In brief: CMS fixes bid errors, lawmakers ready themselves to tackle doc fix
BALTIMORE - CMS announced last week that it has revised the bid limits for 14 codes for power wheelchairs. The previous bid limits listed in its Round 2 Bid Preparation Worksheets were erroneously based on 150% of the actual bid limits. CMS also announced that it has updated the list of glucose monitors on the 50 Percent Compliance Form, a required document for the national mail-order competition. Read the announcements here.
Lawmakers ready themselves to tackle doc fix
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan House-Senate committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences dividing Congress on the doc fix and payroll tax break legislation. These committee members are expected to be influential in what gets included in the doc fix legislation. Industry stakeholders are asking HME providers to follow up with lawmakers in their home states and ask them to include the market pricing program in the final bill. In December, lawmakers temporarily extended a controversial payroll tax cut until the end of February.
NRRTS denounces Stossel Show report
WALSENBURG, Colo. - A Dec. 16 episode of Fox Business Channel's Stossel Show featured Jennifer Thieme Kehres, marketing manager for scooter manufacturer Amigo Mobility, discussing the benefits of scooters over power wheelchairs. NRRTS issued a press release Jan. 3 disputing Kehres' claims, stating that Stossel's guests "shared misleading statements." Among those: that the choice between a scooter and power wheelchair is driven by profit. "This is not only erroneous, but borders on slander," stated ATP Rachel Spiers. The release asks Stossel to "reconsider the statements made on his show." A video of the segment may be viewed here.
NHIA comments on proposed rule
WASHINGTON - CMS should require the DME MACs to create consistent policies regarding ongoing medical necessity, and require physicians to respond in a timely manner to suppliers' requests for information, stated the National Home Infusion Association in a Dec. 27 letter to Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. The comments were submitted in response to the proposed rule, "Medicare and Medicaid Program; Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction." The NHIA also recommended that the date of service for DME-covered external infusion pumps and related drugs and supplies should be the date that the beneficiary begins use.
Liberator: Revenue up, income down
STUART, Fla. - Liberator Medical reported record net revenues of $52.7 million for its fiscal year ended Sep. 30 2011, the provider announced Jan. 5. That's an increase of $11.8 million or 28.8% over the previous fiscal year. The company reported revenues of $14.5 million for the quarter versus $11.5 million for the same period the previous year. Liberator's net income decreased from $2.6 million in fiscal 2010 to $300,000 in 2011, which the company attributed to increases in the cost of sales and advertising, among other things.
Clearwater, Fla.-based Lincare on Jan. 3 declared a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per common share, payable on Jan. 31...ACHC on Feb. 1 will release the annual update to its ACHC Standards for Accreditation. The compliance date for the updated standards, which will be outlined in an upcoming release, is Jun 1, 2012...Provider Lisa Feierstein was selected as a "Top-Idea Maven" by Women's Advantage, a line of products geared toward women entrepreneurs. Feierstein is president of Raleigh, N.C.-based IntegraSleep/Active Healthcare.