In brief: Abbott exec to lead Lincare, fingerprints slow application process

Friday, February 6, 2015

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Linde AG has named Kristen Hoefer CEO of Lincare, it announced today. She succeeds the retiring John Byrnes. Hoefer has spent 20 years at Abbott Laboratories, where she has held management positions in several divisions of the company. Most recently, she was in charge of the company’s pharmaceutical business in Western Europe. “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to attract the caliber of Kristen Hoefer, a proven healthcare executive with international experience,” said Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, CEO of Linde AG, in an article posted on gasworld.“I am confident that she will continue to apply and develop the successful approach we’ve adopted to date in our strategically important healthcare business.”The appointment is effective March 1.Lincare offers respiratory, home infusion and home medical equipment services and supplies through more than 1,100 locations in 48 states.

Fingerprints slow application process

WASHINGTON – There have been delays in processing new Medicare applications for DME providers due to CMS’s new fingerprinting initiative*, the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) reports.

“MAMES has been hearing from suppliers and consultants on what appears to be added delays,” reads the association’s Feb. 2 bulletin.

CMS began phasing in fingerprint-based background checks for HME and home health providers last year. Initially, it’s requiring the checks for newly enrolling and other high-risk providers. Eventually, however, it will require fingerprinting for all individuals with a 5% or greater ownership in an HME or home health company.

MAMES reports that during a recent meeting of the National Supplier Clearinghouse Advisory Committee (NSCAC) and the National Supplier Clearinghouse, the following questions about the delays were addressed:

Question: Can you please provide an outline of the process from when the CMS855S application is received to when a fingerprint is initiated by CMS to when it is returned to the NSC?

Answer: Once fingerprints are reviewed by CMS, the NSC receives ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ notification. Application processing will not begin until the NSC receives CMS notification.

Question: What are the percentages of applications that are going for fingerprinting and what is the average time added to processing the applications because of this?

Answer: All new applicants are subject to fingerprinting. Response time of the practitioner, quality of fingerprints or discrepancies can cause delays in processing. No official timeframe has been determined.

Question: Is it possible to proactively submit fingerprinting prior to being asked for this by the NSC?

Answer: As Accurate Biometrics is processing in response to the individuals identified by CMS, fingerprints should only be submitted when requested.

Question: Several states—one example is Florida—require fingerprints for state licensure and for Medicaid. If a provider has these fingerprints on file, is there any reciprocity with CMS?

Answer: The NSC is not able to use fingerprints for Medicaid or any other entity for Medicare application processing.

CMS approves 100% of TeamDME! claims

NASHVILLE – CMS has approved 835 test claims submitted with ICD-10 diagnosis codes by TeamDME! In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), claims for services provided on or after Oct. 1, 2015, must be submitted with ICD-10 diagnosis codes. “We've been working hard on ICD-10 over the past two years,” said Kent Barnes, TeamDME!’s vice president of marketing. “It is exciting to see the approval, assuring our customers of our preparedness for the upcoming changes.” TeamDME! is a medical billing software company based in Brentwood, Tenn.

Mediware releases single homecare solution

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems has released CareTend, a new software solution that combines the features of all its homecare solutions into one platform. The solution allows providers in HME, home infusion, home health agency and specialty pharmacy to seamlessly expand from their current service line into other markets. It also includes a new interface that offers easier navigation and greater personalization. “We have designed data conversion utilities and incentives to make converting to the new platform as easy as possible,” stated President and CEO Thomas Mann, in a press release. “However, we understand the investment our customers have made in their existing Medicare products, and we will continue to work to ensure their satisfaction with their current solutions.”

Supplier celebrates 20 years of business with rebrand

SUNRISE, Fla. – Wolf Medical Supply celebrated its 20th anniversary with a new logo design for its WOLF-Pak product line. “This fresh, new design encapsulates our vision of providing the highest quality, state-of-the-art products for the next 20 years and beyond,” said Bruce Stewart, director of marketing and operations. Founded in 1995, Wolf Medical offers IV and infusion related products.

Billing software gets boost from CollectPlus

BILLINGS, Mont. – Computers Unlimited has announced the integration of TIMS HME software with CollectPlus, a billing and collection service powered by A/R Allegiance Group. Added features include auto posting payments, dashboard sign-on and enhanced statement design at no additional cost to TIMS users.

BioMedical firm acquires wound device maker

LANGHORNE, Pa. – Alliqua BioMedical, a maker of wound care products, has agreed to acquire Eden Prairie-based Celleration for $30.4 million in stock and cash, according to an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal. Celleration is the manufacturer of MIST Therapy, an ultrasound system for treating acute and chronic wounds. Celleration had revenues of about $8.7 million in 2014. The deal will nearly double the size of Alliqua’s sales force, said CEO David Johnson in the article.

Study: CPAP use could lead to higher BMI

PLAINSBORO, N.J. – Oh the irony. CPAP use could cause an increase in body mass index (BMI) in users who are heavier, according to a new study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Study author Dr. Frank Domino reviewed medical literature of controlled trials for more than 3,000 patients. After adjusting for, among other things, age, gender, baseline BMI, baseline weight, OSA severity and CPAP compliance, he found that a high baseline weight could predict an increase in BMI or an increase in weight. Domino said future study is needed.

NHIA releases updated coding standards

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) has released the 2015 edition of the NHIA National Coding Standard. The document presents HCPCS per diem "S" codes as a comprehensive coding system for home infusion therapy claims and provides procedures for their use, information about what's included in the home infusion per diem, and detailed coding examples for both typical and unusual claims. The coding standards are available at no cost. FMI:

CareTouch hits milestone

DENVER – CareTouch Communications hit a major milestone in January: It surpassed 6 million patient encounters. The company contacts patients on behalf of HME providers to replenish their medical equipment and supplies. It uses several communication tools: a live call staff, automated phone services and the web. “Surpassing 6 million patient encounters is a testament to the need for quality patient care through professional outreach services,” stated Matthew Dolph, CEO of CareTouch in a press release.

ResMed, Brightree integrate again

SAN DIEGO and ATLANTA – ResMed’s AirView patient management system now directly integrates with Brightree’s billing and business management software solution. "Directly integrating with ResMed's comprehensive AirView patient management system gives Brightree users added capabilities within the software environment and workflows they rely on every day, making it easier for HMEs to focus on patient care as well as long-term business goals," stated Dave Cormack, president and CEO of Brightree, in a press release. The two companies have partnered in the past to integrate ResMed’s U-Sleep compliance solution with Brightree’s solution and to make ResMed’s products available directly from Brightree’s solution. This partnership is made possible by ResMed’s Data Exchange program, a comprehensive suite of software and service solutions that allows sleep and respiratory treatment data from ResMed's AirView and U-Sleep patient management platforms to be integrated with electronic medical records, billing, and care management applications.

Short takes: Inogen, Save My Medical Supplies

InogenDirector Timothy Petersen sold 601,000 shares of stock at an average price of $31.95 in a transaction Jan. 29 valued at $19.2 million. He then sold 99,000 shares at an average price of $30.88 in a transaction on Feb. 2 valued at $3.06 million…ResMed COO Robert Andrew Douglas sold 6,333 shares of stock at an average price of $62.35 in a transaction Feb. 3 for a total value of $395,000…Abilities Expo has come onboard as a supporter of Save My Medical Supplies, AAHomecare’s consumer advocacy campaign. The Abilities Expo, now in six cities across the country, offers three days of exposure to the latest in products, education and activities for all disabilities.