In brief: Americans favor home care, many ABNs fail to meet criteria and more

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans (61%) say they favor investment in community- or home-based care to improve cost-effective health care, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. A majority (79%) say they also favor the government strengthening access to home medical equipment and services. In mid-September, Harris Interactive, on behalf of AAHomecare, conducted an online poll of 2,000 adults about federal spending priorities for health care.

Are your ABNs up to snuff?

BALTIMORE – Many advance beneficiary notices (ABNs) don’t meet acceptable criteria, according to a review by the CERT contractor and Noridian Administrative Services (NAS). A bulletin posted by NAS, the DME MAC for Jurisdiction D, on Sept. 26 reminds HME providers that ABNs “must explain in beneficiary-friendly language what each item or service is, why they believe each item or service may not be covered by Medicare, and the estimated cost of the service to the beneficiary.” The bulletin also advises providers not to use a blanket statement as a reason that Medicare may not pay for the service rendered. FMI:

Attention contract suppliers: Form C to get revamp

BALTIMORE – Contract suppliers will not have to submit Form C within the 10-day requirement for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. The two-part Form C details what items suppliers have provided to beneficiaries under competitive bidding. CMS has determined that the first part of the form, which collects brand and approximate number of each item furnished, is burdensome and does not fulfill its purpose, the agency stated in a release. CMS is updating the form and will notify suppliers by email when it is ready.

Diverse group of advocates backs AAHomecare

WASHINGTON – In response to recent state and federal actions jeopardizing the HME industry, a dozen organizations have come together to back AAHomecare's advocacy efforts. The groups represent the disability community and seniors, as well as other end users, according to a Sept. 23 press release. “The goal is to galvanize these organizations and move to a more activist campaign,” AAHomecare stated in the release. A complete list of members is available at

Senators promote FAST Act to cut costs

WASHINGTON – Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Tom Carper, D-Del., sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, urging members to include measures to reduce Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse in their proposal to Congress. Coburn and Carper introduced in June The Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (S. 1251), or FAST Act. In their Sept. 29 letter the senators state: "While the FAST Act is not a silver bullet to solve our nation's budgetary woes, it is an important piece of the deficit reduction puzzle."

Congressman touts value of home care

ROSWELL, Ga. – Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., met with home healthcare providers, clinicians and family members Sept. 26 to discuss the value of homecare services in the state. Price, a physician, has been an outspoken advocate of home care. "The highest priority is to maintain high-quality skilled care for those in need, and the provider community should be commended for their efforts to do so in a way that is cost-effective," Price stated in a release.

Vendors in the news

Nova CEO Sue Chen has been named one of the ten “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” in Fortune Magazine’s November issue. The magazine chose the women from a pool of 131 applicants. Winners were selected for being innovators, game-changers and groundbreakers, and for running companies that generated $1 million to $25 million in annual revenue last year but appear to be poised to become large and global businesses…Fastrack Healthcare Systems has a new service that it believes will reduce fuel and overtime costs for the delivery operations of providers. The optimization service can process an unlimited number of orders and vehicles, and determine which order should be allocated to a specific delivery truck. Considerations of the system include required time of delivery and weight capacity of the vehicle…Sigvaris will host a pre-show seminar at Medtrade on Oct. 24, giving attendees the opportunity to become Sigvaris certified fitters. Session topics include the anatomy of the venous system, venous disorders and treatments, and more…The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) has implemented time-saving updates like immediate certification exam scoring, year-round testing and added website features.