In brief: CMS posts NPI file, AAH disses fraud alert
BALTIMORE - CMS has posted a file that contains the national provider identifier (NPI) numbers and names of physician and non-physician practitioners with current enrollment records who are eligible to order and refer Medicare beneficiaries. The file can be viewed online or downloaded at www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareProviderSupEnroll. Click on "Ordering/Referring Report" on the left-hand side. The file contains about 800,000 records and will be updated periodically. The file can be searched by either name or NPI number.
AAHomecare seeks to rescind fraud alert
ARLINGTON, Va. - A recent fraud alert that prohibits DME providers from contacting beneficiaries to make delivery arrangements upon receipt of a physician's order is impractical and unworkable, and it could compromise the beneficiary's health, stated AAHomecare in a Jan. 21 letter to CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera. The alert, published Jan. 14 in the Federal Register, is an update to the telemarketing provisions of the 2003 Social Security Act. It would require DMEs to have a beneficiary's written authorization before they can contact him or her. AAHomecare seeks to have that provision rescinded for the following reasons: contacting the beneficiary based on a verbal or written order does not constitute a prohibited telephone solicitation; Congress did not intend to restrict necessary communication between DMEs and beneficiaries; and regulations implementing the telemarketing provisions to the Social Security Act do not restrict a DME provider's ability to contact beneficiaries in order to effectuate a physician's order for DME.
Separate benefit for complex rehab: 'People starting to get engaged'
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Industry stakeholders will convene in St. Louis today and tomorrow to begin finalizing a white paper that will detail the changes they hope to make to the complex rehab benefit. "In our workgroup discussions to date, we've had some pretty freewheeling discussions, understandably and rightfully so," said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. "Now we need to reign those in and take all the ideas that we've talked about and pare them down." Stakeholders plan to discuss the white paper during a March 4 Webinar (to register for the session at 8:30 a.m. EST, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/364894402; for 5 p.m. EST, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/423449202). Efforts to create a separate benefit for complex rehab are attracting more attention: During the last Webinar on Jan. 22, about 120 interested parties participated, Clayback says. "There were about 20 minutes of questions," he said. "I'm happy to see people are starting to get engaged."
ActivStyle boosts offerings
MINNEAPOLIS - ActivStyle, a provider of incontinence products, has acquired Advocate Medical Services, a provider of catheters, the companies announced Jan. 25. Combined, the two companies serve 30,000 patients. The 12-year-old ActivStyle is backed by Riverside Company, a private equity firm. It serves patients in 30 states through three sales channels: a Midwest sales team, TV advertising and direct mail. The Tampa, Fla.-based Advocate Medical Services, which will continue operating under its own name, focuses mainly on Florida and Texas, two states where ActivStyle had only a minor presence. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pride U kicks off 2010 tour
EXETER, Pa. - Pride Mobility Products' 2010 Pride U and Quantum University Seminar Tour begins its 27-city national tour Feb. 9 in Charlotte, N.C., and continues through October with a final stop in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., near the company's headquarters. The 2010 Seminar Tour curriculum will include Medical Diagnosis and Power Wheelchair Electronics, PMD Audit Survival Guide, Reimbursement Fundamentals for Complex Rehab, and The Science of Mat Evaluations & Wheelchair Prescription. In addition, Pride's Silver Star Certification Course will be offered at select locations. Seminar Tour presenters consist of a team of certified specialists. For more information, visit www.prideprovider.com or www.quantum-university.com or call 1-800-800-8586.
NAIMES reaches milestone
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. - The National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAIMES) now has 200 members, it announced in a bulletin last week. New members include HME providers from Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Georgia and New Jersey. NAIMES expects to reach 300 members by the end of the year.
Medtrade Spring: It's around the corner
LAS VEGAS - Registration is now open for Medtrade Spring 2010, which will take place May 11-13 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. Show organizer Nielsen Expositions is offering an early registration price of $79. It's also offering a $50 discount on the pre-conference. To receive that discount, attendees must contact sponsors directly: AAHomecare (a session on documentation); Pride Mobility Products (two sessions on seating and positioning, and complex rehab reimbursement); Sigvaris (a full-day session on compression therapy); and The VGM Group (a session on sales training and a session on legislative affairs). FMI: http://www.medtrade.com/medtrade_spring/.