our members provide easier access to the products their customers need to improve their quality of life,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM and Associates. Whitebridge Financial, in business since 2010, approves a wider range of credit profiles by going “deeper into the credit spectrum,” generating higher acceptance rates, according to a press release. Its customers do business in a variety of markets, including health care, outdoor living, vacation and bedding.

    GF hits refresh on Basic American

    ATLANTA – GF Health Products has launched a new brand identity for its Basic American Products. The rebrand includes a new logo, and updated marketing materials and educational resources. “The new brand identity reflects our commitment to ongoing innovation, and re-stamps the hallmark of our legacy in quality and leadership in the extended care industry,” said David Walton, senior vice president. Basic American products are manufactured in U.S.-based manufacturing plants. The company also has a 10,000-square-foot showroom and educational center in Atlanta.

    Study: Not all oximeters are equal

    MINNEAPOLIS – Nonin Medical this week announced the results of an independent study that demonstrates its PureSAT pulse ox technology captures and reports deteriorating patient conditions better than other brands. Boulder, Colo.-based Clinimark Laboratories tested three oximeters: one from Nonin and two from other, large manufacturers. Two of them did not provide the clinical accuracy required to track desaturations in patients with low blood circulation and labored breathing, according to a press release. “Over the years, a number of inexpensive, imported FDA-cleared oximeters have flooded the market, all claiming to be accurate,” said Jim Russell, vice president of quaIity, regulatory and clinical affairs for Nonin Medical. “This study dispels the myth that all pulse oximeters perform alike, especially on challenging patients such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings were published in a white paper at the American Thoracic Society and American Telemedicine Conferences this week.

    Short takes: Hollister, NCAMES

    Hollisterhas hired medical device veteran Carolin Archibald as vice president, U.S. and Canada, to lead the company’s ostomy, continence care and critical care businesses. In this newly created position, Archibald will also oversee the company’s Secure Start services and key accounts organizations in the U.S. and Canada. She was most recently president of Medela in the U.S., where she led more than 700 employees in sales, marketing, business development, R&D, operations, quality management, regulatory affairs, finance, IT and HR…NCAMES has launched a new website. It’s the same URL, www.ncames.org, with a new look. The website is powered by ARI Network Services, a gold sponsor of the association for 2016.


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  • 05/24/16--07:53: NSM buys Wolf Medical
  • 05/24/2016
    HME News Staff

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility, which has been put up for sale by its private equity firm owner, has acquired Wolf Medical, a Rome, Ga.-based provider of complex rehab and customized mobility products. Wolf Medical’s six-person staff, including owner and ATP Gary Quellet, will join NSM. “It has gotten harder and harder over the years for us to help people and to get their feedback,” he said in a press release. “Being part of NSM will give all of us the support and resources we need to get into the community and do what we do best.” Also on staff: another experienced ATP, two service technicians, a processor and a customer service representative. With Wolf Medical’s presence in North Georgia, NSM will be able to further grow its presence in the mid-South, according to the release. It will continue to operate out of Wolf Medical’s location.


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  • 08/10/16--09:04: NSM swaps PE owners
  • 08/10/2016
    HME News Staff

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Court Square Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

    Court Square Capital Partners will buy NSM from Wellspring Capital Management, also a New York-based private equity firm, which bought the company in December 2012.

    “This is an exciting time for NSM and we’re very pleased that Court Square is investing in our company,” said CEO Bill Mixon in a press release. “Court Square has a track record of growing businesses and is eager to help NSM strengthen its commitment to the lives of people who need mobility.”

    Court Square Capital Partners has made more than 200 investments since 1979.

    Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next 60 days, were not disclosed, but NSM is rumored to be worth $400 million.

    Under Wellspring’s ownership, NSM has rolled up dozens of providers, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in February. It has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October 2015.

    NSM is one of two national providers left in the complex rehab market. The other, Numotion, was formed in 2013 when ATG Rehab and United Seating & Mobility joined forces.


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    08/12/2016
    HME News Staff

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Court Square Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

    Court Square Capital Partners will buy NSM from Wellspring Capital Management, also a New York-based private equity firm, which bought the company in December 2012.

    “This is an exciting time for NSM and we’re very pleased that Court Square is investing in our company,” said CEO Bill Mixon in a press release. “Court Square has a track record of growing businesses and is eager to help NSM strengthen its commitment to the lives of people who need mobility.”

    Court Square Capital Partners has made more than 200 investments since 1979.

    Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next 60 days, were not disclosed, but NSM is rumored to be worth $400 million.

    Under Wellspring’s ownership, NSM has rolled up dozens of providers, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in February. It has also thrown its hat into the home accessibility market, launching AccessNSM in October 2015.

    NSM is one of two national providers left in the complex rehab market. The other, Numotion, was formed in 2013 when ATG Rehab and United Seating & Mobility joined forces.

    Firm close to buying Drive, sources say

    PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is in talks to buy Drive DeVilbiss for about $750 million, according to Reuters. CD&R, whose previous investments have included AssuraMed, which it sold to Cardinal Health for $2.1 billion in 2013, prevailed in an auction and could strike a deal in the coming days, Reuters reported on Aug. 10. As part of the deal, top execs at Drive would join CD&R as minority investors. Drive, which is partly owned by private equity firm Ferrer, Freeman & Co., has bulked up by making more than half a dozen acquisitions since 2011, most notably DeVilbiss Healthcare last year. Other healthcare-related properties owned by CD&R include VWR International, which supplies products and services to medical laboratories; Envision Healthcare, which provides outsourced medical devices; and PharMEDium, which provides sterile compounding services.

    MediWare releases CareTend for specialty Rx market, announces user conference

    LENEXA, Kan. – The newest release of CareTend is now available for the specialty pharmacy market, Mediware has announced. The new platform allows providers to manage their workflow operations in a single dashboard that tracks output, spots delays, and analyzes employee productivity in real time, the company stated in a release. Current customers can see a live demo of CareTend at Mediware’s annual user conference, Sept. 14-16 in Orlando, Fla. In addition to software training, the conference will offer multiplesessions on reimbursement and regulation changes and other topics presented by more than 30 industry-recognized speakers. For early bird rates, register by Aug. 15.

    German ruling paves way for access to ReWalk

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – The ReWalk exoskeleton system has been declared medically necessary by the Social Welfare Court of Speyer in Germany, according ReWalk Robotics, the developer and manufacturer of the ReWalk. The ruling, delivered in July, states that the system should be covered by insurance for an individual with spinal cord injury, overturning the original denial of the claim by the payer, a statutory health insurance entity. "This ruling is a milestone for insurance coverage of exoskeleton technology, both in Germany and around the world," said Larry Jasinski, CEO, in a release. "With each decision approving coverage of the ReWalk, we make key advances in the effort to ensure every eligible ReWalk user has access to and coverage of their system." ReWalk is a robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright and walk, and is the first exoskeleton system to receive Food & Drug Administration clearance for use in the home and the rehabilitation setting. Founded in 2001, ReWalk has headquarters in the U.S., Israel and Germany.

    BMW builds wheelchairs for Paralympic team

    NEWBURY PARL, Calif. – BMW Designworks, the creative consultant for BMW, has collaborated with U.S. Paralympics Track and Field to design the team’s custom-fit racing chairs. By making 3D scans of the athletes in their wheelchairs and 3D computer models that could simulate changes in aerodynamics, Designworks was able to reduce drag by 15%, making small, subtle changes to the wheelchairs’ frames. The goal isn’t to give the U.S. team fancy new performance-enhancing technology, but to keep the equipment from getting in the way of the athletes’ natural skill, says Brad Cracchiola, DesignworksUSA associate director, in an interview with Fast Company. In 2014, Designworks’ bobsled design helped the U.S. team win three medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    Convaid partners with UCP to raise awareness

    TORRENCE, Calif.–Convaid is offering Convaid and R82 dealers who participate in United Cerebral Palsy’s STEPtember contest a chance to win $1,000 in product credit. Participants are being asked to walk, run, and bike a total of 10,000 steps per day. Convaid will award $1,000 to the dealer team with the most number of steps walked and the team that raises the greatest amount of money for United Cerebral Palsy. A screening of “Roll with Me,” which documents Gabe Cordell’s journey from San Francisco to New York in a push wheelchair, will be live streamed to all participating partners in honor of the month-long event.

    AAFP hears back from CMS on diabetes supplies

    WASHINGTON – The American Academy of Family Physicians has sent CMS a steady stream of letters outlining its concerns with the prescribing process for diabetic testing supplies. Finally, CMS has written back. The academy, which represents nearly 121,000 physicians, says the agency has asked for additional background information and requested further collaboration. The AAFP believes that physicians should be allowed to write prescriptions for diabetic supplies—including syringes, needles, test strips, lancets and glucose testing machines—that are good for the patient’s lifetime. While CMS pointed out in the letter that syringes and needles are not covered by the DME benefit and that itemized information is needed to support payment, it agreed to meet with the AAFP to discuss ways to “minimize documentation requirements, while maintaining the integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund.” CMS also addressed the AAFP’s concerns about unsolicited calls to beneficiaries by DME providers, and the efficacy of “unbranded” testing supplies being used by some providers. The agency asked the AAFP to report information about such calls and any products being used that don’t meet regulations.

    Alliqua turns income around in Q2

    YARDLEY, Pa. – Wound care provider Alliqua BioMedical reported total revenue of $5.5 million for the second quarter of 2016, up 75% year-over-year, compared to revenue of $3.1 million for the same period last year. Income from operations was $2.1 million for the quarter this year, compared to a loss of $8.4 million for the quarter last year. Alliqua reported total revenue of $8.4 million for the first six months of 2016, up 108%, compared to revenue of $4 million for the same period last year. Net loss was $2.5 million. The company expects total revenue of $20 million to $22 million for all of 2016, representing growth of 50% to 67% over 2015.

    VA adds MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicles to fleet

    LIVONIA, Mich. – Mobility Ventures has announced that the Veterans Affairs has purchased five of its MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicles for use at medical centers in Colorado, Florida and Tennessee. The MV-1 was added to the General Services Administration Schedule last year. “While there are nearly 1,600 MV-1s in city and county transit fleets across the country, the VA purchase marks the entry of the MV-1 to the federal fleet,” the company stated in a press release. The American-made MV-1comes standard with a built-in side-entry ramp, ample headroom and seating for up to five.

    Short takes: ECS Billing, PharMerica, HaysMed

    ECS Billing & Consulting North now offers home health and hospice billing and consulting services. It offers complete revenue cycle management for all payers, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers. ECS also works with companies to enhance operational efficiencies…PharMerica Corp., a national provider of institutional pharmacy, specialty infusion and hospital pharmacy management services, has announced that David Froesel, executive vice president, CFO and treasurer, intends to retire. He will continue as CFO through the end of September to ensure a seamless transition. PharMerica has engaged a nationally recognized executive search firm to help identify a successor for Froesel…HaysMed Orthopedic Institute has been reaccredited as an accredited DME facility by the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation.


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    ‘I would think they’re probably going to plan to double or triple the size of this business’
    08/19/2016
    Tracy Orzel

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has had a banner year, with a slew of acquisitions and the launch of its home accessibility business, which is why it might be the perfect time to sell.

    Last week, National Seating & Mobility entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Court Square Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Court Square Capital Partners will buy NSM from Wellspring Capital Management, also a New York-based private equity firm, which bought the company in 2012.

    “Sometimes it makes sense to flip to another firm, especially if you’ve owned it for awhile and it’s grown nicely,” said Jonathan Sadock, managing partner with Paragon Ventures. “Most private equity firms will return anywhere from three to four times invested capital during their hold period. That’s pretty substantial, especially if it’s a three-year term.”

    Under Wellspring’s ownership, NSM has added 35 branches organically and rolled up dozens of providers, most recently the complex rehab division of Webb Medical Systems in February.

    Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed within 60 days, were not disclosed, but NSM is rumored to be worth $400 million.

    “(Wellspring) has done very well, so now it’s gotten to a point where they’re going to take advantage of the trajectory they’ve built into another transaction,” said Sadock.

    While NSM has had a “very positive experience” with Wellspring, the company is looking forward to its new partnership with Court Square, says CEO Bill Mixon.

    “They have a great track record of partnering with businesses and helping them be successful,” he said. 

    Court Square currently manages approximately $6 billion in capital commitments and has engaged in more than 200 transactions. While the firm has focused on healthcare acquisitions over the last 35 years, NSM is its first HME-specific acquisition.

    “It is certainly going to be a benefit (to NSM), just based on the sheer size of the transaction and the volume that (Court Square) is managing going forward,” said Sadock. “I would think they’re probably going to plan to double or triple the size of this business.”

     

     


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    01/06/2017
    Liz Beaulieu

    LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017, giving the organization and its registrants a morale boost in a year that it hopes to settle the score on an important complex rehab-related issue.

    NRRTS, along with other stakeholders, has been trying to create a separate benefit for complex rehab for several years. In 2016, bills in the House of Representatives and Senate drew 146 and 25 co-sponsors, respectively.

    “I’m hoping, in our 25th year, that we can finally get the CRT bill passed,” said Mike Osborn, co-owner of Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment, who has been a NRRTS registrant since 2001. “That will give us the ability to change a lot of things and put us on a much higher level.”

    NRRTS is known for putting seating and mobility specialists on the map with its registered complex rehabilitation technology supplier (RRTS) and certified complex rehabilitation technology supplier (CRTS) credentials. Today, its membership hovers at a steady 650—encouraging considering the shrinking complex rehab market.

    To help the industry cross the finish line with a separate benefit, NRRTS plans to ramp up grassroots advocacy among its registrants in its 25th year. Details are still in the works, but the organization plans to give registrants tools that they can use to contact their lawmakers and “toot our horns,” not just as part of a legislative fly-in but on a regular basis, says Weesie Walker, the organization’s executive director.

    “We need lawmakers at seating clinics; we need them in the shops of our registrants,” she said. “It’s sort of like, if you’re doing it right, you make it look easy, but the truth is, it’s not. We need to toot our horns more about what we’re doing, and we want to be a resource for that.”

    With complex rehab such a small part of health care, it really needs all hands on deck, Walker says.

    “We’re going through some tough times—I hear every day from suppliers, the companies they’re working for, it gets harder and harder,” she said. “With a separate benefit, we’ll finally get the recognition we deserve and that will alleviate a lot of the pain. If there’s only X of us across the country, we need a lot of them to be involved to be heard.”

    Gerry Dickerson, a CRTS and ATP for National Seating & Mobility and the secretary of NRRT’s executive committee, says the organization’s efforts toward “political activism” are one of the things he’s most proud of.

    “I’m a screaming loon when it comes to this stuff, but enough of us aren’t involved,” said Dickerson, a registrant since 1996. “If you touch one person, then there’s an exponential explosion. If someone can’t get the equipment and services they need, we have to have the wherewithal to tell them why and help fix the problem.”


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    ‘Go big or go home, and always do the right thing,’ says Dickerson of how Simon Margolis impacted his work
    04/14/2017
    Jeff Rowe

    YARMOUTH, Maine – Even as a kid, Gerry Dickerson of National Seating & Mobility was working on wheelchairs.

    “I was fairly handy and my uncle had a disability,” he said recently.  “So I started working on chairs to help him get around.”

    You could say that early desire to put his handiness to work helping others came full circle recently, when Dickerson was one of two complex rehab providers awarded the Simon Margolis Fellow Award at the International Seating Symposium.

    Dickerson’s official entry into the complex rehab industry came when he returned from a cross-country motorcycle trip after college and met the owner of a small surgical supply company. He became an employee, then a partner, and as he nears the end of his career, he says, “the things I do now are aimed at seeing that the profession continues” and gets the recognition and support it deserves.

    “I am constantly in the political process pushing for systems change,” he said. 

    Political activities notwithstanding, Dickerson says the most rewarding part of his career has been the people he works with in the clinic.

    “You fix a seating problem, a mobility problem, a pain problem, and you get to work with great friends all over the world,” he said. “It’s the one thing that keeps you going.”

    Not surprisingly, Dickerson’s dedication has not gone unnoticed, even before the award.

    “His influence and leadership has made the lives of his clients and the CRT industry better in countless ways,” observed Bill Mixon, National Seating & Mobility’s CEO. “Gerry sets a high watermark for others in our company to continually excel in everything they do every day.”

    Simon Margolis played no small role in Dickerson’s unflagging dedication.

    “He was a stand-up guy who was all about ethics and commitment,” Dickerson said of the late industry leader.  “Go big or go home, and always do the right thing.”

    As for what’s next, Dickerson’s fascination with “handy” technology shows no sign of disappearing. 

    “I want to investigate 3-D printing,” he said. “I think it’s going to change the world.”

    Michele Gunn puts patients first

    How do you get recognized for making an “extraordinary contribution” to your profession?

    If you’re Michele Gunn of Browning’s Pharmacy & Health Care, it’s by consistently doing what you say you’re going to do over the course of a long, dedicated career. 

    Gunn was one of two recipients of the inaugural Simon Margolis Fellow Award at the recent International Seating Symposium, and she thinks it’s largely because “over 25 years, I don’t believe I’ve ever lost sight of putting the client first.”

    It helps, Gunn said, that what complex rehab professionals do changes people’s daily lives so they can have jobs and families.  “There are good days and bad days in this business,” she said, “but the good days are so good they far outweigh any of the bad. You do an intervention, knock it out of the park, and it keeps you coming back for more.”

    In the beginning, Gunn was working with 14 college students at a center for independent living when a future colleague came and demonstrated what could be done with custom rehab technology. She joined his company and never looked back.

    As for Simon Margolis, the long-time executive director of NRRTS, Gunn remembers him as “our figurehead.”

    “He was a calm and good leader who always had the perfect answer,” she said.

    Over her career, Gunn has come to play a similar role for her colleagues.

    “To us, she is a leader, friend and mentor,” said Thana France, a RESNA seating and mobility specialist with Browning’s. “She has worked tirelessly for the past 15 years to build and grow our rehab team. Her expertise and professionalism have no bounds.”

    The role of mentor is going to take up a greater part of Gunn’s time moving forward, as she recently moved from Florida to Port Angeles, Wash., to assume a managerial role with Browning’s.

    “I’m hoping for more board time now,” said the longtime member of the NCART board of directors. “It’s so important that the individual vendor’s voice isn’t lost.”


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    Also launches first home solutions location in Ohio
    05/16/2017
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility announced two acquisitions on May 12, including its first in Washington state.

    NSM has acquired Dependable Medical Equipment in Seattle, adding four assistive technology professionals (ATPs) and one rehab technology supplier (RTS) to its roster.

    “National Seating & Mobility is committed to expanding our reach to those in need of mobility and accessibility solutions,” said Bill Mixon, CEO. “We look forward to partnering with the medical and rehabilitation communities in Seattle to provide specialized products and services designed to maximize the mobility and independence of individuals with disabilities.”

    NSM has also acquired Columbus Medical Equipment in Columbus, Ohio, adding three ATPs and one RTS to its roster, and increasing its existing service capabilities in the central Ohio area.

    Additionally, in conjunction with its acquisition of Columbus Medical Equipment, NSM will launch its first AccessNSM home solutions location in Ohio.

    NSM launched its home solutions company in 2015. Including Ohio, it now offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers in nine states.


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    06/23/2017
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Mobility Healthcare, which has locations in Carrollton and Lewisville, Texas. Employees, including six RTSs, will transition to the NSM team at the Carrollton location; employees at the Lewisville location will also remain on staff as part of AccessNSM, the company’s home accessibility division. “Mobility Healthcare has a longstanding reputation for quality, personal service,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO.  “We are pleased to add this experienced group of professionals to our family of branches.” In May, NSM had a pair of acquisitions, including its first in Washington state.


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    06/23/2017
    HME News Staff

    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – TwelveStone Health Partners, a provider of pharmacy, infusion and enteral, respiratory and DME services, has secured $3.35 million in funding from Nashville, Tenn.-based private-equity firm Claritas Capital.

    “We have been wanting to accelerate our expansion plans for some time, and Claritas Capital offers the smart money, speed to market and accountability we had been looking for,” said Shane Reeves, CEO of TwelveStone.

    TwelveStone plans to use the funds to expand from its primary base in middle Tennessee into Chattanooga, where it plans to open a pharmacy and infusion center. The company also plans to add an infusion center to its company headquarters here.

    Additionally, TwelveStone plans to take its MEDIpack packaged medication offering nationwide and to invest in an end-to-end tech platform to support post-acute chronic care management. “TwelveStone understands the post-acute care market like no other, and it’s where the growth of healthcare is heading,” says John Chadwick, a partner and founder at Claritas, which represents more than 50 companies and oversees $6 billion in aggregate financing.

    TwelveStone was formed in 2016 when Reeves-Sain retail pharmacy and Entrust, its specialty pharmacy, were purchased for $66 million by Fred’s, a rural retail pharmacy organization. TwelveStone emerged from the remainder of the Reeves-Sain businesses.

    ARI sells to PE firm for $140M

    MILWAUKEE – ARI Network Services has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of True Wind Capital Management, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that focuses on investing in tech companies. ARI provides website solutions and digital marketing services to dealers in a number of markets, including HME. “The investment by True Wind positions ARI to accelerate our pace of innovation and better positions ARI to capitalize on future growth opportunities,” said Roy Olivier, president and CEO of ARI. Under the terms of the agreement, ARI shareholders will receive $7.10 in cash for each share of ARI common stock they own. The purchase price represents a premium of about 33% to ARI’s average closing price for the period of 60 trading days ending June 20. The all-cash transaction represents an enterprise value of about $140 million and has been unanimously approved by ARI’s board of directors. The deal is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2017.

    NSM expands Dallas area presence

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired Mobility Healthcare, which has locations in Carrollton and Lewisville, Texas. Employees, including six RTSs, will transition to the NSM team at the Carrollton location; employees at the Lewisville location will also remain on staff as part of AccessNSM, the company’s home accessibility division. “Mobility Healthcare has a longstanding reputation for quality, personal service,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO.  “We are pleased to add this experienced group of professionals to our family of branches.” In May, NSM had a pair of acquisitions, including its first in Washington state.


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    06/23/2017
    Liz Beaulieu

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility launched its home accessibility business in 2015 and thanks to its recent acquisition of Columbus Medical Equipment in Columbus, Ohio, it now has 14 AcccessNSM locations in 12 states.

    Columbus Medical has a home accessibility business, paving the way for AccessNSM’s first location in Ohio.

    “We will continue to embrace organic growth, as well as opportunities to expand through acquisitions and partnerships with like-minded companies that share our passion to serve,” said Bill Mixon, CEO.

    NSM, one of two national complex rehab providers, also bought Home Health Depot’s home accessibility business in 2016, adding Indiana to the list of states it serves.

    AccessNSM, which offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, door openers and barrier-free showers, has “maintained steady growth at a strategic pace,” Mixon says.

    “We see significant synergies in the complex rehab and home accessibility markets,” he said. “Strategic investments will enable us to leverage these synergies to continue to expand our reach to those in need of solutions. We are excited about the future for AccessNSM.”

    Unlike complex rehab, the home accessibility market is largely free of regulatory requirements, making it an attractive business, Mixon said.

    “Home accessibility is a less complicated process as most sales involve cash transactions,” he said.

    NSM first cracked into the home accessibility market in October 2014, when it packaged up the home accessibility businesses of several acquisitions, including Hudson Seating & Mobility, as a “single brand.”

    “We are in the accessibility market to stay and will continue to enhance our platform to accommodate continued growth over the next few years,” Mixon said.

     


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    07/25/2017
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility will be the exclusive national distributor for WHILL’s Model M power wheelchair, the companies announced July 24. NSM’s national distribution channel and expert clinical field team “vastly increase” the Model M’s service area in the complex rehab and access industries, according to a press release. “We’re excited to have NSM’s clinical experts providing product evaluations on the Model M, ensuring the chair fits and meets the versatile needs of their clients,” said WHILL CEO Satoshi Sugie in the release. The Model M will be available through NSM and AccessNSM branches nationwide. WHILL received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Model M last year, paving the way for doctors to prescribe the wheelchair as a medical device. WHILL also offers the Model A for cash sale. Model M keeps the four-wheel drive, patented all-direction wheels and sleek design of the Model A, but also offers customizable features like arm and back supports, and ankle huggers.


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    07/28/2017
    HME News Staff

    WASHINGTON – A bill that reforms several Medicare benefits, including home infusion and O&P, sailed through the House of Representatives last week.

    H.R. 3178, the “Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017,” includes a provision that would create a temporary payment for home infusion therapy to close a gap created by another bill, the 21st Century Cures Act. The Cures Act requires Medicare to pay for services associated with providing Part B drugs, but not until 2021. Meanwhile, a second provision in the act cut payments for those drugs on Jan. 1.

    The provision, originally introduced by Reps. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., as H.R. 3163, would put a temporary payment in place for 2019 and 2020.

    H.R. 3178 also includes a provision that would allow the documentation produced by an O&P practitioner to be considered part of a patient’s medical record for purposes of determining medical necessity. The provision was originally introduced by Reps. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., as H.R. 3171.

    The bill has moved with lightning speed: It was introduced on July 11 by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and nine co-sponsors.

    The bill does not include a provision that would strengthen protections requiring mail-order contract suppliers to include at least 50% of the types of diabetes testing supplies that were available before the implementation of the program. That provision, which also would prevent suppliers from encouraging beneficiaries to switch brands, still exists as a standalone bill, H.R. 3271.

    NSM tapped to distribute WHILL wheelchair

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility will be the exclusive national distributor for WHILL’s Model M power wheelchair, the companies announced July 24. NSM’s national distribution channel and expert clinical field team “vastly increase” the Model M’s service area in the complex rehab and access industries, according to a press release. “We’re excited to have NSM’s clinical experts providing product evaluations on the Model M, ensuring the chair fits and meets the versatile needs of their clients,” said WHILL CEO Satoshi Sugie in the release. The Model M will be available through NSM and AccessNSM branches nationwide. WHILL received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Model M last year, paving the way for doctors to prescribe the wheelchair as a medical device. WHILL also offers the Model A for cash sale. Model M keeps the four-wheel drive, patented all-direction wheels and sleek design of the Model A, but also offers customizable features like arm and back supports, and ankle huggers.

    Stratice partners with athenahealth

    CARMEL, Ind. – Stratice Healthcare, vendor of an EHR integrated e-prescribing platform connecting medical professionals with their suppliers, has partnered with athenahealth and its “More Disruption Please” program. The goal of the program: to make athenahealth’s eOrdersPlus application available to its growing network of 100,000 healthcare providers. eOrdersPlus users can access an efficient platform while eliminating phone calls, faxes and manual processes to receive detailed written orders with electronic integration to the prescriber’s EHR platform.athenahealth offers medical record, revenue cycle, patient engagement, care coordination and population health management services.

    DarioHealth enters strategic agreement with Byram

    CAESAREA, Israel, and NEW YORK – DarioHealth has expanded its insurance coverage provider network by entering into a strategic agreement with Byram Healthcare, the two companies announced July 25. DarioHealth, which makes the Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System all-in-one blood glucose meter and native smartphone app, recently expanded its third-party insurance coverage option for consumers in the U.S. who want their products reimbursed by insurance. “DarioHealth initiated the provider network approach earlier in the year and it has been met with much success,” said Erez Raphael, chairman and CEO of Dario Health, in a press release. “By partnering with only the most reputable third-party providers, our team is fully committed to help consumers take control of their self-diabetes management.” With the addition of Byram, DarioHealth expects to cover 30% of consumers in the U.S. diabetes market, according to the release.

    Miller takes reins at Mediware

    LENEXA, Kan. – Bill Miller has been name CEO of Mediware Information Systems, the software company announced July 27. He succeeds Kelly Mann, who has served as CEO since 2007. Miller has more than 20 years of healthcare and technology experience, most recently as CEO of OptumInsight at Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. Prior to OptumInsight, Miller served as vice president of technologies at Cerner Corporation. “Having spent my entire career in the healthcare and technology industries, I have known Mediware as an industry leader with a deep understanding of the marketplace and an ongoing commitment to quality and client service,” said Miller in a press release. “I am excited about their strong position in the expanding markets they serve, and look forward to working with TPG and the Mediware team to build on the momentum that the company has achieved to-date.”

    Invacare to relocate wheelchair production

    ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare said it plans to shift production of its Invacare Rea manual wheelchairs from its facility in Dïo, Sweden, to its wheelchair manufacturing facility in Fondettes, France. The move will allow the company to better optimize its wheelchair manufacturing facility in Fondettes, while enabling its Dïo facility to focus on its production of beds for the Nordic market, along with being the distribution center for lifestyle products, the company said in a press release. “As we continue to make progress in Phase Two of our strategic transformation, we will continue to leverage our existing global infrastructure and further increase efficiencies,” said CEO Matthew Monaghan in the release. “By transferring wheelchair production from Dïo to Fondettes, we are able to create a European wheelchair center of excellence that is centrally located to our European customers.” The move is expected to be completed in January 2018.

    Philips shifts workers

    MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Royal Philips has relocated more than 100 employees to a new 14,000-square-foot space in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, where they are closer to universities, medical centers, research partners and innovation leaders, the company announced in a press release. “Working in close proximity to hospitals, universities, and start-ups alike will enable us to incubate our regional research partnerships and, ultimately, accelerate our ability to develop new solutions to drive the future of health technology,” said John Frank, CEO of Philips’ sleep and respiratory business. Philips, which acquired Respironics in 2008, has in the past two years established new professional and distribution facilities in Murrysville and New Kensington, and completed construction of a brand new, state-of-the-art distribution and service facility in Mount Pleasant.

    Aetrex re-launches website with tech focus

    TEANECK, N.J. – Aetrex Worldwide has re-launched Foot.com. The website, originally launched in 2009, now highlights “the intrinsic benefits of foot scanning,” according to a press release. Aetrex recently rolled out its next gen foot-scanning technology, Albert, and it continues to invest in the development of new software that elevates what customers can learn from their feet. “Users of the Albert scanning technology have the option to explore foot care, health and wellness topics as part of their foot scanning experience, which really drives the in-store experience home,” said Melissa Libner, vice president of marketing for Aetrex’s Technology & Orthotics division. Aetrex says more than 40,000 users visit the website each week.

    Home Because connects consumers with providers

    PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Home Because has launched a new website to connect consumers and caregivers with local providers online. “We realized how many consumers and caregivers were turning to online resources for purchase decisions on HME and in-home services, but they could make much better decisions with local, in-person provider support,” said Carol Lockett, creator of HomeBecause.com. “Our website bridges that gap.” The key to HomeBecause.com is its “provider search” feature: A consumer can select a product or service category, research the topic, then click the search feature to point them to a local provider. Providers can sign up to be listed on the website, including premium listings within their geographic areas.

    AASM adds app to telemedicine platform

    DARIEN, Ill. ­– The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has launched the SleepTM app to directly connect patients to sleep medicine professionals and accredited sleep centers through its SleepTM telemedicine platform. The app provides patients with convenient access to sleep medicine services on their mobile devices, AASM says. “The AASM SleepTM app promotes affordable, convenient, patient-centered care by eliminating common health care obstacles such as distance, travel costs and wait times,” said Steve Van Hout, AASM SleepTM’s chief architect. “This app will significantly enhance the ability of sleep specialists to meet the growing demand for sleep care, while reducing costs and improving efficiency.” Through the app, patients request a live video visit with a sleep medicine provider who is licensed in the state where they live or the state in which they are traveling. The app works on Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and LTE connections, and it is currently available in the App Store for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). An Android-compatible app is scheduled to be released on Google Play in August 2017.

    SoClean surveys users

    OXFORD, Mass. – CPAP sanitizing device company SoClean recently polled more than 300 customers about their experience with sleep apnea and CPAP. Since starting CPAP therapy, 43% of SoClean users said they have noticed results almost immediately and 93% said that they have been sleeping better. The survey also showed that: 77% of SoClean’s customers are male; 48% are between the ages of 56 and 70; and 57% have high blood pressure and 38% were able to decrease their high blood pressure since starting CPAP therapy.

    Short takes: WVU HME, Vertess

    WVU Home Medical Equipment held a ribbon cutting ceremony this week for its new store in Bridgeport, West Va. The store gives WVU HME, part of St. Joseph’s Hospital, a central location to provide everything from chair lifts to wrist splints to customers in north central West Virginia…New York-based Vertess continues its national expansion with the addition of Tucson, Ariz.-based Hilsman Knight as managing director. “I am very excited to join the Vertess team and hope my strong healthcare M&A background will help us expand, especially in the Western U.S.,” he said. Knight recently facilitated the sale of the largest Miracle Ear franchise in Arizona to a West Coast private equity group.

     

     


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    08/02/2017
    HME News Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility has acquired the mobility division of Wright & Filippis, positioning the company as the leading provider of complex rehab solutions in Michigan, it says.

    “Wright & Filippis is one of the country’s most respected providers of prosthetics, orthotics, custom mobility products and accessibility solutions,” said Bill Mixon, CEO of NSM. “This acquisition allows both companies to focus on our areas of expertise to better serve clients in Michigan.”

    NSM will take over Wright & Filippis’ complex rehab operations in metro Detroit and Lansing. Wright & Filippis’ mobility division in Flint will merge with an existing NSM branch in Freeland. NSM also operates a branch in Troy.

    Eighteen Wright & Filippis employees, including seven ATPs, will make the transition to NSM.

    Wright & Filippis has been shedding different divisions in the past few years to zero in on its prosthetics and orthotics business. It sold its diabetes supply business in 2013, and its HME and respiratory businesses in 2014, leaving O&P and complex rehab and accessibility.

    In June, NSM also picked up Mobility Healthcare, with locations in Carrollton and Lewisville, Texas.


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