In brief: AAH urges providers to contact representatives, Peaks and Plains Medical hosts McMorris Rodgers

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Friday, October 20, 2017

WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders are urging providers to gather as many original co-sponsors as they can for a bill expected to drop in November that would provide relief for non-bid areas.

Last week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., released draft language for the bill, which would roll back a portion of the reimbursement cuts that went into effect in non-bid areas in 2016 and address a “double dip” cut to oxygen reimbursement. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, has signed on to be the Democratic lead on the bill.

“This would allow HME suppliers to continue to serve these communities, giving seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals with chronic conditions the ability to remain in their homes and lessen the need for hospital stays and other costly clinical interventions,” AAHomecare states as a suggested talking point that providers can use with their legislators.

AAHomecare has made several resources available to help providers make their case, including position briefs on rural relief and oxygen, its recent patient access survey, and its online Grassroots Action Center.

Lobbying: Peaks and Plains Medical, Aeroflow

More than 20 people representing HME companies and organizations from across the Pacific Northwest and Big Sky regions attended an event held at Peaks and Plains Medical in Spokane Valley, Wash., where the guest of honor was Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., according to VGM. McMorris Rodgers plans to introduce a bill in early November that would provide relief from the competitive bidding program in non-bid areas. She has also recently spearheaded a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, asking them to clear an interim final rule under their review that would provide relief from the bid program. McMorris Rodgers stayed at the event for nearly an hour, VGM says…Aeroflow Healthcare met with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to discuss topics related to health care and their impact on the state. Aeroflow’s executive team and the company’s Mom and Baby division met with Meadows to continue previous discussions about the importance of small businesses and the role of breastfeeding in parenting. Meadows briefed Aeroflow on the current state of health care in Congress, including the recent healthcare-related executive order from President Donald Trump.

AASM stakes a claim to home sleep testing

DARIEN, Ill. – Only a physician can diagnose medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea and primary snoring, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states in a new position paper on home sleep apnea testing.

The AASM also states that the need for, and appropriateness of, an HSAT must be based on the patient’s medical history and a face-to-face examination by a physician, either in person or via telemedicine.

“A home sleep apnea test provides valuable information for the diagnostic assessment of certain patients with suspected obstructive sleep apnea,” said AASM President Dr. Ilene Rosen. “However, the test is only one component of a comprehensive sleep evaluation, and it is important for a board-certified sleep medicine physician to be involved in reviewing and interpreting the raw data from the device.”

The AASM published the position paper in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Additionally, the AASM stated:

·      An HSAT is a medical assessment that must be ordered by a physician to diagnose OSA or evaluate treatment efficacy.

·      An HSAT should not be used for general screening of asymptomatic populations.

·      Diagnosis, assessment of treatment efficacy, and treatment decisions must not be based solely on automatically scored HSAT data, which could lead to sub-optimal care that jeopardizes patient health and safety.

·      The raw data from the HSAT device must be reviewed and interpreted by a physician who is either board-certified in sleep medicine or overseen by a board-certified sleep medicine physician.

DMEPOS appeals pile up

WASHINGTON – DMEPOS appeals at the Administrative Law Judge level make up about 49% of total appeals in FY 2017, consistent with the two previous years, according to a bulletin from AAHomecare. As of August 2017, the Office of Medicare Hearings & Appeals had 591,962 total appeals pending—an increase of 300% since 2016. The number of DMEPOS appeals as of Oct. 12 is 291,047.

Pediatric Home Care sells to nat’l player

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Pediatric Home Care, which started as a home infusion pharmacy then added private-duty nursing services, has sold to Atlanta-based Aveanna Healthcare, according to the Spokesman-Review. PHC, founded by Michael Glockling, a doctor of pharmacy, and Ruth Seignemartin, a registered nurse, has provided home care for children in Eastern Washington since 1990. Aveanna Healthcare bills itself as the largest pediatric home healthcare company in the country, with 180 locations in 23 states and 26,000 caregivers. Aveanna Healthcare comprises Epic Health Services and PSA Healthcare.

MAMES conference packs crowd

WELCH, Minn. – This year’s fall conference of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services & Supplies saw a 40% spike in attendance compared to last year’s, the state association reports. The 2017 MAMES Fall Excellence in HME Conference, which concluded Oct. 6, also saw a perfect 4.0 score from attendees. “While the addition of MAMES members (from Wisconsin) accounted for almost half of the increase in attendance, we were still up over 20%,” said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES, which took in the Wisconsin HME state association earlier this year. This year’s conference, sponsored by 27 companies, featured new educational programs for retail, reimbursement and rehab, as well as a “Speed Dating Round Table.” The conference also hosted inspirational speakers like Matthew Sanford of Mind Body Solutions.

Pride, Quantum take on mentor role

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products and Quantum Rehab offered about 20 students with disabilities the opportunity to be mentored by career professionals in various fields during Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 11. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to showcase the amazing work we do at Pride and Quantum Rehab, while educating the students, teachers and aides about the many career opportunities available to individuals with disabilities,” said Denise Truesdale, vice president of human resources. “It was a fun-filled day that allowed us to make a difference in people’s lives.” This is the eighth year Pride and Quantum have participated in the event, but it was the first year they have held it at their Duryea facility, where students were able to tour the production area and visit an expanded test lab. Students had the opportunity to learn typical job responsibilities, and the necessary knowledge and skills needed for a specific vocation. Careers in research and development, sales, technical service, and production were highlighted.

Digest finds diversity among indie community pharmacies

ORLANDO, Fla. – Independent community pharmacies continue to strengthen and expand their scope of services, despite lower reimbursements for dispensing prescription drugs, according to the 2017 NCPA Digest, unveiled at the association’s annual convention, Oct. 14-18. The digest, in its eighth year, found indie community pharmacies offer a variety of services: 86% offer medication therapy management; 74% provide immunizations; and 52% furnish durable medical goods. “As the 2017 NCPA Digest indicates, in the evolving health care landscape, pharmacists will continue to offer more clinical services to serve their patients,” said Steve Lawrence, senior vice president of Retail Independent Sales at Cardinal Health, the digest’s sponsor. “We’ll see independent pharmacies leading the way in offering the services and care patients need to stay adherent to their medications and remain healthy.” The digest also found that the number of indie community pharmacies is down slightly from last year (22,041 vs. 22,160), that they represent 36% of the retail pharmacy marketplace and that 81% of them serve populations of 50,000 or less.

NRRTS joins ITEM Coalition

LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has become a member of the ITEM Coalition, says Executive Director Weesie Walker. ITEM Coalition members include a diverse set of national disability organizations, aging organizations, consumer groups, voluntary health associations, and nonprofit provider associations. Membership is open to all consumer and nonprofit provider organizations without any requirement to contribute financially. NRRTS also recently participated in the United Spinal Association’s Roll on Capitol Hill, an annual advocacy and lobbying event. “We’re trying to draw together all the different organizations,” said Walker. “That’s something the board feels really strong about.”

Brightree launches ‘one solution’ for resupply

ATLANTA – Brightree has launched Brightree ConnectPRO, a CPAP resupply management program that combines Brightree’s technology, services and data analytics into one solution to manage and retain patients. Brightree ConnectPRO includes: Brightree Connect patient contact management software; Performance Concierge Services; Revenue Cycle Management Resupply Intake Services, which includes processing all paperwork and verification of benefits; AllCall Connect; and data analytics. “We have witnessed a dramatic shift in CPAP resupply, wherein providers must do more with less,” said Gary Long, Brightree’s chief business development officer. “Too many compliant CPAP patients are never enrolled in their provider’s resupply program, and unfortunately many who are enrolled do not stay in the program very long.”

DeRoyal debuts Continuum customer experience

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – DeRoyal Industries has opened a Continuum real-time inventory and charge-capture system customer experience. Located on the company’s campus headquarters in Powell, Tenn., the facility will showcase Continuum’s automated supply management and continuity of care features in a simulated operating room suite, inventory storage room and multiple demo stations. “Our Continuum platform helps clinicians bridge the gap between the acute care and post-acute care supply chain,” said CEO Brian DeBusk. “It also automates many of the supply chain functions so that clinicians can remain completely focused on their patients, while maintaining a transparency and accountability for every single item used in the clinical setting.” The 33,000-square foot facility also provides offices to engineers, product specialists, and sales and marketing professionals. DeRoyal manufactures surgical devices, orthopedic supports and braces, and wound care dressings.

Apacheta, Brightree expand partnership

MEDIA, Pa. – Brightree users can now use the Brightree Patient Collections app, GetPaidHME, with Apacheta software, the two companies have announced. The integration allows delivery techs to process payments using a major credit card, e-check or FSA/HSA card. “Today, collecting payments at the point of service is inefficient due to a patchwork of third-party mobile applications or worse paper-based processes not aligned for efficient and effective transactions,” said Gregg Timmons, CEO of Apacheta. “Now with the Brightree GetPaidHME app integration, customers can seamlessly collect payments at the time of delivery, streamlining the collections process.” Apacheta and Brightree began their relationship in June 2014, offering providers a mobile delivery management solution that integrated with Brightree’s platforms. The ability to use the GetPaidHME app, which runs on both Apple and Android devices, with Apacheta software is an expansion of that partnership.

People news: Lynn Connelly, Robert Dean, Dan Meuser

Lynn Connelly, RPh, owner of Medicine Mart Pharmacy in Chapin, S.C., has been named the National Community Pharmacists Association 2017 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year. Connelly received the award, sponsored by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, during the Opening General Session of the NCPA 2017 Annual Convention, Oct. 14-18. The award recognizes an independent pharmacy for exemplary leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy and his or her community. The NCPA lauded Connelly for his work in South Carolina: helping to pass a prescription drug monitoring program, establishing one of the highest state dispensing fees in the country, bringing more transparency to generic prescription drug reimbursements, creating an “any willing provider” provision, producing fairer pharmacy audits and opening up immunizations to pharmacies…Robert Dean has been named vice president and general manager of Brightree’s Home Health & Hospice Division. He will be responsible for expanding the company’s product offerings, customer base and market position for its EMR solution. Previously, Dean was vice president and general manager of McKesson’s Extended Care Solutions Group, where he implemented several new sales and operational initiatives that improved products and customer satisfaction…Dan Meuser, who used to run Pride Mobility Products with his brother Scott Meuser, has announced that he is a Republican candidate running to represent Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district. Previously, Dan Meuser served as secretary of revenue for the state under Gov. Tom Corbett