In brief: Congress nixes Medicare payment board, CMS considers template for wheelchairs

Friday, March 23, 2012

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives last week voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) for Medicare. The 15-member panel, created under the Affordable Care Act, would have been charged with making binding recommendations on how to reduce Medicare spending. Healthcare stakeholders, including AAHomecare, feared that would lead to rationed health care. Last June, the association was one of nearly 300 to sign a letter asking Congress to drop the board.

CMS considers template for power wheelchairs

WASHINGTON - Physicians may soon have an electronic tool with prompts to help with face-to-face exam documentation, CMS announced last week. CMS is in discussions to create a template that would include a series of reminders in the electronic health record that would help a physician clearly document the elements that Medicare requires for power mobility devices. CMS expects a draft to be available prior to an April 10 Open Door Forum.

AAH gathers comments about bidding

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare last week supplied HME providers with a sample questionnaire about competitive bidding that they can give to hospital discharge planners, physicians and other healthcare workers. The questionnaire asks for comments about access to required equipment and care, delayed discharge and reduced choice of HME providers and equipment. AAHomecare will use the answers to the questionnaire to counter claims by CMS that the program is running smoothly. The association also reminded providers about a website that documents complaints about competitive bidding: For more information about the questionnaire, email Stay Harms at

Medtrade Spring offers discounts, freebies

LAS VEGAS - HME providers that call one of eight participating companies for a special code can attend the Medtrade Spring pre-show seminars and show conference at a reduced rate of $205, or just the show conference for $179. Those companies: Capital Healthcare Group, Invacare, Team@Work, Jane's Healthcare Consulting & University, Philips Respironics, Pride Mobility Products, The MED Group and The VGM Group. Providers can call any exhibitor to get a free pass to the show floor, a $50 savings. Show organizers remind providers that all of this must be done prior to arriving on site. For more information, go to

VGM taps radio personality for keynote

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group announced last week that Bryan Dodge, a professional speaker, radio personality and author, will keynote the 2012 VGM Heartland Conference in June. Dodge will speak June 5 at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, the headquarters of the June 4-7 event. Dodge's latest book is "The Good Life Rules: Eight Keys to Being Your Best at Work and at Play." He also hosts "Build a Better You" on the Dallas-Fort Worth radio station WBAP 820 AM. For more info on Heartland, go to

Research firm calls OSA, COPD 'goldmine'

NEW YORK - The global anesthesia and respiratory devices market will grow 4.7% from 2010 to 2017 to exceed $14 billion in 2017, GBI Research forecasts in a new report. GBI expects the market to be primarily driven by the rising patient population suffering from sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Roughly 300 million people around the world suffer from OSA, and 400 million to 600 million suffer from COPD. "These common conditions suffered by a huge population therefore represent a potential goldmine for anesthesia and respiratory device companies," GBI stated in a release. For more on the report.

Videos put competitive bidding in context

WATERLOO, Iowa - People for Quality Care is developing a series of videos that apply Medicare bidding concepts to other areas of life to make it easier for people to understand the program's potential impact. The first video, "Bad Service at the Competitive Bidding Cafe," features a scene in which one restaurant-goer doesn't get the same service or quality of food as her companion. View it here. 

E0601: 81% error rate

WASHINGTON - National Government Services, the Jurisdiction B DME MAC, says that the overall claims error rate for CPAP (E0601) is 81%. In a recent widespread review of 314 claims, 197 were denied. The top reasons for denials included: insufficient or no medical record documentation (134); insufficient or no report of a Medicare covered sleep study (88); and supplier didn't respond to additional documentation request (56).

Moxi offers new website, new warranty

ST. LOUIS - Moxi Enterprises, a manufacturer of American-made therapeutic support surfaces, has a new website,, and has increased its warranty from one year to five years. The new website includes product information and free white papers ("The 7 Myths of Powered Support Surfaces). Moxi manufactures the SelectAir and BariSelect low-air-loss systems.