HME News

SEP 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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Rx and Specialty Providers ■ Custom orthotics are 'life changing,' says Limor Katz, co-founder of Upstep. See story page 1. Home infusion stakeholders turn to Senate . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Diabetes advocates march forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Q&A: Harry 'J.R.' Brandt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 BioScrip revenues decrease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 20 hme news / september 2017 / By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor WASHINGTON – A bill that would protect access to diabetes sup- plies for Medicare beneficia- ries is expected to get intro- duced in the Senate soon, say advocates. "I'll be back up (to Wash- ington D.C.) and talking to congressional individuals, as well as mobilizing the patient community to remind them this is an important issue," said Christel Aprigliano, CEO of the Diabetes Patient Advo- cacy Coalition. A bill already in the House of Representatives seeks to strengthen protections requir- ing mail-order contract suppli- ers to include at least 50% of the types of testing supplies that were available before the implementation of the com- petitive bidding program. It would also prohibit suppliers from encouraging beneficia- ries to switch brands. "The Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act," H.R. 3271, was introduced July 17 by Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y. "Why not enforce the rules they implemented?" said Apri- gliano. "This would close the loopholes." Aprigliano testified at a hearing held by the House Energy & Commerce Sub- committee on Health in July to review several bills to reform the Medicare program. By Kelly Bo T hu M , Contributing Writer H ARRY "J.R." Brandt has been volunteering with the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) for 28 years, nearly as long as he's been in the orthotics and prosthetics field. That spirit of helping others was recently recognized by the BOC, which honored Bryant with the inaugural Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service. The award was created by the BOC last year to honor a beloved board member and long-time orthotics and prosthetics practitioner. "I've spent a lot of my life dedicated to BOC, and most of it was volunteer," said Brandt, a former member and chairman of BOC's By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor WASHINGTON – Home infusion stakeholders are "redoubling" their efforts to fix a payment gap now that a Senate bill has been introduced. Introduced Aug. 3 by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act of 2017 (S. 1738) would create a tem- porary payment for home infusion services to address a Home infusion stakeholders turn to Senate payment gap created by a provi- sion in the 21 st Century Cures Act. The act requires Medicare to pay for services associated with providing Part B home infusion drugs, but not until 2021. "We are doing everything we can to redouble our efforts to show this is bipartisan and it's something that everybody can agree on," said Ken van Pool, vice president of legislative affairs for the National Home Infusion Association. "We have quite a few senators that are very interested in getting this provision passed, fixing that Diabetes advocates marching forward eyes on september 'We're hoping this moves quickly, but there is a sense of healthcare fatigue' By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor DENVER – BioScrip's net revenues decreased 6.2% in the second quarter of 2017, but CEO Dan Greenleaf said in an earnings call the company was hitting targets. BioScrip reported net revenues of $218.1 million for the second quarter of 2017 compared to $232.4 million for the same period a year ago. Net loss was $29.2 mil- lion vs. $8.2 million. Still, BioScrip increased its core product mix to 73.1%, compared to 60.3% a year ago, with an ultimate goal of 85%. "Overall, our turnaround plan is on schedule," Greenleaf said. "Our revenues of $218.1 million reflect our team's focus on growing core revenues and shedding our less profitable non-core therapies, including less revenue from Unit- edHealthcare this quarter as com- pared to the first quarter." BioScrip is terminating its Unit- edHealthcare contract, with the exception of nutrition, by Sept. 30, 2017, and is executing a transition plan, says Greenleaf. Not helping revenues was the 21st Century Cures Act, which reduced Medicare reimbursement for certain Part B infusion drugs on Jan. 1, without creating a payment for infu- sion services until 2021. The company has previously stated the act would negatively impact its earnings by $24 million in 2017. Greenleaf lauded the recently passed Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017, which creates a transi- tional payment for infusion ser- vices starting in 2019. "This bill is an important mile- stone toward improving Medicare patient access to home infusion therapies," he said. "We have con- tinued to work with the National Home Infusion Association and others to increase awareness in Washington, D.C., of the unintended implications of the Cures Act on the criti- cally ill patients relying on the impacted BioScrip: Revenues decrease, core increases Brandt: Make the human connenction D I A b E T E S s e e n e x t pa g e I N f u S I O N s e e n e x t pa g e b R A N D T s e e pa g e 2 9 b I O S c R I p s e e n e x t pa g e Harry "J. r ." Brandt (left), recipient of the inaugural Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service, with Lynne Newberry and the late Jim Newberry, Jr. at the 2015 AOPA National Assembly. Briefs Aeroflow b reastpumps launches website ASHEVILLE, N. c . – Aeroflow Breastpumps has launched a new website that com- bines ecommerce with insurance process- ing, the company said in a press release. Users must fill out a "Qualify through Insur- ance Form" before being eligible to shop for breast pumps that are covered by their specific insurance plan. The site features breast pumps from top brands like Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh and Evenflo, and offers instructional videos and other resources. "Aeroflow is dedicated to making the tran- sition into motherhood as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for women across the country," said Jennifer Jordan, Aero- flow's director of Mom and Baby. h ome infusion study highlights benefit of patient education ORLANDO, f la. – Patients have better out- comes when they receive home infusion education before they are discharged from the hospital, according to Option Care data. These patients were less likely to ex- perience disruptions in therapy, go to the emergency room or be readmitted to the hospital, according to a study presented by the company at the National Home In- fusion Association Annual Conference & Exposition in May. The study compared outcomes of 60 patients who received pre- discharge education vs. 37 patients who did not and found outcomes improved by 20% for the first group. Education included proper handwashing, appropriate care of medication, and how to monitor for signs of infection. s leepQuest buys Grove m edical SAN c ARLOS, c alif. – SleepQuest, a national provider of care management services for obstructive sleep apnea, has acquired Grove Medical Equipment in Anaheim, Ca- lif. SleepQuest closed on the transaction on June 30 and began serving Grove Medi- cal's customers on July 1. The acquisition expands SleepQuest's service base in the Oakland and East Bay areas, and gives OSA patients there access to telehealth- and on-site based services. Video makes patients more likely to stick with cp A p DENVER – Sleep apnea patients were more likely to use their CPAP machines after watching video of themselves struggling to breathe, according to a new study led by Mark Aloia, Ph.D., a sleep expert at Na- tional Jewish Health in Denver. Twenty-four patients newly diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA received education with a personalized video (PVD), education with a non-personalized video (NPV) or treat- ment as usual (TAU). The PVD group used CPAP devices more than two hours per night (6.5)—more than the NPV group (4.1) or the TAU group (3.5). Dan Greenleaf

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