In brief: Bills seek repeal, Berwick re-nominated, ResMed sets record
WASHINGTON - Companion bills that would repeal a tax on medical devices, including most durable medical equipment, were introduced in the House and Senate Jan. 25. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contained a provision that would impose a 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales to help pay for the healthcare reform plan. The tax, set to begin in 2013, is expected to raise $20 billion over 10 years. H.R. 436 and S. 17 were introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Obama re-nominates CMS administrator
WASHINGTON - President Obama last week re-nominated Donald Berwick to the post of CMS administrator. In July, after the senate would not confirm him, the president placed Berwick into the post using a recess appointment. Because of that, however, Berwick's term runs only to the end of this year.
ResMed sets record
SAN DIEGO - ResMed raked in record financial results for its second quarter, boosting revenue by 11% to $306 million, the company reported Jan. 27. For the six months that ended Dec. 31, ResMed's revenue grew 13% to $588 million, another record. "We expect the growth of all of our products to continue to benefit from the vastly under-penetrated and growing sleep-disordered breathing market," Kieran Gallahue, president and CEO, stated in a release. "Increasingly, there is evidence coming to light that early intervention in the treatment of (sleep disordered breathing) may slow or prevent the progression of co-morbidities." These co-morbidities include obesity, hypertension and heart disease. "The increase in awareness of the role that SDB plays in these costly and debilitating co-morbidities and in the reduction in workplace safety and productivity should continue to be a major driver of market expansion," Gallahue stated.
Coming up: Call-in day for complex rehab
TRINIDAD, Colo. - NRRTS beat the drum for its "National Call-in Day" in a bulletin to registrants last week. During the Feb. 16 call-in, registrants will lobby lawmakers for a separate benefit for complex rehab. NRRTS is asking registrants to ask clients, patients, families, friends and colleagues to join in the action. To register for the call-in and receive an informational packet, go to www.celaadvocacy.org. Registrants will also be lobbying for the separate benefit in person on Feb. 17 as part of CELA in Washington, D.C.
Healthcare fraud: Government nets record recovery
WASHINGTON - A new report shows that government's healthcare fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered more than $4 billion in taxpayer dollars in fiscal year 2010. This is the highest annual amount ever recovered from people who attempted to defraud seniors and taxpayers, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To read the report, released last week as part of the annual Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC), go to oig.hhs.gov/publications/hcfac.asp.
Medtrade Spring offers special pricing
LAS VEGAS - Show organizers are offering special pricing for Medtrade Spring. Register before Feb. 4 and pay $79 for the conference and expo. This year's show, which takes place April 12-14 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, has three new tracks focusing on audits, competitive bidding and retail sales. To register at this special price, go to https://www.xpressreg.net/register/meds041/landing.asp?h and enter the code 20CONF.
Brightree, NAIMES partner
ATLANTA - Brightree has formed a strategic alliance with NAIMES to help providers stay informed about industry legislation and to help promote industry advocacy efforts, the company announced last week. As part of the alliance, Brightree and NAIMES will work together to develop a series of informational programs on competitive bidding and other topics. "At Brightree, we believe with information comes power," stated Chris Watson, chief marketing officer, in a release.
An essential trade show
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Essentially Women, a women's healthcare products buying group, has finalized the agenda for its 11th annual Focus on the Future Conference and Tradeshow, to be held April 4 to 6, in Glendale, Ariz. The speaker line-up includes well-known industry professionals like Jeff Baird and Miriam Lieber. Sessions range from dealing with audits to diversifying products. The show includes an exhibit hall and networking opportunities. For more information or to register: www.essentiallywomen.com/focus.htm or 800-988-4484.
CMS forum: Mark March 2 on your calendar
BALTIMORE - CMS has set the next Open Door Forum for home health, hospice and DME for March 2 at 2 p.m. EST. Call 800-837-1935 and use ID 39057815. After the forum, for an encore, call 800-642-1687 and use ID 39057815.