In brief: CMS releases fee schedule update, F&P doubles profits

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BALTIMORE - CMS last week issued a Medicare Learning Network Matters article on the changes to the fee schedule for 2009 for DMEPOS. The article includes information on the 9.5% cut that goes into effect Jan. 1 for items included in the first round of national competitive bidding. It also includes specific details on applicable codes, including accessories for power mobility devices, and two new modifiers: KE and KL. For more info, go to: and

Fisher & Paykel doubles profits
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Fisher & Paykel reported net profits of 28.3 million New Zealand dollars (NZD) for the six months ended Sept. 30, a 51% increase compared to the same period last year, the manufacturer announced last week. Profits were buoyed by "very strong growth in its respiratory and acute care product group," according to a release. It reported operating revenues of 213.3 million NZD for the first half of the year, a 24% increase over the same period last year. Operating revenues for the respiratory and acute care product group increased 36% in U.S. dollars, and operating revenues for the obstructive sleep apnea product group increased 14%. Research and development expenses were 13.3 million NZD or 6.2% of operating revenue for the six months ended Sept. 30, a 16% increase.

Invacare gives back
ELYRIA, Ohio - The board of directors of Invacare announced last week that it has declared a cash dividend to shareholders of $.0125 per share of its common shares and $.011364 per share on its Class B common shares. The dividend will be paid Jan. 14, 2009.

Network opens arms to DME providers
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Healthcare Networks of America announced last week that it will allow DME providers to join its national network of providers. Healthcare Networks comprises physicians, chiropractors and podiatrists. "We have had numerous requests over the years from DME companies to be included in our national network," stated Fred Roh, president of Healthcare Networks of America, in a release. "We have been working diligently with our payers to include DME in all of our 6,800 payer contracts. We have recently received authorization from our payers and are now ready to expand our network."

Prism Medical signs BJC HealthCare
ST. LOUIS - Prism Medical Services has been awarded a contract to supply lifting, transferring and repositioning equipment and clinical consulting services to BJC HealthCare, the provider announced last week. BJC, a nonprofit healthcare organization, has 13 hospitals with more than 3,500 beds and 26,000 employees in Missouri and Illinois. "The agreement demonstrates the commitment BJC has placed on creating safe work environments that protect both employees and patients throughout its system," according to a release.