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Archive: July 2003


News

Yes to accreditation

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

I would support the process only if the qualification process and the cost to the DME/HME was limited on the front end (Flat $1,500 for < $1M sales/graduated up the line), NO annual inspection fee but monthly subscription dues of $50.00.¬  Enrollees can maintain accreditation by submitting an annual report on complaints plus continuing education via Web-based programs and testing for key personnel.¬  This balances the insatiable tendency of ACHC, CHAP, JCAHO to find more and more requirements...

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Getting from here to there

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - ScootAround, a company that traffics in short-term wheelchair and scooter rentals, just added Barcelona and Rome to its list of locations, bringing its total to 500-plus. “If there's somewhere a client wants to go, we'll try to get them there,” said Cheryl Thibert, operations manager. Brother and sister David Vincent and Lee Meagher started ScootAround seven years ago, after watching their father scramble to find a replacement for his damaged scooter during a vacation. “There's...

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Respiratory

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - ABC Plus has decided it's no longer worth the risk to offer pharmacy management agreements (PMA) to home medical equipment providers. Shortly after the OIG issued a special bulletin this spring questioning the validity of some PMAs, the Rainsville, Ark., mail-order respiratory pharmacy decided to exit that business line. “We started looking at the opinion, and there is such immeasurable risk when you are dealing with the government,” said Keith Sanderson, ABC president....

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Trading Places

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

SARASOTA, Fla. - Two small manufacturers of mobility products are swapping warehouse space and labor as they grow business on the East and West Coasts. In June, Silver Star Mobility stacked its mobility lifts and carriers on 1,200 square feet of Lifestyle Mobility's new 64,000-square-foot warehouse in St. Petersburg, Fla. Lifestyle has stocked similar space in Silver Star's Medford, Ore. facility with scooters, power chairs and patient aids. “Companies have to cut costs to be competitive,”...

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Nussle sounds NCB opposition

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

WASHINGTON, July 3 - In a letter addressed to the chairmen of the Congressional committees that wrote Medicare reform legislation in June, Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) expressed concern about the negative impact of competitive bidding on his constituents. “I urge that as you construct final Medicare legislation, you give every consideration to the Senate language as it will achieve similar savings without negatively impacting employers and workers in my district,” Nussle wrote. In June,...

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Lighter, quieter, better technology rules the roost

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

Oxygen manufacturers have made some significant innovations to their systems over the past few years, developing new high-tech product genres such as portable concentrators, portable liquid systems and transfilling units. And for the most part, this new technology has impressed providers, patients and referral sources alike. Yet the lion's share of the respiratory market still belongs to the original stationary oxygen system and manufacturers say it most likely will remain so for some time to come....

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Former HCFA chief decries lack of home care

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

ATLANTA - A one-time HCFA (now CMS) administrator called the lack of access to home care in this country a “continuing scandal.” The former administrator, Bruce Vladeck, made his remarks in a June 12 CNN interview headlined “The Trouble with Medicare.” “It's just really a continuing scandal in a society as rich as this one, folks can't get the home care they need, they can't get the drug coverage they need, they can't get the more sophisticated kinds of durable medical...

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Chemical imbalances may brew OSA

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Add chemical imbalances in the brain to the list of possible causes of sleep disordered breathing. In two new papers, published in the July 8 issue of the journal Neurology, researchers found connections between 13 patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare and fatal neurological disorder, and sleep apnea. In those patients, a lack of brain cells that produce the key chemicals of dopamine and acetylcholine was linked to more thrashing, talking and flailing in sleep and...

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Stalemate?

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

I talked to one home medical equipment provider last month whose crystal ball looks like this: The House and the Senate won't be able to reconcile their different visions for Medicare reform. Medicare reform legislation goes nowhere this year. Because next year is an election year, Congress won't touch Medicare reform. But after the next election, watch out. Afterall, BBA '97, which gave us competitive bidding demonstration projects in Florida and Texas as well as a 30% reduction in reimbursement...

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Providers warming to Medicare price freeze

July 31, 2003HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - How sharp is the contrast between national competitive bidding for durable medical equipment and a seven-year freeze on consumer price index and cost of living allowances? In a spiritual context, it's the difference between “nirvana and hell,” said Don White, president of Buffalo, NY-based Associated Healthcare. “Compared to competitive bidding, the CPI freeze is a much preferred situation,” White said. “I operate in 11 markets across New York state. To...

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