In brief: Congress wants names, Medicare gives financial outlook
WASHINGTON - Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Ralph Hall, R-Texas, are circulating a sign-on letter requesting that CMS release the list of providers whose bids were used to calculate the competitive bid amounts. Industry stakeholders last week urged HME providers to contact their representatives about signing on to the letter. The deadline is Aug. 9. In a bulletin to members, AAHomecare stated: "Delaying the release of specific information about the bids until the fall will only limit Congress' ability to properly assess the re-bid process and its potential impact on Medicare patients."
Medicare gives financial outlook
WASHINGTON - The outlook for the Medicare Trust Fund is "substantially improved" thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Board of Trustees announced last week. The trustees reported, for example, that its previous projection for Part B spending was 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of a 75-year period; now it's 2.5%. Savings under the act come from, among other things, lower annual increases in the prices Medicare pays for services by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and most other providers. To read the full report, go to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2010.pdf.
AAH gets PECOS clarification
ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare has received clarification from CMS on what providers are supposed to do when they find discrepancies between physician names listed in PECOS and the NPI registry. CMS told AAHomecare: "If a physician or eligible non-physician practitioner believes that PECOS does not contain his/her correct legal name, then they [non-physician practitioner or physician] can submit an update using the Medicare enrollment application or Internet-based PECOS."
CMS outlines responsibilities of grandfathered providers
BALTIMORE - Once competitive bidding kicks in, a non-contract provider who chooses to be a grandfathered provider for oxygen equipment must also furnish additional oxygen equipment when medically necessary for beneficiaries who are already receiving oxygen equipment from the provider, according to a recent change request from CMS. To read the complete update:
VGM: Use videos for advocacy
WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group has produced three short videos featuring consumers of home medical equipment talking about the devastating effects competitive bidding will have on their lives. View the videos at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4XJ6gnjrpw; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zdKMGyFNbM; and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aisZzGDSJcU. VGM encourages providers to download the videos and use them when they visit with lawmakers and others.
Pride announces two key promotions
EXETER, Pa. - Pride Mobility Products has promoted Ryan Hagy to Quantum sales director of the western United States and John Storie to Quantum sales director of the eastern United States. Hagy began his career at Pride in January 2003 as the Quantum specialist of northern California and northern Nevada. Storie began his career at Pride in August 1999 as the rehab specialist in Atlanta.
MK banks cash for industry advocacy
ANAHEIM - MK Battery is well on the way to meeting its goal of raising $50,000 for industry advocacy efforts by Oct. 31. The company kicked off its "Power for Funding" campaign May 1 and as of Aug. 1 had raised $37,618. For the duration of the program, MK pledged to donate $1 to the cause for every gel battery it sells to an HME provider in the United States. The company will split the money equally between AAHomecare, NCART and NRRTS. The campaign is "designed to provide a financial boost" beyond what MK already contributes to industry associations, the company stated.
Online all the time
MONSEY, N.J. - All Time Medical, a provider of medical equipment, has launched a blog (www.wheelchair-mobilityscooter.blogspot.com) and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/alltimemedical), it announced in August. The blog will allow the company to stay in contact with customers and provide them with more in-depth information about products. The Facebook page will allow the company to, among other things, offer online deals. "As a business that operates online, we always need to be concerned with effectively reaching our audience and delivering them up-to-the-minute information," stated President Reuven Kohn in a release.
Supracore helps out in Haiti
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Supracor has donated 200 new Stimulite wheelchair cushions worth $95,000 to Project Medishare, which is helping with relief efforts in Haiti, the company stated in a press release in late July. For people in Haiti with spinal cord injuries, the leading causes of death are wounds and infection, and wheelchair cushions are scarce. Stimulite uses a perforated honeycomb technology that allows heat to dissipate, moisture to evaporate and air to circulate. That technology makes them ideal for Haiti's hot humid climate, the company stated.