In brief: Congressional caucus on sleep, Sullivan Health’s first acquisition, telehealth expansion finalized

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

DARIEN, Ill. – The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has created a Congressional Sleep Health Caucus to promote healthy sleep and the importance of high-quality, patient-centered care for patients.  

The caucus is co-chaired by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill. 

 “As we deal with the unique challenges and added stress brought on by the COVID pandemic, the necessity of good, quality sleep is all too clear,” said Lofgren. “Insufficient sleep has been associated with various mental and physical health challenges, and it’s clear that sleep hygiene is a matter of public health. I look forward to working with my colleague, Rep. Rodney Davis, to highlight and promote sleep research at a federal level through the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus.”  

The caucus will help improve sleep health by highlighting the: 

  • Importance of healthy sleep for overall health, well-being, productivity, and public safety 

  • Prevalence of sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, and effectiveness of treatments, such as positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy 

  • Availability of expertise from the sleep team at accredited sleep facilities 

  • Discoveries generated by sleep and circadian research 

The caucus will host congressional briefings on topics such as the elimination of daylight saving timestudent sleep health and school start times, and sleep health disparities. 

“The establishment of the Congressional Sleep Health Caucus is an important milestone for the field of sleep medicine, and I am grateful to Rep. Lofgren and Rep. Davis for their leadership,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “The caucus will amplify our messages and strengthen our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.” 

Sullivan Health buys Progress Mobility  

ORLANDO, Fla. - Sullivan Health Holdings has closed on its first acquisition: Progress Mobility, an Orlando, Fla.-based provider of scooters, wheelchairs, hospital beds and lift chairs. 

Sullivan Health Holdings is building a network of HME providers, with a goal of closing on five or more acquisitions in the next 12 to 18 months. 

“Progress Mobility is a very unique company that is one of the country’s leaders in online mobility sales,” said Asim Akhtar, CEO and principal of Sullivan Health. “They have a phenomenal staff, great technology and a unique position in the market that we hope to grow alongside their team in coming years. With the way the world is going, we here at Sullivan believe the ability to purchase mobility online versus in-store will be paramount to success in 2021 and beyond.” 

Progress Mobility buys equipment “by the container full” and keeps more than $2 million worth of inventory on hand, it says on its website, allowing the company to pass on savings to customers. 

Sullivan Health Holdings already has LOIs with other acquisition targets. 

“Our goal at Sullivan Health Holdings is to embrace forward-thinking companies and leaders,” Akhtar said. 

CMS finalizes telehealth expansion 

WASHINGTON – CMS permanently expanded certain telehealth services, leveraging an “explosion of innovation” during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a final rule released Dec. 1. 

In in its annual Physician Fee Schedule final rule, the agency adds more than 60 services to the Medicare telehealth list that will continue to be covered beyond the end of the public health emergency. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, actions by the Trump Administration have unleashed an explosion in telehealth innovation, and we’re now moving to make many of these changes permanent,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Medicare beneficiaries will now be able to receive dozens of new services via telehealth, and we’ll keep exploring ways to deliver Americans access to health care in the setting that they and their doctor decide makes sense for them.” 

Before the pandemic, only 15,000 fee-for-service beneficiaries each week received a Medicare telemedicine service. But between mid-March and mid-October of this year, more than 24.5 million out of 63 million beneficiaries and enrollees have received a Medicare telemedicine service. 

CMS has covered 144 telehealth services, such as emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services, through the end of the PHE. 

FSB’s Pinnacle Medical sells to AdaptHealth 

CHICAGO – FSB Companies has sold its portfolio company Pinnacle Medical Solutions, a provider of diabetes management supplies, to AdaptHealth. 

Pinnacle, which will continue to operate under its current name and location in Southaven, Miss., primarily serves patients in the Southeast, offering CGMs, insulin pumps and other diabetic supplies. 

“It was an honor to be part of the Pinnacle team and build something special,” said Frank Brumfield, CEO and owner of FSB. “The Pinnacle-FSB teams were able to work together to create an exceptional company that provides outstanding quality service to patients, payers and manufacturers. We were able to leverage technology, perfect workflows and build an incredible culture that we are proud to transition to AdaptHealth.” 

AdaptHealth announced earlier this week that is it acquiring AeroCare Holdings. 

Allina Health sells to AdaptHealth 

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Allina Health is selling its HME division to AdaptHealth, according to ABC Newspapers. The purchase includes Allina’s Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Division, also known as HOME. “We are extremely proud of the work and commitment of our Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment staff,” said Lisa Shannon, president and COO of Allina Health. “We are excited about AdaptHealth’s deep industry expertise and resources to grow and invest in the division.” HOME has a showroom in St. Paul, Minn., and a presence in seven other cities in Minnesota. 

Medtronic launches discount program 

DUBLIN - Medtronic has launched a CGM Access Discount program that allows users without insurance coverage or those who switched insurance or lost coverage to access discounted out-of-pocket costs for a Medtronic CGM. The discount enables eligible patients to pay $180 for a Medtronic CGM (with a 12-month warranty) and $60/month for sensors. For more information on the program, click here. In October, CMS announced proposed changes that, if finalized, would expand Medicare coverage for CGMs. Earlier this year, Medtronic expanded its Medtronic Assurance program for U.S. customers who lose their jobs and health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current eligible customers can receive a three-month supply of sensors, infusion sets and reservoirs at no cost.  

Stratice, Kno2 partnership eliminates barrier to information flow 

CARMEL, Ind. - A new partnership connects Stratice Healthcare’s eOrdersPlus with Kno2’s Interoperability as a Service. Health care professionals will be able to seamlessly create and receive complete, compliant medical orders, enabling rapid fulfillment of orders and integrating those orders into patient charts. By partnering with Kno2, Stratice is removing barriers to the flow of information between a care provider’s EHR and existing clinical workflows in eOrdersPlus. Additionally, Kno2’s network will offer real-time access to millions of patient records, allowing for a complete order with the back and forth of phones and faxes. “Our partnership with Kno2 greatly accelerates Stratice’s mission to serve as the industry’s sole open, completely neutral care coordination hub filling the gap between ‘eReferral’ platforms and the transmission of complete, compliant orders for a wide array of patient care needs based on true patient and prescriber choice,” said Jason Farmer, CEO of Stratice. 

NRRTS partners with Canadian association 

LUBBOC, Texas - NRRTS has partnered with the Canadian Assistive Devices Association to develop a Canadian standard for complex rehab technology services. “The complex rehabilitation technology industry in Canada is thriving and our partnership with NRRTS will enable us to ensure that we can provide the highest levels of service to our clients and partners while maintaining a level of professionalism and knowledge that having a NRRTS designation requires” said Erin Roberts, executive director, CADA. The program was formally introduced at the CADA AGM on Nov. 17. NRRTS provides a mechanism for consumers, clinicians and third-party payers to identify qualified suppliers who provide high-quality complex rehab technology and related services to people with physical disabilities. “NRRTS promotes the highest standard of ethical conduct by its registrants,” said Weesie Walker, executive director of NRRTS. “We are extremely proud to be working with CADA on launching a Canadian standard that upholds these mutual beliefs.” 

Nonin recognized by Inc. Magazine 

MINNEAPOLIS – Nonin Medical has been named to Inc.’s inaugural Best in Business list in the health products category. The list is meant to honor companies that have gone above and beyond to make a difference. "I couldn't be prouder of what the incredible employees at Nonin have done to address the needs of the health care industry during these trying times,” said Dave Hemink, CEO of Nonin Medical, a manufacturer of pulse oximeters. “Having Nonin named to Inc.'s Best in Business for Health Products is a reflection of the agility and dedication Nonin employees have to helping improve patient outcomes and quality of life worldwide."  

180 Medical names scholarship recipient 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – 180 Medical, a provider of intermittent catheters, incontinence products and ostomy supplies, has announced that Yousra Mohamed has become the first student to receive their new Caregiver Scholarship. The scholarship aims to help college students who are currently unpaid caregivers of a family member or loved one with a chronic disability. “We’re so proud to be able to assist Yousra with her goals through our new Caregiver Scholarship program,” said Mark Jassey, chief commercial officer. “We’re sure her experience as a caregiver from such an early age will influence her dedication to care and compassion both at school, among her peers, and in her future career.” Mohamed began her freshman year at the University of Southern California this fall with the help of the 180 Medical Ron Howell Caregiver Scholarship of $1,000. The scholarship is named after 180 Medical’s former president, Ron Howell, who retired from the company after nearly 15 years. 

Baxter buys SleepGlad 

COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Baxter Management has bought SleepGlad, a cloud-based CPAP mask fitting and initial CPAP management platform for HME providers. The technology, which only requires patients to take a “selfie,” is manufacturer neutral, meaning providers can customize and add preferences from ResMed, Philips Respironics, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare or 3B Medical. “We are excited to have SleepGlad join our family of companies,” said David Baxter, owner. “We look forward to the continued growth of this phenomenal product, while contributing to positive outcomes in sleep health and patient care.” Akhil Raghuram, MD, formed SleepGlad this year with the goal of optimizing mask fittings during sleep studies in his sleep lab. The acquisition allows for a “complete and seamless” remote CPAP setup and replenishment through Baxter’s sister company, S3 Resupply, according to a press release. 

Virtis Health expands into Illinois 

WOODRIDGE, Ill. - Virtis Health, an alternate site of care company offering treatment, clinical management and administration of specialty infusion and injectible medications in an ambulatory infusion center (AIC) setting, has opened its first site in the Chicagoland area. The site, staffed with licensed infusion-specialist nurse practitioners, offers a range of therapy management services, including immunoglobulin treatments for primary immunodeficiencies and autoimmune disorders. Concurrent with the opening, Virtis Health has appointed Stacey Boetto as a nurse practitioner to oversee the company's AIC. She founded Faire Health, where she served as a full-practice authority nurse practitioner at several locations throughout Illinois. Virtis Health currently operates six locations, with four AICs in Arizona (Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson), one in Dallas/Fort Worth and now one in Chicagoland. 

Protech Home Medical highlights growth 

CINCINNATI – Protech Home Medical has reported preliminary revenue in the range of $26.1 million to $26.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, driven by “robust organic growth.” It reported preliminary adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5.6 million to $6.1 million. “We have seen our sleep business pick up in the back half of the year, approaching levels seen early in 2020 and are optimistic the sleep business will return to and surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2021,” said Greg Crawford, CEO and chairman. “As a whole, our business remains robust into our fiscal first quarter of 2021, our M&A pipeline is full, and we are well capitalized with our balance sheet to capture the significant opportunities at our front door.” Company officials noted that CMS’s recent decision to drop 13 product categories from Round 2021 of its competitive bidding program “is extremely bullish for our current business.” “It provides us with a significantly clearer outlook on the margin for our overall product mix,” said Hardik Mehta, CFO. 

Numotion grows in Texas 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has expanded into Amarillo, Texas, with the acquisition of the complex rehab division of BritKare. “Numotion is proud to continue to grow our reach in Texas with this investment in BritKare,” said Mike Swinford, Numotion CEO. Founded in 1995, BritKare has been serving the mobility needs of customers in the areas surrounding Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, for more than 25 years. The company’s employees, including four assistive technology professionals, will join Numotion. BritKare represents the eighth branch for Numotion in Texas and only the most recent example of Numotion’s growth in the region. It also recently acquired Northland Rehab Supply in Sioux Falls, S.D. Numotion’s existing locations in Texas are in Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Athens.  

NorthShore offers free trial, discount 

GREEN OAKS, Ill. – NorthShore Care Supply has launched a program for ICU nurses and other COVID-first responders in the U.S., including a free trial of two bags of adult diapers, as well as a 20% discount on all absorbent adult diapers, protective underwear, bladder control pads and cleaning wipes available at its NorthShore.com website. “We want to show our appreciation for the dedication of our medical providers and their heroic work during this pandemic,” said Adam Greenberg, president and founder, NorthShore Care Supply. “We’ve been contacted by a number of ICU nurses this year treating COVID patients who are struggling to meet the needs of their patients during extended shifts while managing with overactive balder or bladder or bowel incontinence.” The free trial and discount program for ICU nurses and COVID-first responders is available through March 31, 2021, while supplies last.