In brief: AAH cries foul, Philips Respironics wins award, mail-order companies merge

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BALTIMORE – Changes to the local coverage determination (LCD) for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) that went into effect Oct. 1 should have been subject to public comment, said AAHomecare in a Sept. 30 letter to the four DME MAC medical directors. The new LCD calls for significant changes to physician orders and documentation, narrows the definition of NPWT, and restricts HME providers from providing additional supplies. In its letter, AAHomecare asks, among other things, for the medical directors to clarify the NPWT definition and allow for delivery of additional supplies when it is medically necessary.

Philips Respironics wins plant award

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Philips Respironics’ plant in New Kensington, Pa., has been named “2011 Plant of the Year” by Assembly Magazine and the Boston Consulting Group, it was announced Oct. 4. The 172,000-square-foot-plant, where Philips Respironics manufactures CPAP devices, was chosen for “its creatively applied lean manufacturing principles and its ongoing commitment to continuous improvement at all levels of the organization.” The plant’s achievements include an 80% decrease in assembly errors and a 35% increase in labor efficiency, according to a release.

Inogen expands to Florida

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen announced last week that it has expanded its home oxygen therapy service area to include Florida. “Thousands of residents in Florida who require long term oxygen therapy have requested information on Inogen’s oxygen service and the Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator, but have been unable to move forward until our recent expansion,” the company stated in a release.

CCS Medical to pull up stakes

CLEARWATER, Fla.– Mail order provider CCS Medical plans to relocate from its headquarters here to North Dallas, it announced Sept. 30. In a press release, CEO Dirk Allison cited the state's "superior business climate" as a factor in the move. CCS Medical will receive perks for relocating its headquarters, including up to $506,000 in training funding from the Texas Workforce Commission; and up to $37,500 in incentives—$250 per job created. The move is expected to create 230 jobs. CCS Medical, which offers diabetes, wound care, incontinence and other supplies, currently has more than 1,500 employees in seven offices.

Mail-order companies merge

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – NationsHealth last week acquired Care 1st Medical Solutions. The five-year-old Care 1st offered mail-order diabetes testing supplies to about 13,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Care 1st CEO Mike Eberly confirmed the deal and blamed competitive bidding. NationsHealth, which won several mail-order contracts in Round 1, billed Medicare more than $13 million for test strips in 2010, according to the HME Databank.

Roberts joins NRRTS Board of Directors

WALSENBURG, Colo. – Katie Roberts, MS, ATP, CRTS, joined the NRRTS Board of Directors Oct. 4. A NRRTS registrant since 2007, Roberts served on the NRRTS Education Committee in 2010 and 2011. She works for Cimarron Medical Services in Oklahoma City. NRRTS President Michele Gunn stated Roberts would bring "a fresh new perspective to the board."

OAMES to conduct 'town hall teleconference'

CINCINNATI – People for Quality Care (PFQC) and the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) will host a town hall teleconference for Medicare beneficiaries on Oct. 19. PFQC will lead the meeting, which will include a Cincinnati physical therapist as well as a local senior who has been personally affected by the competitive bidding program. The panel will also be available to answer questions and to tell Medicare beneficiaries what they can do to "take action."

5010 testing: 'No significant errors'

WASHINGTON – CMS released the results from the second National Testing event last week: 1,252 trading partners submitted a total of 67,782 test files and no significant error scenarios were reported. All covered entities are required to use the Version 5010 format beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Additional results included: 26% of trading partners stated they were currently in production status, and an additional 42% stated the expected to be in production within the next month.