In brief: Audit oversight, ABN guidance, 10,000 letters

Friday, June 15, 2012

WASHINGTON – Members of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee cast serious doubt on CMS’s ability to manage its audit contractors at a hearing June 7. As proof, Chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., pointed out that CMS sent the subcommittee incorrect ZPIC performance data, according to AAHomecare officials, who attended the hearing. Stearns said the error “confirms CMS’s utter incompetence in conducting any meaningful oversight of these contractors.” Other members to express concern: Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who said audits are associated with “high administrative burden and cost”; and Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., who said there’s no due process, no time frame and no opportunity for dialogue under the current process. AAHomeare also learned at the hearing that the GAO has two relevant reports in the works: one investigating CMS’s oversight of ZPICs and another comparing CMS’s use of predictive modeling with the private sector’s.

DME MAC issues ABN guidance for non-contract providers

WASHINGTON – Non-contract providers may provide a beneficiary with an item or service when they properly issue an ABN prior to delivery of said item or service, according to guidance issued by the DME MAC for Jurisdiction C. The ABN must include the reason Medicare may not pay and the beneficiary’s signature. Sample wording for the reason: “Since we are not a contracted supplier, Medicare will not pay for this item. If you get this item from a contracted supplier such as ABC Medical Supplies, Medicare will pay for it.” For more guidance, go to

Medtrade registration opens

ATLANTA – Medtrade registration is open with early bird rates of $25 for the expo and $99 for the conference. This year’s conference includes 120 sessions. For more info and to register, go to

Quantum Rehab launches Facebook page

EXETER, Pa. – Quantum Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility Products, has launched a Facebook page with exclusive content, videos, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, announcements and customer interaction. The page will help the company further develop its brand online. “We are very excited for the opportunity that Facebook presents us to engage our customers directly and expand our overall brand awareness,” stated Bernie Allen, general manager, media marketing, in a press release. “We launched the Quantum Facebook page in conjunction with the platform’s switch to the Timeline format, in part, because it allows us to easily tell the story of the evolution of the Quantum brand.” View the page at

Van Miller sends 10,000 letters about competitive bidding

WATERLOO, Iowa – Van Miller, CEO and founder of The VGM Group, sent more than 10,000 letters to members and friends asking them to help in the fight against competitive bidding. Included with the letters were copies of recent newspaper stories criticizing the program. Miller asked members and friends to pass them along to as many people as possible. “I urge you to share these articles with your patients, your staff and your congressional representatives,” he wrote. “Check out and take the pledge to keep fighting. Go to P4QC’s YouTube channel and share the patient videos. Competitive bidding is bad medicine for everyone involved.”

Home Health Depot makes another buy

INDIANAPOLIS – Home Health Depot made its third buy this year, acquiring Medical Mobility in Fort Wayne, Ind., it announced last week. The retail location of Medical Mobility, a provider of complex rehab and durable medical equipment, has been folded into Home Health Depot's Fort Wayne location. “As a result of the Medical Mobility acquisition, we are now able to offer our patients and referral sources a single point of contact for all of their home medical equipment needs," stated Nathan Feltman, president of Home Health Depot, in a press release. In February, Home Health Depot acquired a majority interest in Iowa-based Advanced Rehab Technologies; in April, it acquired the respiratory and sleep business of RCS Management Corp.

Home Health International expands online

VERO BEACH, Fla. – Home Health International has announced its second major move in two months: expanding its medical supply business to include an online store.

Last month, the provider completed the acquisition of Hialeah, Fla.-based Faya’s Medical Equipment, a durable medical equipment provider of ambulation aids, disposable supplies, mobility aids, respiratory equipment and sickroom setup. Home Health International is in the final stages of building a marketing team to develop the online store, and the provider expects to have it open for business within the next 60 days, according to a press release. The store will feature a wide range of discounted home and medical supplies, stated the release.

Budesonide up in latest neb-med pricing

BALTIMORE – There were few changes in the latest average sales price figures for nebulizer medications released last week. The biggest: Brovana (J7605) did a complete reversal of last quarter, increasing 24 cents to $5.35 per dose. Also showing increases were Budesonide (J7626), up 2 cents to $4.97 per dose; and Perforomist (J7606), up 6 cents to $5.08 per dose. Albuterol (J7613) and ipratropium (j6744) stayed flat at just more than 15 cents and just under 13 cents per dose, respectively.

Short takes: Joerns

Joerns Healthcare, maker of the Hoyer, has been awarded a three-year national group purchasing agreement for patients lifts and lateral transfer devices by Premier healthcare alliance. The effective date: Aug. 1…

People news

Charles Elliott, president and CEO of Lake Court Medical Supplies in Roseville, Mich., was been named a semifinalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Award…Univita Health has named Jean Haynes as its new president and CEO. Haynes has nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare delivery and managed care. She most recently served as president and CEO for Geisinger Health Plan…Brian Simonds, director of Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Home Infusion and Respiratory Services, was named Member of the Year by the New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association (NEMED). Simonds has served on NEMED's board since 2002 and was its president from 2003-2005.