In brief: CMS names nat’l RAC for DME, whistleblower drops lawsuit against Lincare

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Friday, November 4, 2016

WASHINGTON – CMS has tapped Performant Recovery to perform post-payment reviews of Medicare claims for DMEPOS and home health/hospice nationwide.

The other RACs awarded contracts will perform post-payment reviews to identify and correct Medicare claims that contain improper payments that were made under Part A and Part B for all provider types other than DMEPOS. Performant Recovery also won that contract for Region 1. Cotiviti won contracts for Region 2 and 3, and HMS Federal Solutions won a contract for Region 4.

CMS planned to have new RACs in place in 2014, but several of its awards were contested.

CMS originally announced in 2015 that it had tapped Connolly as the national RAC for DME.

AHP closes patient contact center in Texas

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – American HomePatient will lay off 98 employees in Longview, Texas, by Dec. 31, according to the Longview News-Journal. AHP is closing its patient contact center there, consolidating operations in Nashville. The center employed 142 people in June, down from 160 in February, according to the newspaper. AHP expanded into Longview five years ago after the Longview Economic Development Corp. extended a seven-year, $1.1 million incentive. AHP promised to employ 220 people by 2015, according to the newspaper. “I have spoken to them,” LEDCO President and CEO Wayne Mansfield told the newspaper. “There have been a significant number of changes on how Medicare reimburses its participants. It’s drastically affected their bottom line.”

Whistleblower drops lawsuit against Lincare

CLEARWATER, Fla. – A former billing specialist has voluntarily dropped her False Claims Act lawsuit against Lincare, according to Law360. In a one-page order, U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven granted Rebecca Saiff’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, a request that was granted without prejudice to either Saiff or the U.S. government, which declined to intervene, according to the legal publication. Saiff had filed a lawsuit alleging that Lincare has been knowingly defrauding the government of millions of dollars by billing false claims to Medicare. She worked for Lincare at its corporate headquarters from January to July 2013, and at its Largo, Fla., regional billing and collection office from August 2013 to February 2014. She filed her lawsuit under seal in April 2014.

Va., N.C. move to regional association

CARY, N.C. – The Virginia Association of Durable Medical Equipment Companies (VADMEC) and the North Carolina Association of Medical Equipment Services (NCAMES) have combined to form the Atlantic Coast Medical Equipment Suppliers (ACMESA). The executive director of both associations, Beth Bowen, made the announcement on twitter on Nov. 3. Bowen owns an association management company named TayCar, Inc. Bowen also leads the Florida Association of Home Care Services (FAHCS) and, earlier this year, she took the helm of the Association for Tennessee Oxygen & Medical Equipment Services (ATHOMES).

Drive extends warranty

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has extended its warranty on all scooters and power chairs. Effective Nov. 1, new scooter and power chair purchases from Drive DeVilbiss will have a 12-month warranty on batteries, and a 24-month warranty on electronics. Scooters and power chairs will continue to have a limited lifetime warranty on the main frame. “Implementing this extended warranty for all our scooters and power chairs speaks to the confidence and pride we have in these products,” said Brandon Sykes, product manager-power and manual wheelchairs for Drive DeVilbiss.

ResMed enhances AirView’s features

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has enhanced AirView, its cloud-based remote patient monitoring platform, to include action groups, allowing clinicians to filter sleep apnea patients into groups based on adherence status or a specific therapy issue. This new “manage by exception” feature will reduce the time clinicians spend on back-office paperwork and processes, and will help ensure that patients get the most responsive and quality treatment, the company says. Action Groups are based on a similar feature in U-Sleep—another ResMed monitoring tool— that reduced clinicians’ patient management time by 59%, the company says.

AllegroMedical: 20 years strong

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. – AllegroMedical.com, an online medical supply company, is celebrating 20 years in business. “Our first website offered 500 products,” said Craig Hood, founder, in a press release. “Today, we offer more than 60,000 products to help people manage chronic conditions from diabetes and incontinence, to spinal cord injuries and COPD.” AllegroMedical.com serves 2 million customers, according to the release.

Livingston Innovations receives award for Freedom Trax

CHICAGO – Livingston Innovations of Waukegan, Ill., has been named one of the winners of the 15th annual Chicago Innovation Awards. The company’s Freedom Trax is a powered track attachment for manual wheelchairs that allows users to maneuver through sand, snow, grass and other off-road conditions. “We are honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said Troy Livingston, president. “Our team has worked tirelessly to provide a device that can help people get outside and experience the outdoors.” Winners receive a variety of honors, including the opportunity to ring the NASDAQ Bell in New York City.

Amoena, Juzo line up annual symposium

LAS VEGAS – The lineup for the 2017 POWER Symposium from Amoena and Juzo is taking shape, with a keynote address by Libby Gill, executive coach, brand strategist and bestselling author. The event, Feb. 23-25 at the Paris Hotel here, will also feature billing and insurance guidance from healthcare attorney Jeff Baird, profitable selling strategies from Christine Gifford, and inspiration from Jane Jenkins Herlong. Register by Dec. 31 for an $85 early-bird discount.