In brief

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arete Sleep Health acquired, renamed

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arete Sleep Health announced in March that it had been acquired by the previous leadership of O2 Science and renamed STARS Healthcare. STARS stands for Sleep Testing and Respiratory Services. In addition to sleep lab and diagnostic services, STARS will provide respiratory therapy products, such as oxygen concentrators and CPAP devices. It operates six sleep centers in the greater Phoenix area, as well as two in Tucson.

Bill seeks fair coverage for prosthetic devices

WASHINGTON – The Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act of 2012, H.R. 4175, was introduced March 8 by Reps. Charles Dent, R-Pa., and Robert Andrews, D-N.J. The bill seeks to ensure that insurance coverage for prosthetic and custom orthotic devices is comparable to other coverage offered by the insurer. A similar bill was introduced in the house in 2011.

OIG: Bidding could reduce strip costs

WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) in March recommended that Ohio implement a mail-order competitive bidding program for diabetes test strips, or use manufacturer rebates to save money. In a report issued in March, the OIG said do so could have saved approximately $8 million for the state fiscal year 2011. The OIG looked at Medicare payment rates in two Ohio CBAs and Medicaid payment rates that Indiana obtained through manufacturer rebates. The average Medicare payment rate for 50 test strips in the two Ohio CBAs in 2011 was $15.42, the net cost after rebate in Indiana was $17.72 and $14.70, and the maximum reimbursement rate for Ohio Medicaid was $35.

E0601: 81% error rate

WASHINGTON – National Government Services, the Jurisdiction B DME MAC, says that the overall claims error rate for CPAP (E0601) is 81%. In a recent widespread review of 314 claims, 197 were denied. The top reasons for denials included: insufficient or no medical record documentation (134); insufficient or no report of a Medicare covered sleep study (88); and supplier didn’t respond to additional documentation request (56).

Research firm calls OSA, COPD ‘goldmine’

NEW YORK – The global anesthesia and respiratory devices market will grow 4.7% from 2010 to 2017 to exceed $14 billion in 2017, GBI Research forecasts in a new report. GBI expects the market’s primary driver to be the growing patient population with sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and respiratory diseases like COPD. Roughly 300 million people around the world suffer from OSA, and 400 million to 600 million suffer from COPD.