In brief: CMS has mail, Alliance Seating stands tall, oxygen to hit $1.4B

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In brief: CMS has mail, Alliance Seating stands tall, oxygen to hit $1.4B

WASHINGTON - A group of economists that has criticized competitive bidding sent letters to Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and to Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., expressing their continued concerns with Medicare's program. Echoing the economists' concerns, Rep. Braley, D-Iowa, has sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Donald Berwick. In the letter, he urged CMS to make changes to the program to "avoid unintended consequences." Rep. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, has also written to Sebelius and Berwick. In his letter, he asked whether CMS was considering changes to the bidding program.

Competitive bidding: Win or lose, CMS has information for you

BALTIMORE - CMS will hold an educational call for non-contract bid suppliers on Monday, Nov. 2, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., EST. Details will be forthcoming, the agency announced last week. Also last week: The Medicare Learning Network issued new fact sheets on competitive bidding. The topics addressed: traveling beneficiaries, physicians and other treating practitioners who are enrolled Medicare DMEPOS providers, and hospitals that are not contract supplies. To read the fact sheets, go to and click on the appropriate links in the "Downloads" section.

Technology buoys growth in oxygen market

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Home oxygen sales could hit $1.4 billion worldwide by 2015, says a new report from Global Industry Analysts. "Medical Oxygen Systems: A Global Strategic Business Report" attributes the growth to an aging population and higher rates of respiratory disease. The report also points to technological advances that allow the development of portable, lightweight oxygen delivery systems that enhance patient mobility and lifestyle. The U.S market, in particular, has been growing at a steady rate, thanks in part to a move toward home treatment. Concentrators make up the largest market segment, according to the report.

To build or remodel?

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group's Accessible Home Improvement of America (AHIA) division has partnered with All American Homes, which designs homes for people who need increased accessibility. AHIA is a nationwide network of independently owned and operated providers and contractors who specialize in accessible home modifications and related products and services. "Sometimes you get into a situation where what they need or wish for is going to overvalue their home for the area," said Jerry Keiderling, president of AHIA. "Then it turns into a choice for our member to say: 'Have you thought about buying a different property or building a home?'"

Alliance Seating stands tall

SALISBURY, N.C. - Alliance Seating & Mobility on Oct. 28 delivered a power wheelchair with stand-up capabilities to a Salisbury, N.C., man who was paralyzed from the waist down in a vehicle accident one year ago. Tim Elrod, who has been using a manual wheelchair, wanted to be able to work in his workshop, prepare dinner and, when the time came, walk his daughter down the aisle. The community raised the funds needed to purchase the LEVO Combi standing wheelchair and Sunrise Medical Jay J2 Deep Contour seat cushion. Alliance Seating, a division of The Scooter Store; LEVOUSA; MSL Associates, a LEVOUSA distributor; and Sunrise Medical provided "additional gifts," according to a release. "This was the first LEVO Combi delivered by Alliance Seating & Mobility, and it positions the division to serve more disabled people who desire the many benefits of stand-up power wheelchairs," the release stated.

Celebrate patient choice at Medtrade

ATLANTA - Medtrade show organizers announced last week that their Consumer Advocacy Program will be headlined by Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein of TLC's "The Little Couple." The couple, along with Jeffrey Leonard, senior vice president of the United Spinal Association and publisher of New Mobility magazine, will discuss, "There's No Place Like Home: Consumer Self Advocacy is the Key to Getting the Medical Equipment You Need to Remain Independent." The program runs 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. For more information, visit