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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Vendors Briefs VGM Fulfillment expands WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Fulfillment has opened a resupply distribution center in Nashville, Tenn. The 40,000-square-foot warehouse is staffed with 22 existing em- ployees who are familiar with CPAP resup- ply, according to a press release. "Expand- ing our operations to a logistics hub like Nashville allows us to route some of our resupply order volume to the new facil- ity—ensuring that patients located in the southern and eastern United States will re- ceive their orders even quicker, resulting in greater patient satisfaction," said Jeremy Stolz, president of VGM Fulfillment. Golden Technologies video earns honors OLD FORGE, Pa. – Golden Technologies has been named a bronze winner in the 39th Annual Telly Awards for its product launch video for the MaxiComfort power recliner. The video was honored in both the gen- eral/home furnishings and the craft-direct- ing for promotional video categories. The Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television. Mediware acquires Rock-Pond Solutions LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Sys- tems has acquired Rock-Pond Solutions, a business intelligence and analytics soft- ware provider for the home infusion, home medical equipment, and specialty phar- macy industries. The deal will allow Medi- ware to develop better solutions for the post-acute care market. It will also support more collaborative work on Mediware's CareTend product roadmap. Supreme Medical adds CBD MOBILE, Ala. – Supreme Medical has part- nered with Green Roads to add CBD prod- ucts to its roster of distributed products. Green Roads produces more than 50 CBD products that are formulated by a licensed compound pharmacist using high quality, broad-spectrum hemp oil and other natural ingredients, according to a press release. Supreme Medical believes the CBD indus- try is poised to generate more than $2 bil- lion in revenue by 2020. Quantum Rehab backs Team Gleason EXETER, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has pledged to contribute $50,000 to the Team Gleason Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to pro- vide leading edge technology, equipment and services to individuals with ALS. Quan- tum Rehab will also pay for seat-elevation technology, like its iLevel system, to be distributed by Team Gleason to individu- als living with ALS. Team Gleason, founded by Steve Gleason, a former New Orleans Saints football player, after his diagnosis with ALS in 2011, is accepting applications from individuals living with ALS who are interested in a power seat elevator. www.h M enew S . C o M / o CT o B e R 2018 / h M e new S 27 ■ Matt Monaghan says Invacare will spend $2 million to $3 million on direct to consumer advertising in the next two quarters. See page 28. Invacare opens new channel for Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Philips to discontinue transfill system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 VirtuOx buys Instant Diagnostic Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Inogen reacts to DTC copycats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Invacare, along for the ride Elyria, Ohio-based Invacare got a shout out from wheelchair user and outdoor enthusiast Ian Mackay in August. Mackay rode his wheelchair from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to Port Angeles, Wash., to encourage other wheelchair users to get outside and to advocate for outdoor accessibility. Mackay, founder and executive direc- tor of the nonprofit organization Ian's Ride, named Invacare its "sponsor of the day" in August, after he used one of the company's TDX power wheel- chairs to travel through the Cascades. Mackay completed this year's ride on Aug. 25. Philips to drop UltraFill VirtuOx gains foothold Manufacturer prioritizes POCs over transfilling systems P h I L I P s u l T R A f I l l s E E n E X T PA g E By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor MURRY s VILLE, Pa. – Philips plans to discontinue its UltraFill Home Oxygen System, in another nod by the company to portable oxy- gen concentrators as the pre- ferred form of therapy. Philips has confirmed that it will stop selling the system, which includes a stationary oxy- gen concentrator, a filling station and high-capacity 3,000 PSI cyl- inders, by the end of this year. "With the evolution of the oxygen marketplace, customer demand has shifted to portable oxygen concentrators as the pri- mary choice for non-delivery oxygen models," Philips said in a statement to HME News. "POCs can clinically and cost effectively serve the needs of patients and By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor CORAL s PRING s , Fla. – Virtu- Ox made a major play to consolidate the market for overnight pulse oximetry testing in August when it acquired Decatur, Ala.- based Instant Diagnostic Systems. VirtuOx recently per- formed its 3 millionth test (not only for oximetry but also for sleep apnea and insomnia testing), and IDS to date has performed more than 2 million oximetry and sleep tests. "They were our No. 1 c o m p e t i t o r, " s a i d K y l e M i k o , c o - f o u n d e r a n d COO of VirtuOx. "To have the opportunity to pur- chase your No. 1 competi- tor and take market share is a top priority." IDS was most recently owned by Cardinal Health. Mickey Letson and his father started IDS as part of Letco Companies, then sold it to Harvard Drug Group, which sold it to a private equity firm, which then sold it to Cardinal. B e c a u s e I D S f o c u s e s solely on oximetry and sleep apnea testing, Virtu- Ox plans to bring its addi- tional services and prod- ucts to bear on the com- pany's customer base. "We do diagnostic pro- c e d u re s f o r i n s o m n i a , which they don't do, and we manufacture a num- ber of medical devices like VirtuClean that sanitizes CPAP devices, which they don't do," Miko said. "So we bring additional testing and products to the table." VirtuOx will keep run- n i n g I D S a s a d i s t i n c t company from Alabama and has retained 28 of the company's 35 employees, bringing its total number of employees to more than 100 full-time. It will keep IDS's user interface intact, By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor GOLETA, Calif. – It will only help Inogen that more manu- facturers are deciding to raise awareness among con- sumers for their own POCs, CEO Scott Wilkinson says. Invacare plans to spend $2 million to $3 million in the third and fourth quarters to build brand awareness among consumers for its POC, the Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator with connectivity. "Anything that anyone does out there, whether it's Inogen or another manufacturer, that helps drive awareness of POCs, we believe will benefit us," said Wilkin- son, also during a conference call last week to discuss the company's finan- cial results for the second quarter. Inogen isn't even bothered that Philips recently decided to start selling its POCs, the SimplyGo and SimplyGo Mini, to cash customers on one of its own websites. "It's still the same product, so the value and how it stacks up against our product is unchanged," Wilkin- son said. "We still believe that we're the most patient- preferred product." And right now, Inogen, a trailblazer in advertising and selling to consumers, has the numbers to prove it. The company reports that direct-to-consumer sales increased 74.3% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Inogen is making several moves to ensure that growth continues. The company has increased the number of employees that it plans to hire in its new Cleveland office to 500, two-thirds of which it expects to be sales reps. It originally planned to hire 240 employees. "Given our recent success, our strategy is to continue DME providers. Therefore, this decision allows us to invest our primary focus on solutions that our customers are demanding. Our SimplyGo and SimplyGo Mini POCs serve those needs." Philips says it plans to service the UltraFill for a minimum of five years after discontinuation. The decision isn't popular with providers who aren't yet sold on POCs and who are relying on transfilling systems to minimize their delivery costs. "We did a ton of analysis on how to restructure how we dis- pense oxygen, and we found (transfilling systems) were the most economical and required the least patient touches," said one provider who asked not be named. "Plus, we've had prob- lems with every POC we've tried—they're just not durable enough for how people use them." This provider will probably move to Invacare's Homefill Oxygen System, but that product won't suit all the needs of their patients. "The UltraFill is the only sys- tem on the market with 3,000 PSI," the provider said. Provider Woody O'Neal says he understands why Philips is doubling down on POCs, but he doesn't understand why that has to mean discontinuing the Ultra- Fill. While he's ramping up his POC business, he also has more than $1 million invested in trans- filling systems. "It's a bold move (for Philips)," he said. M&A Inogen watches as others follow I N O G E N ' s s T R AT E g y s E E n E X T PA g E V I R T U OX ' s P u l s E s E E n E X T PA g E S . Wilkinson

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