In brief: CMS finalizes NPI policy, Drive builds web stores
WASHINGTON – CMS last week published a final rule in the Federal Register that requires all HME providers to include their National Provider Identifier (NPI) on 1.) all applications to enroll in Medicare and Medicaid programs and 2.) all claims for payment submitted under Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule also requires physicians and other professionals who are permitted to order and certify covered items and services for Medicare beneficiaries to be enrolled in the program; and mandates document retention and provision requirements on providers that order and certify items and services. Read the final rule here.
Drive Medical builds web stores for providers
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive Medical now helps HME providers build and maintain their own customized and branded web stores, the manufacturer announced in an April 19 release. The “Web Store Builder Program” helps providers market and/or sell their products online, allowing them to be more competitive in the marketplace, according to the release. Drive sets up and maintains the websites; all providers have to do is answer some simple questions about their needs. The turnaround is a matter of weeks, according to the manufacturer.
Home Health Depot adds 2,500 patients
INDIANAPOLIS – Home Health Depot continues its growth spurt with the acquisition of RCS Management's respiratory business, it announced April 24. The deal gives Home Health Depot about 2,500 new patients. Home Health Depot has seen its respiratory business grow over the past several years, which it credits to investments in technology like self-fill oxygen systems and CPAP/Bi-level machines with wireless modems to track compliance. In February, Home Health Depot acquired the Iowa City, Iowa-based Advanced Rehab Technologies; and opened a new branch in Fort Wayne, Ind. The provider also has locations in Michigan and Illinois.
CMS wants comments on ICD-10 delay
WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks comments on its plans to delay the compliance date for ICD-10 from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014. Comments are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on May 17. HHS believes the delay will give providers and other covered entities more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition. For more info, go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-04-17/pdf/2012-8718.pdf.
Wanted: Mobility exam writers
BALTIMORE – RESNA is looking for assistive technology experts to join an exam-writing committee for the Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) certification. The 15-member committee will continually evaluate the exam questions to keep the certification process up-to-date and in line with current industry practices. Interested experts should contact Eric Nepomuceno, RESNA certification and education manager, by May 11 at email@example.com.
CMS cites DME in savings report
WASHINGTON – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will reduce expenses for Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries by $200 billion and $59.4 billion, respectively, through 2016, according to a new CMS report. The savings come from ending excessive payments to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans, implementing anti-fraud measures and changing provider payment policies to reflect improvements in productivity. More specifically, the report cites $7.8 billion in savings from cracking down on fraud and abuse in the Medicare system and getting the best value for Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers for durable medical equipment. Read the report here: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/ACA-savings-report-2012.pdf.
S&P downgrades Apria
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Standard & Poor downgraded Apria's corporate credit rating from BB- to B+; issue-level ratings on A-1 notes from BB+ to BB; and ratings on A-1 notes from BB- to B. S&P also lowered its 2012 profit margin expectations and cash flow expectations, it announced April 25. S&P says its outlook for Apria is stable, stating that the company will continue to demonstrate revenue growth.
VGM locks in deal
WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has signed a deal with MobileLutions to use its MobiLoc software, which prevents distracted driving caused by using smartphones. MobiLoc allows users to create a company cell phone policy; and monitor and enforce the policy by company, department or specific phone. The application is available on the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.
Medical supply company owner guilty
MCALLEN, Texas – Jose Trevino, owner of Med-Quick Diagnostics, a medical supply company and diagnostic testing facility, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statue. According to local news reports, from September 2009 through April 2011, Trevino OK'd thousands of dollars in illegal kickback payments to an area marketer in exchange for referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Med-Quick then billed Medicare and Medicaid hundreds of thousands of dollars for those patients. Trevino faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced July 25.
NovaSom has announced that Dr. Michael Coppola, president and chief medical officer of the American Sleep Apnea Association, has joined the company as chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs…