HME News

OCT 2018

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 hme news / october 2018 / www.hmenews.com 21 WASHINGTON – The American Sleep Apnea Association released a report Sept. 5, detailing the impact of sleep apnea on patients and families. "Raising Voices for Progress in treat- ment and Care" is based on first-person accounts shared at the AWAKE meeting in June, and the results of a patient and caregiver survey that attracted 5,630 responses around the country. "The powerful testimonies delivered on June 8 and through the survey illus- trate the good, the bad, and the ugly of the patient journey with sleep apnea; these testimonies also chart an advo- cacy agenda to address our commu- nity's many and varied unmet needs," said Adam Amdur, ASAA's chief patient office, in a press release. The release of the report coincides with ASAA's annual Sleeptember aware- ness events. Key f I nd I n G s I nc L ude: 4 Patients rated fatigue (80%) and day- time sleepiness (78%) as the two symp- toms with the most severe impact. 4 Barriers to diagnosis include low awareness of the condition among the public and medical professionals; lack of access to specialists and sleep test- ing centers; misperceptions and stigma related to the condition and its treat- ment; burdensome testing procedures; and financial constraints. Many par- ticipants described being symptomatic for years—or decades—before getting diagnosed. 4 Obstacles to effective therapy include problems associated with diag- nosis as well as uncomfortable or incon- venient design of therapeutic devices; side effects and other challenges tolerat- ing treatments; inadequate or punitive insurance coverage policies; misdiagno- sis and/or other medical complications. 4 CPAP was the most-cited therapy in response to the open-ended survey question, "What have you found that helps the most." However, persistence was required to determine and main- tain effective machine settings, find a well-fitting mask and good seal, and to properly clean and maintain equip- ment. More initial instruction, ongoing support, and better customer service were sought by many CPAP-treated individuals. hme ASAA details sleep apnea's impact of IVS. The VOCSN, manufactured by Ventec Life Systems, received FDA 510(k) clear- ance from the U.S. Food and Drug Admin- istration in 2017. I V S b e l i e v e s t h e VOCSN, which can be configured for a mix of therapies, will be mostly used to treat patients with ALS and other neuromus- cular diseases, as well as COPD patients who need both a vent and a cough assist device. "Many times when patients are transitioning from the hospital, they are being set up, if you will, with an ICU bed in a home setting," said Bob Nelson, director of sales. "Rather than having sepa- rate devices all requiring their own power supply, this is integrated into one device." Possibly paving the way for wider adop- tion of the VOCSN: In July, CMS proposed establishing fee schedule amounts for multi-function vents based on the current Medicare fee schedule for vents, plus an additional amount for the average cost of the additional functions or features, begin- ning Jan. 1, 2019. "There are a lot of questions around how it will be reimbursed and how those cal- culations will be made," Mongeau said. "I think it sounds very positive in creating an economic solution around the product." Mongeau, who also serves as vice presi- dent of sales and marketing for Reliable Respiratory, says he plans to leverage the relationships and experience he's built in the respiratory market to introduce the VOCSN to homecare providers, nursing facilities and healthcare systems. "I want to get us into the place where we want to move this product and drive the awareness as rapidly as we can," he said. "We're very excited." hme The company currently operates in about 25 states and is eyeing expansion into Colo- rado, Alabama and Michigan. It is "in the process" of getting into Florida and Califor- nia, said Todd Zehender, COO, on the call. On the payer front, Viemed is working to secure new contracts—including with Vet- erans Affairs, once it cuts through the red tape, says Hoyt. "We remain very committed and excited about the VA opportunity," he said. Viemed's ventilator patient count grew by about 35.3% in the ssecond quarter com- pared to the same period last year and about 8.4% compared to the first quarter. The provider will soon be publishing the results of a KMPG study that demonstrates through EW's 575 members across the coun- try to talk about with the patients they serve, as well as support groups and referral sourc- es," said Jensen. "When we first launched the social media campaign, we were surprised at how quickly it took off." Visitors to the web page will be able to take action to let their members of Con- gress know that it's important for women facing mastectomies to have options, says Jensen. "We want each woman to have the ability to make the choice about what's best for her situation," she said. hme HOME INF u SION c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 E W GETS READY c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e its services save $25,000 per patient per year and reduce mortality rates 42%. "There's a lot of data in there showing how much better we're doing than our competi- tion, but for now, it's really just about get- ting the big-picture message out to the payer community and to our physician network," said Hoyt. o ther h IG h LIG hts from the c ALL : The company reported a gross margin of $11.3 million for the second quarter, a 44% increase compared to the same period last year. It has added a new independent direc- tor to its board: Bruce Greenstein, who recently joined LHC Group as chief inno- vation and technology officer. Greenstein was previously chief technology officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. hme I v S LA u NCHES c o n t i n u e d f r o m pa g e 1 v IEMED c o n t i n u e d f r o m p r e v i o u s pa g e awake Bob Nelson Eric Mongeau "That's really where the growth is," he said. "The biggest driver is IVIg therapy, so you do see specialty pharmacy players start- ing IVIg programs and seeing a better gross profit there." With giant companies like Coram, Option Care, BioScrip and OptumRx at one end of the home infusion spectrum and smaller independents with a handful of locations at the other, it's probable that at some point there will be further consolidation in the market, predict analysts. "I think the smaller companies are starting to build up again which will lead to anoth- er wave of consolidation a few years down the road," said Justin Ishbia, a founder and managing partner of Shore Capital Partners, a private equity firm that used to own a home infusion company. Both have their place, says Ishbia. "A large company always has the chal- lenges of competing with a local operator," he said. "I think both have a lot of advantages and they intersect in markets like this in good times. Both players can win for a period, but we'll see who is the favored outcome for local referral sources." hme medtrade booth 1860

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