HME News

MAR 2017

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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■ It's unlikely the Linde- Praxair merger will have an impact on the HME industry, says analyst Brad Smith. See story this page. Univita wants money back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 ACA repeal? Providers don't expect shockwaves . . . . . . 16 Aeroflow launches online petition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Alpine's investment in app pays off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Briefs AmeriCare Medical takes its message on air TROY, Mich. – AmeriCare Medical, which provides medical staffing, private duty nursing, DME and specialized pharmacy services, has launched a TV show to ad- dress a variety of health-related topics specific to baby boomers. "As baby boom- ers continue to age, they are finding them- selves in a unique situation where they are not only caretakers for their parents, but also dealing with health concerns of their own," said Greg Jamian, president and CEO of AmeriCare Medical. "This new show provides this generation with the answers they need to make informed decisions about their health and future." AmeriCare Medical is presenting "Boomer Health at Home" in partnership with local health professionals and Bloomfield Com- munity Television. Topics will include ev- erything from financial planning to memory care to general first aid to illness preven- tion. "Boomer Health at Home" is available online* and on local public access chan- nels serving the Bloomfield area. New epi- sodes air monthly. Lodi Health closes HME store LODI, Calif. – Lodi Health is closing Memorial Home Med-Equip due to changes in Medi- care reimbursement, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel. The full-service store has provided area residents with medical equip- ment like hospital beds, walkers, canes and oxygen equipment for 33 years. Company officials cite a 50% reduction in reimburse- ment as the driving factor in the decision. Lodi Health is not alone. There were once three medical equipment supply stores in the city, but they have all disappeared, the newspaper reports. Memorial Home Med- Equip was expected to close some time in February. MTA taps Respira, HomeSleep for sleep screening, treatment PARAMUS, N.J. – The board of the Metropoli- tan Transportation Authority of New York has awarded Respira-HomeSleep a contract to provide medical services to screen, treat, manage and monitor select MTA employ- ees for obstructive sleep apnea. "We look forward to collaborating with HomeSleep and local DME companies in creating this groundbreaking model of care for the trans- portation industry," said Yolanda Mara Marti- nez, founder and CEO of Respira. Respira is a respiratory therapy, sleep medicine, DME and healthcare management company. Its custom-tailored programs serve more than 80,000 patients. HomeSleep is a sleep diag- nostic company, providing home sleep de- vices to patients in their homes to diagnose OSA. "We have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into building a comprehensive sleep program with the Respira team and are confident that together we can assist the MTA and their employees," said Jonathan Perrone, founder and CFO of HomeSleep. 16 HME n E w S / MARCH 2017 / www. HME n E w S . C o M Providers By Kelly Bothum, Contributing Writer ASHEVILLE, N.C. – There's been plenty of discus- sion recently about what the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could mean for health- care consumers, but Aeroflow Healthcare is doing more than just talking. The DME provider has launched an online petition to keep breastfeeding sup- port—mandated since 2010 through the ACA—as a women's preventive benefit. In less than three weeks, the petition garnered more than 11,300 signatures. For Aeroflow, which operates a Mom & Baby division specializing in breastfeed- ing pumps and lactation support services, the petition aims to inform others about the breastfeeding benefits that are current- ly available but could be lost if the law is repealed. Under the ACA, most health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling and equipment. Employers also are required to provide break time and des- ignated space for breastfeeding mothers. "Moms may have thought this was something from before, that it was just a given. It's not," said Jennifer Jordan, direc- tor of Aeroflow's Mom & Baby division. "Not only do they get support, but they By t heresa Flaherty, m anaging e ditor MUNICH and DANBURY, Conn. – Although industrial gas giant Linde continues to dip its toe in the waters of home care, its planned merger with Praxair likely won't have a noticeable affect on the HME industry, say M&A analysts. Linde and Praxair in Decem- ber announced plans to merge, creating a combined company with revenues of about $30 bil- lion. Linde is currently the No. 2 industrial gas company in the world and Praxair is No. 3. "I don't think we'll see much impact from it at all," said Brad Smith, managing director/part- ner at Vertess. By t heresa Flaherty, m anaging e ditor T HE FATE of the Affordable Care Act lies in the hands of the Republican-con- trolled Congress, but HME providers for the most part don't expect to feel much of an impact if the program were repealed. "I think it's an overblown topic with regard to HME," said Steve Ackerman, owner of Spectrum Medical in Silver Spring, Md. "I guess it depends on what comes in its place, but Medicare—at least for HME— wasn't really affected by the program" Ackerman may have a point. Nearly 20 million people now have insurance thanks to ACA—or Obamacare as it's more pop- ularly known—many through the Health Insurance Marketplace and through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Many providers still focus on traditional Medicare Part B. Chris Rice, CEO of Diamond Medical Supply in Riverside, Calif., saw a "neglible" bump in Medicaid business. "It's a very low-margin business now, any- way," he said. "If it went away, I wouldn't lose much sleep over it." Provider Gary Sheehan doesn't expect to feel an impact in Massachusetts, where the bulk of his business is, because that state has had a universal healthcare model since before the ACA. However, he's paying close attention to see what happens in other states, including Maine and Rhode Island, where he also does business. "We are concerned with the same things hospitals are concerned with—the uninsured patient popula- tion and the dereliction of bill paying," said Sheehan, CEO of Sandwich-based Cape Medical Supply. While it's no secret that the ACA—which many providers blame for increased audits, among other issues—is unpopu- lar with the HME industry, providers believe that there have been improvements made in the healthcare system as a result of reform, particularly in the shift from a fee- for-service to value-based care model. That model puts HME providers in the right spot in the healthcare continuum, they say. "I think whatever happens with the ACA, that will continue," said Sheehan. "We think that bodes well for high-quality providers who are committed to the right quality of care and doing it the right way." hme ACA or no ACA, HME providers don't expect much change Aeroflow launches petition Will merger have impact on HME? In August 2012, Linde made a big splash in HME when it acquired Lincare for $4.6 bil- lion. In December 2015, Lin- care announced it would acquire American HomePatient. More recently, in January, Linde acquired Broadview, Ill.- based The Service Center, which provides oxygen transfilling, cyl- inder and respiratory equipment repair services in the Midwest and Southeast. It's good business sense to buy when the market is down, says Smith. "The market for home care won't always be down," he said. "They are in it for the long-term play. Ultimately, they will sell it off." hme Wearing their hearts on their sleeves Employees at Reliable Medical Supply on Feb. 3 donned red clothing for National Wear Red Day. The annual event is held on the first Friday of February as part of the American Heart Association's efforts to end heart disease and stroke in women. The Brooklyn Park, Minn.-based provider is very involved with health-related awareness as well, as different events and sponsorships within the community. P E T I T I O N S E E N E x T PA g E S. Ackerman Linde-Praxair Gary Sheehan

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