In brief: AAH launches surveys, NCART releases updated benefit

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare is conducting a survey on the impact of the elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs. The association is looking for information about "what changes have taken place at your business regarding inventory, service area, staffing and patient services," it stated in a bulletin to members. Complete the survey at AAHomecare is also conducting a survey on the number of companies registered with the FDA to fill medical oxygen. To take that survey, go to AAHomecare will use the results from both surveys to help inform policymakers.

NCART releases updated complex rehab benefit

WASHINGTON - NCART last week released an updated proposal paper outlining its separate benefit for complex rehab. It also released a spreadsheet detailing designated complex rehab codes and payments. Find the documents at Stakeholders will have the documents in hand when they travel to Washington, D.C., this week to lobby for a separate benefit as part of CELA. For more information on CELA and a call-in campaign associated with the event, go to and

Lawmakers get a taste of competitive bidding-related job losses

MIAMI - HME providers in South Florida have met with new U.S. congressmen in their district offices as part of "Grand Opening" events, according to an AMEPA newsletter. Providers have met with Rep. David Rivera. R-Fla., at his new Southwest Miami office and with Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., at events in Palm Beach and Broward County. Lawmakers learned about the job losses associated with competitive bidding. For example: City Medical Services, a contract supplier, laid off half of its staff in early December. "I thought my job was safe, because our company won the oxygen bid," Jorge Coello, a former warehouse manager for City Medical Services, told lawmakers, "but because our company did not win (other) categories, our company was no longer purchasing inventory and so they no longer had a place for me."

VGM associates join brain injury advocacy efforts

WATERLOO, Iowa - Associates from The VGM Group attended The Brain Injury Association of Iowa's Advocacy Day at the state capitol in Des Moines last week. Kelly Turner and Beth Cox, both of People for Quality Care, VGM's consumer advocacy group, and Steven Eilers of VGM Forbin joined other supporters, survivors and advocates at the annual event, which promotes brain injury awareness and raises awareness about the difficulties with funding and access. Turner and Eilers are both members of the Northeast Iowa Traumatic Brain Injury Board.