In brief: Congress targets healthcare fraud; Drive targets respiratory market

Thursday, June 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - Congress will hold a hearing on reducing Medicare fraud, waste and abuse on June 15. At the hearing, members of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Ways and Means Committee will hear from, among others, Lewis Morris, chief counsel at the Office of Inspector General (OIG); and Kimberly Brandt, director of Medicare Program Integrity for CMS. AAHomecare will attend the hearing, but won't testify. "While it looks like the focus of the hearing is on the anti-fraud and abuse provisions included in the healthcare reform bill, we're concerned that oxygen or competitive bidding or error rates will come up," said Walt Gorski, the association's vice president of government affairs.

Medicare kicks off anti-fraud campaign

BALTIMORE - CMS last week launched a national fraud prevention campaign.

The campaign has two targets: 1. Markets where high percentages of Medicare beneficiaries fall into the Medicare Part D donut hole; and 2. Markets with high ethnic populations that have been susceptible to scam artists. The first phase of the campaign includes $1 million worth of radio advertising. The 30- and 60-second spots are produced in English, Spanish, Korean and Armenian, and began running last week. The campaign will also include TV and print advertising, and outreach efforts.

'You will see Drive's name more and more'

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - Drive Medical continues to target the respiratory market, announcing last week that it has hired Mitch Yoel, who spent 10 years building respiratory divisions for three large providers, as executive vice president of business development and government affairs. "You will see Drive Medical's name more and more when it comes to government affairs, HME industry lobbying and public relations efforts," Yoel stated in a release.

Philips Respironics lays off 90 workers

WALLINGFORD, Conn. - Philips Respironics plans to lay off 90 workers here throughout 2011, according to The Record-Journal (Meriden, Conn.). The Murrysville. Pa.-based company told the newspaper that the affected workers are part of its manufacturing division and that the work will shift to other Philips locations as part of a company realignment. About 90 workers in research and development, marketing, sales and customer service will remain in Wallingford.