In brief: Background checks expand to Medicaid, Rotech loses bid

Friday, June 5, 2015

WASHINGTON – Providers who CMS considers to be at high risk of defrauding Medicaid should expect fingerprint-based background checks on Aug. 1, the National Law Review reports. CMS released a State Medicaid Director Letter on June 1 providing guidance to states on the criminal background check and fingerprinting requirements for Medicaid provider enrollment. The letter starts a 60-day clock for state Medicaid programs to implement these enhanced provider screening requirements, according to the review. CMS implemented a similar provision for Medicare in August of last year.

Rotech loses VA bid

ORLANDO, Fla. – A federal court judge has ruled against Rotech Healthcare in a bid protest for a Department of Veterans Affairs contract.

Federal claims judge Nancy Firestone ruled the VA’s decision to award the $46.3 million contract to Community Surgical Supply Medical was reasonable because CSS’s abilities and past performance were close enough to Rotech’s that the price difference of about $5.3 million was reason enough to change contractors, according to Law360.

Rotech had argued that CSS’s bid was unrealistically low, that Rotech’s technical and past performance should have been rated higher, and that CSS couldn’t complete a transition in 45 days.

Rotech’s original bid was $16.5 million higher than CSS’s. Rotech lowered its bid by $11 million, but the remaining difference was the deciding factor in CSS’s winning the contract, according to Law360

“Rotech’s argument that the VA’s decision lacked a rational basis or was contrary to the solicitation fails,” Firestone said in a decision that remained under seal until June 1. “The court finds that none of the alleged errors in the price realism analysis warrant disrupting the contract award.”

Rotech won a one-year contract from the VA, worth $68.3 million, in 2013.

Pride Mobility expands in Mississippi

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products is investing $2 million in a new facility in Pontotoc, Miss., according to the Memphis Business Journal. The move will create 150 jobs, the journal reports. Pride Mobility will build its new facility in a building that formerly housed a manufacturing operation for Genesis Furniture, according to the journal. “We’re privileged to draw from such a dedicated local workforce, where the success of our venture will extend not just to the employees but to their facilities and the community,” Scott Meuser, chairman and CEO, told the journal.

VGM links up with CRM provider

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has partnered with PlayMaker CRM to help HME providers better manage their relationships with referral sources. “Too often we hear from members that the CRM options in HME are not built for medical providers,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM and Associates. “PlayMaker brings the CRM concept to HME in a way that is designed for post-acute providers.” Playmaker’s TargetWatch tool also allows providers to manage accounts, contacts, referrals, events and expenses; capture more market share by identifying high-value physicians and facilities; access information on iOS or Android devices; automate reporting; and increase sales and efficiency. It also integrates claims data from VGM Market Data.

DME Data Solutions launches data application

SAN DIEGO – DME Data Solutions has released a new Windows-based application that uses outcome measures to drive sales, it announced in a press release. The Patient Trend Reporting System combines device data with baseline diagnostic data, patient health assessments and satisfaction survey results. Data is available on-demand and users can generate reports on a regular basis. “A referral or payer can look at a one-page report and immediately see the patient’s baseline and how the patient has progressed since starting therapy,” said Ken Ravazzolo, president, in the release.

OIG report includes DME items

WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector General included in its semiannual report to Congress a recommendation that the New York Medicaid program could have saved an estimated $8.9 million for selected DME by using pricing from Medicare’s competitive bidding program. Under recently completed actions and settlements, the OIG also reported that it has ordered OtisMed Corp., a biotech company that manufactures and sells knee replacement devices, to pay $34.4 million in fines and $5.1 million in forfeiture after pleading guilty to distributing, with intent to defraud and mislead, adulterated medical devices; and has ordered Maritza Velazquez, an office manager at Lutemi Medical Supply, a DME company in Carson, Calif., to pay $3.4 million in restitution after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

LEVO finds representation in Canada

MINNEAPOLIS – LEVO, a manufacturer and distributor of standing wheelchairs, has announced a new partnership with NuVision Rehab Group of Canada. As part of the partnership, NuVision, which represents rehab, mobility and home accessibility manufacturers from around the world, will assume responsibility for all sales of LEVO products throughout Canada. “LEVO has a long tradition of providing outstanding service to more than 35 countries around the world by partnering with organizations like NuVision,” stated Dan Johnson, president of LEVO and CEO of parent company Dane Technologies. “We are pleased to have NuVision and their knowledgeable team be our exclusive representatives in Canada.”

Short takes: Univita, NMEDA, RESNA and more

Univita Healthhas appointed Jack Greenman as CFO. Prior to joining Univita, Greenman served as executive vice president and CFO at Scott Holdings, where he managed assets after the sale of Vista Healthplans for $685 million…For the second year in a row, the National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association is a gold-level sponsor of RESNA’s annual conference. The “New Frontiers in Assistive Technology” conference takes place June 10-14 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown…RESNA’s Communication Technologies & Computer Access Special Interest Group seeks comments on a draft position paper, “Procedures and Guide to Support the Use of Speech Generating Devices as Augmentative and Alternative Communication.” The paper has been posted for a 30-day comment period…Ottobock plans to raise money for acquisitions and investments in research, development and marketing with an initial public offering in Germany. The manufacturer plans to list on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 2017, in a move that could be worth upward of $2 billion…Wright & Filippis relocated in May to a larger location in Dearborn, Mich. “We’ve been in Dearborn for about 30 years now, and always have a great relationship with Dearborn,” said CEO A.J. Filippis in a release. The new location offers customers better access and closer parking, as well as a “more intimate clinic setting.”

People news: AAH, FAHCS

AAHomecarehas announced new officers and board members who were elected during the association’s Washington Legislative Conference.Elected officers for 2015-2016 are: John Letizia, Laurel Medical Supplies, chairman; Steve Ackerman, Spectrum Medical, vice chairman; and Jay Broadbent, Alpine Home Medical, treasurer.Board members at large include: David Chester, Roberts Home Medical; Melissa Cross, O.E. Meyer Company; Robert Fahlman, Preferred Homecare; and Mike Kloos, The VGM Group…The Florida Alliance of Home Care Servicesseated its new executive committee at its Spring Conference and Exhibit May 28. Gene Sego of Sego’s Medical is president, Chris Townsend of Taffi Medical is president-elect, Deanna Rollyson of Matrix Medical is past president, Ron Jenkins of Respitec remains treasurer, and Karin Cole of All American Medical Equipment is secretary.