HME News

FEB 2019

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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Page 13 of 24

■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ Providers h M e new S / feb R u AR y 2019 / www.h M enew S . C o M 13 PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Independence Home- HealthWares has been acquired by Point Ventures. Independence, which was founded in 1999 by Richard Westlake and Charlene Russell, offers DME like beds, wheel- chairs, bath safety items, ramps, oxygen concentrators and incontinence supplies throughout Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. "I wish (Point Ventures) great success going forward," said Westlake, Indepen- dence's past president. "All of us are com- mitted to helping our customers become independent of the physical challenges they are facing, and doing so with dignity and compassion." Point Ventures was formed earlier this year to pursue acquisitions in in the DMEPOS industry. Todd Ackerman at Point Ventures will take over as Inde- pendence's president. "On behalf of Point Ventures, we are thrilled to have completed the transac- tion with Richard Westlake and Charlene Russell," he said. "Independence's service culture is unprecedented within the home Ind. HomeHealthWares sells to Point Ventures companies will have some kind of life- changing event occur that motivates them to try to liquidate, but the busi- ness isn't in the condition necessary to get either a fair price or any price. We become their eyes and ears and their local little M&A department, and we advise them and help them position the company and get it to the point where it's ready to enter the market. HME: What does the horizon look like for the HME industry? Sadock: We are going into a period in the next two years that's really some- what of an undefined period. Some- thing is going to happen in two years, we just don't know what it is. So, what we have seen leading up to this has been quite an increase in the amount of interest and activity of acquisi- tions because we have already come through all of those changes related to CBP and pricing—the shock fac- tor is gone. HME: There's been a lot of consolida- tion in the past few years. What does that mean for the companies that are left? Rose: The companies that have sur- vived have learned how to run these businesses profitably, despite bidding. Whether they've elected to stay in it or not, the ones left standing have become extremely powerful in their local markets. If you look around the country, they are easy to identify. We are bullish and excited about the pros- pects on the near horizon. HME moneyline health industry, helping to improve cus- tomers' quality of life." Russell will remain as COO and Inde- pendence's staff has been retained. Paragon Ventures served as the adviser to Independence during the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ae R oflow ex PA n DS geog RAP hi C R e AC h ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has acquired the CPAP resupply business of Wheelock Home Medical, a Michigan- based provider that recently closed. "The transition of Wheelock's patient base was executed in a very patient-friendly man- ner, and Aeroflow will ensure the patients are provided with the service and atten- tion required to support their sleep ther- apy," said Andrew Amoth, corporate development associate for Aeroflow in a press release. Last week, the provider announced it had acquired the CPAP resupply business of Augusta, Ga.-based Integrity Medical; and the CPAP, wound care, incontinence and urology resupply business of Polson, Mont.-based Health- Care Plus. HME Another new revenue possibility for pro- viders: CBD. Our No. 4 most read story, "New cash crop? Providers consider CBD," discusses how CBD oils, tinctures, topicals and edibles could fit within a provider's larger product mix of, for example, pain manage- ment offerings, providers say. While it's too soon to say whether HME providers will embrace CBD, manufacturers of CBD prod- ucts see potential in the HME industry; and The VGM Group has launched a new divi- sion, botaniCo, to offer solutions to players in the space. Despite the ongoing shift to alternative business, Medicare is never far from the minds of providers. In our No. 2 most read story, "Any willing provider? It's not a unan- imous decision," providers weigh the pros and cons of whether to take back the Medi- care business they lost to competitive bidding once existing bid contracts expired. And finally, our list concludes with the dif- ficulties providers have faced with another payer in our No. 5 most read story, "Tricare transition creates billing nightmare." In the wake of a switch to a new contract adminis- trator, providers reported trouble getting paid and getting answers. HME PARA g ON C O N T I N u e D f R O M P R e v I O u S P a g e to report problems; and 4 Liquid oxygen is often not available in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas. The report attributes some of the prob- lems patients report to the "unintended consequences" of the bid program and cuts in reimbursement to DME providers. These cutbacks, the authors believe, may have con- tributed to increased c o m p l a i n t s a b o u t unreliable equipment, inconvenient delivery schedules, poor com- munication between providers and patients, and fewer RTs to edu- cate and test patients at home. Among other find- ings: 4 Many healthcare providers who prescribe oxygen lack the knowledge to prescribe the best oxygen delivery services for their patients; 4 Patients with certain lung diseases and those with higher oxygen needs must have greater access to lightweight, higher flow liquid oxygen systems within the con- straints of CMS reimbursement; 4 Innovative approaches to patient edu- cation, such as remote monitoring and tele- medicine, would likely improve the current state of absent or fragmented communica- tion and follow up; and 4 Research is also needed to better deter- mine which patients will benefit from oxy- gen therapy and to devise a new generation of portable oxygen devices. HME Top 5 most read provider stories 4 A MA zo N w AN ts to disrupt HEA lt H c A r E , i N cludi N g d ME, r E port s A ys BOSTON – DME is one of five possible points of entry for Amazon to enter and dominate the healthcare market, according to a new report from global man- agement consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting. 4 A N y willi N g provid E r? i t's N ot A u NAN i M ous d E cisio N YARMOUTH, Maine – Reaction among providers to CMS's any willing provider provision run the gamut— with some feeling disbelief, some contemplating new opportunities, and some discounting the idea outright. 4 HME vs. A MA zo N : p rovid E rs HE lp out—for A f EE YARMOUTH, Maine – HME providers have always held the competitive edge over online stores when it comes to service, they say. But now, that service may come with a price tag. 4 N E w c A s H crop? p rovid E rs co N - sid E r c B d YARMOUTH, Maine – Marijuana has long been the province of hippies, but some say CBD products may provide a new market opportunity for HME providers. 4 t ric A r E tr AN sitio N cr EA t E s B ill- i N g N ig H t MA r E HAMPTON, Va. – Ever since Tricare transitioned to a new contract administrator, providers say their claims aren't getting paid at all, or very slowly. YEAR IN REVIEW C O N T I N u e D f R O M P R e v I O u S P a g e O x Y g EN REPORT C O N T I N u e D f R O M P R e v I O u S P a g e "Delivery of home oxygen services has worsened since the onset of CMS's competitive bidding program."

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