HME News

APR 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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Vendors hme news / april 2017 / 21 Permobil gives back with foundation By Jeff Rowe, Contributing w riter LEBANON, Tenn. – What do you do if you're a manufacturer and you want to do more for the people who use your equipment? If you're p ermobil, the global, Sweden- based rehab technology company, you launch a charitable foundation. The p ermobil Cares Foundation was officially launched on March 1 on the premise that, as Executive Director Ashley Davis recently put it, "every- one deserves the chance to reach their dreams without limitations." Like many manufacturers, p ermo- By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor EXETER, Pa. – Quantum r ehab's Q-Logic 3 drive control system, launched in January, is a big play by the company to incorporate more mainstream consumer electronics into its power wheelchair systems. Q-Logic 3's iAccess has four switch controls, each with a forward and back- ward function, so users can control up to 15 different functions, such as tilt and recline and seat elevation. The kicker: They do it all from a smart phone-like LED screen with pictures. "As you switch through pages (in iAccess), those pictures change," said Jay Doherty, Quantum r ehab's senior clinical education manager for the East- ern u .S. and an o T. "In the past, there were just stickers. Sometimes consumers had to guess what function they were in. We've tried to make it more consumer- focused." When users leverage Q-Logic 3's built- in Bluetooth capabilities, they can also use the system to connect to a comput- er, tablet or smart phone to access their email and social media accounts. Q-Logic 3 and iAccess are a nod to the increasingly connected world we live in and the importance of that increas- ing connectivity to wheelchairs users. It's now possible, for example, to marry Q-Logic 3 with a smart phone or a sys- tem like Nest to allow users to turn their lights or heat on and off. "With technology as high end as it is these days, it allows folks with a disabil- ity to control things that, otherwise, they might not be able to," Doherty said. o n the clinician side, a new "clinic mode" in the Q-Logic 3 allows clinicians and therapists who are conducting set- ups and evaluations to make adjustments directly, without hooking up a program- mer to the system. "This was developed out of listening to consumers and clinicians on what fea- tures they desired in a system," Doherty said. "That's something we take pride in— being the wheelchair manufacturer that listens—and we think we've really hit the nail on the head with this one." hme Mobile friendly p edors has re-designed its B2B ordering website to be mobile responsive. t he site now enables foot care professionals to easily order product using a smart phone, laptop or desktop device 24/7. p edors manufactures orthopedic footwear, including the p edors Classic, which features p edoprene heat moldable technology that can be easily modified to accom- modate the most severe forefoot deformity. bil was already involved in an array of charitable and volunteer activities, but, Davis explained, "By having a founda- tion, we're able to do fundrais- ers and to give back more to our nonprofit partners." "And from a volunteer stand- point we want to get out more into the communities we already serve and take advantage of mul- tiple opportunities," she said. "Like building ramps for wheel- chairs, for example." In addition to expanding the compa- ny's volunteer activities, Davis said the foundation will enable them to be "a lit- tle more strategic" when it comes to get- ting necessary equipment into the hands of users. r eimbursement from insurance companies can be a tricky business, and she said the foundation will enable p er- mobil to offer chairs and parts when users in need are denied funding. Moreover, the foundation will allow p ermobil to be more active in federal regulatory debates. "Medicare and Medicaid are continuing to change," Davis said, "and the foundation will enable us to work more close- ly with our government affairs team to try to get laws changed to make them more beneficial from the users' perspective." As for how the foundation will be financed, Davis said as of March 1, $50 from every p ermobil sale will go toward the foundation, as well as $10 from every TiLite and $1 from every ro H o sale. hme $50 from every Permobil sale will go toward the foundation, as well as $10 from every TiLite and $1 from every ROHO sale Ashley Davis Quantum taps into consumer drive contro L quantum rehab's new Q-Logic 3 drive control system features a smart phone-like LED screen with pictures. C LARK Q&A C O n t i n u e d F r O M p r e V i O u s pa g e Av ID REHAB C O n t i n u e d F r O M p r e V i O u s pa g e from some of the reimbursement cuts that have hampered HME, is still under the pressure of tight margins. "The option we offer consumers," he said, "is a very strong and reliable chair that is also economically sound." As for what's next for Avid, Black- more said the company will soon be fol- lowing up the Vector with a 450-pound model chair with a new, more narrow base. hme want to help create developmental programs for any associate who wants to be involved in one. I also want to help our members thrive and grow, and understand ongoing regulatory changes so they can move forward with their practices. hme : What's your philosophy toward connect- ing people and ideas and building teams? Clark: I'm a firm believer that you get what you give. I've been involved with orthotics and prosthetics care since 1968, and I've seen that by doing what you say you're going to do when you're asked to do it, you'll get a great deal in return. hme : Why should every company have a chief leadership officer? Clark: Leadership and mentoring are basic concepts that we start with at a very young age. For example, we learn to walk with someone mentoring us through that process. Everyone needs to grow in knowledge and understanding and skills. The chief leader- ship officer positions everyone for growth and opportunity. hme IN v ACARE EARNS C O n t i n u e d F r O M p r e V i O u s pa g e we'll be talking about in the next couple of quarters that reflect continued milestones on quality progress," Monaghan said. The improvements can't come soon enough. Monaghan acknowledged that Invacare ended the fourth quarter with "dis- appointing" results, especially for its North America/HME division. Net sales decreased 27.4% to $83.7 million for the fourth quar- ter of 2016 compared to $115.4 million in the same period in 2015. Net sales decreased 16.1% to $397.7 million for 2016 compared to $474.2 million in 2015. "I think in the future, as we mentioned, there's a little more sales reduction to do, but it's not of the wholesale variety, especially in the seating and mobility lines like we've had recently," he said. o verall, Invacare reported net sales of $264.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $283.3 million for the same period in 2015. It reported net losses of $17.6 million vs. $2.93 million. The com- pany reported net sales of $1.05 billion for 2016 compared to $1.14 billion for 2015. It reported net losses of $42.86 million vs. $26.45 million. But there should be signs of positive change in 2017, with Invacare moving into the second phase of its three-phase transfor- mation: "rebuilding the company in align- ment with our new direction," Monaghan said. It kicked off these efforts in January by laying off* 100 associates and closing a facil- ity in Kirkland, Quebec, two moves that will save $6.6 million on an annualized basis. "We plan to continue implementing broader, sustainable quality improvements throughout the business," he said. hme INOGEN EARNS C O n t i n u e d F r O M pa g e 1 and, specifically, they are turning to Ino- gen as the leader in this space," said Scott Wilkinson, president and CE o . "For the third quarter in a row, revenue from our private label partner and traditional HME providers represented more than half of total sales revenue in the fourth quarter." While Inogen's success in B2B sales has been a nice surprise, the company contin- ues to prioritize direct-to-consumer sales, where "the closer we're to the end user, the more visibility we have on what we can expect in revenue," said Ali Bauerlein, co-founder and CF o . In play to boost Inogen's direct-to-con- sumer business in 2017: opening a new sales office and warehouse in Brooklyn, o hio, that will serve as its center for east- ern u .S. operations. The company cur- rently has locations in California, where it's based, and Texas, where it's running out of space. By mid-2017, Inogen also plans to have a new customer relationship management or C r M system up and running. At its core, Inogen's focus on direct-to- consumer sales has to do with its inability to predict the speed with which tradition- al HME providers will adopt po Cs. With the company seeing 1% to 1.5% growth in adoption by providers year-to-year, it knows this is not a "short-term event." "We're cautious on how quickly the HME community will adopt," Bauerlein said. "We certainly see the large market opportunity, but how the HME commu- nity will get to that point and the timing— we are still very cautious on that." hme

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