In brief: CMS reschedules NCB meeting, mail-order giant shakes things up

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BALTIMORE - CMS has rescheduled the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee (PAOC) meeting on national competitive bidding for March 17, 2010, it announced last week. Originally, the meeting was scheduled for Feb. 23. CMS rescheduled the meeting due to logistical issues, including registration delays, caused by recent winter storms. "CMS regrets any inconvenience but believes this postponement is necessary to ensure all interested members of the public have sufficient time to register for the meeting," the agency stated in its announcement.

Mail-order giant shakes things up

NASHVILLE - Mail order provider AmMed Direct has laid off staff and replaced its COO, the reported Feb. 13. The company has cut 17%--about 80 people--of its workforce, according to the newspaper. The layoffs come after the departure of COO Tom Milam, who is quoted in the article as saying "The board decided they want the company to go in a different direction." The layoffs are a sharp departure from the company's plans to grow to 600 employees in 2009. Company officials said the changes are the result of industry uncertainty and the national economy, and have nothing to do with an internal audit of the company's billing processes. AmMed Direct has about $150 million in annual sales. Jim Smith, chief executive of AmMed's parent company, Tennessee Health Management, has assumed Milam's duties.

American HomePatient buys more time

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - American HomePatient announced earlier this month that it has entered into another forbearance agreement with its creditors, the eighth such agreement since Aug. 1, 2009, the date its $226 million in debt was originally due. NexBank and other creditors have agreed "not to take action against the company" prior to March 16, 2010.

TAHCS adds muscle

DALLAS - The Texas Alliance of Home Care Services (TAHCS) has named Edward Vishnevetsky and John Browning as general counsel, it announced last week. "Edward and John will be invaluable as we strive to save our industry," stated TAHCS President Barry Johnson in a release. Vishnevetsky is an associate attorney in the healthcare and commercial litigation practices at Thompson Coe, and Browning is a partner at the law firm.