In brief: CMS to update House and Senate on bid program, GF buys maker of support surfaces

Friday, March 9, 2012

WASHINGTON - CMS will brief staff members of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees on competitive bidding on March 14. CMS will also hold a briefing for Senate staff that day. Neither meeting is open to the public, said Jay Witter, senior director of government relations for AAHomecare. "We are asking Congressional staff to attend to ask questions about Round 1 and Round 2 of competitive bidding," he said. "That will help us continue to generate support for the market pricing program."

GF buys maker of support surfaces

ATLANTA - GF Health Products announced this month that it plans to acquire "substantially all of the assets" of Pressure Management Group, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based, privately-owned manufacturer of pressure reduction support surfaces, gel overlays, mattresses, foam and gel cushions, and related products for the long-term care, homecare and acute care markets. GF expects the transaction to close March 16. Marrying beds from GF's Basic American Medical Products with support surfaces from Pressure Management offers providers an "integrated patient solution," according to a release. GF will relocate Pressure Management's equipment and processes to its expanded Doraville, Ga., and Fond du Lac, Wis., facilities.

CMS simplifies bennie form

BALTIMORE - CMS has redesigned its Medicare summary notice (MSN), the quarterly statement to beneficiaries that describes what services and equipment they have received. The redesign is part of CMS's efforts to stop fraud and abuse. The new form contains: A clear notice on how to check the form for important facts and potential fraud; an easy-to-understand snapshot of the beneficiary's deductible status, a list of providers they saw, and whether their claims for Medicare services were approved; clearer language, including consumer-friendly descriptions for medical procedures; definitions of all terms used in the form; and larger fonts to make it easier to read. 

Hasco Medical acquires Ride-Away

MOBILE, Ala. - Hasco Medical acquired New Hampshire-based Ride-Away for $6 million, it announced March 5. It's the fourth acquisition in nine months for Hasco. With this latest deal, Hasco acquires Ride-Away's 11 East Coast locations, which generate more than $70 million annually in wheelchair van modifications. Mark Lore, Ride-Away founder and president, will stay on board to run the company.

K0823 error rate: 81%

WASHINGTON - The K0823 error rate from Oct. 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011, in Jurisdiction B was 81%, according to a prepay review by National Government Services, the DME MAC. That's up from a 74% error rate for the previous quarter. The top reason for denial: no valid medical records found in the supplier's response, or the medical records received did not establish medical necessity (55%). Other reasons include no sufficient evidence that a physician face-to-face mobility examination occurred; and no response to the medical review additional documentation request.

Short takes: ArjoHuntleigh, Medline

ArjoHuntleigh has named Drew Ortyn vice president of USA Marketing...Medline opened a new 600,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Douglasville, Ga.