In brief: AAH readies complaint line, CMS botches call

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare is asking providers to help document problems with competitive bidding by logging on to or calling 888-990-0499. The association has already received reports of the following problems: contract suppliers who are bankrupt; errors on the Medicare website providing misinformation to beneficiaries; incorrect materials sent to beneficiaries outside of the bidding areas instructing them to switch providers; lack of required state licensure among some bid winners; and credit problems among a meaningful percentage of the contract suppliers. AAHomecare will share problems with legislators, the media and other interested parties.

Competitive bidding call goes wrong...very, very wrong

BALTIMORE - Contract suppliers and others phoned into a teleconference with officials from the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) last week to discuss competitive bidding. With the program going live Jan. 1, they knew it would be one of their last chances to ask questions and relay their concerns. What ensued, however, was "a big mess," said one person who was on the call. First, officials changed the pass code for the teleconference at the last minute, meaning some contract suppliers were on a teleconference by themselves. Then, they couldn't master the mute/un-mute function, resulting in everyone on the call being treated to a cacophony of conversations and background music. Finally, about half an hour into the teleconference, officials said they would have to reschedule, but they didn't say when. "When they said they had to reschedule due to technical difficulties, everyone asked, 'What time? Competitive bidding goes live Jan. 1," said one person who was on the call. Those on the call took this all as a sign: "If they can't run a webinar, how are they going to run competitive bidding?" said one person who was on the call.

AMEPA recognizes advocacy work

MIAMI - The Accredited Medical Equipment Providers of America (AMEPA) has given its 2010 Robert Arado Outstanding Advocate Award to providers Fino Randazzo and Timoth Bates. Randazzo is the owner of Florida Home Health and Equipment in Orlando; Bates is the owner of Premier Home Health in Orlando. The award acknowledges providers "who (have) truly made a difference for the survival of the HME industry through personal commitment," according to a release. It was named after Robert Arado of Caremed Respiratory Services, who helped found AMEPA.

It's now harder to get elected to Lincare's board

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lincare's board of directors has approved a change to the company's bylaws that requires stakeholders to elect directors by a majority of the votes cast, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December. "A majority of votes cast shall mean that the number of shares voted 'for' a director's election exceeds 50% of the total number of votes cast," states the filing.