In brief: Contractors clarify delivery policy, PFQC launches interactive map

Friday, August 8, 2014

WASHINGTON – The DME MACs have issued clarifying guidance on written order prior to delivery (WOPD) document corrections and proof of delivery (POD) requirements. For WOPD, if errors are found before delivery, suppliers may amend the WOPD or create a new one to send to the physician for signature and date, the MACs say. If an error is discovered prior to claim submission, the original supplier may recover the item(s); obtain a compliant, complete WOPD; and re-deliver the item. If an error is found after a claim is submitted, the original supplier can recover the item(s) and a new supplier must complete the transaction after complying with all requirements. As for proof of delivery (POD), the date element may be entered by the beneficiary/designee or the supplier, the MACs say, but the beneficiary/designee is not required to personally fill in the date element. Additionally, the date entered must be the actual date of delivery. In the event that the supplier’s delivery documents have both a supplier entered date and a beneficiary/designee entered date, the beneficiary/designee entered date is considered to be the delivery date and thus the date of service.

People for Quality Care launches interactive map

WATERLOO, Iowa – People for Quality Care has launched an interactive map with data on Medicare patient complaints across the United States. Features of the map include the latest number of patient complaints (updated daily), the ability to filter complaints by medical equipment type and state, and an online form for visitors to add complaints. People for Quality Care has collected 3,200 patient complaints in one year through its Medicare Beneficiary Complaint Hotline. “We created this tool so Congress and the public can see the unfortunate reality—Medicare’s competitive bidding program is not working,” stated Kelly Turner, director of advocacy, in a press release.

Advanced Home Care adds Central Georgia Home Care

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Advanced Home Care and Macon, Ga.-based Central Georgia Home Care Services have merged, the providers announced last week. Central Georgia Home Care Services, a provider of home medical equipment, home infusion and specialty pharmacy services to a 20-county region of central Georgia, will become a branch of Advanced Home Care. The merger allows Advanced Home Care, which has already partnered with 13 other health systems and hospitals, to further strengthen its presence in the Southeast. It allows Central Georgia Home Care to provide additional services to the communities and patients it serves. Advanced Home Care will continue to operate Central Georgia Home Care’s location in Macon. Advanced Home Care also has locations in Norcross and Marietta.

CMS schedules special forum on PMD demo

WASHINGTON – CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum on Aug. 12 to allow DMEPOS suppliers and others to ask questions about the expanding PMD demon. The agency plans to expand the demo, which requires suppliers to submit prior authorizations, to 12 additional states on Oct. 1. The demo was first implemented in seven states Sept. 1, 2012. CMS previously held a forum on the PMD demo in June. This latest forum is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. To participate, call 800-603-1774 and use the ID 70084507.

MESA asks: Can providers get off set to respond to audits, too?

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (MESA) has heard back from CMS about why DME providers, unlike hospitals, aren’t reimbursed for the costs of providing copies of records to respond to audits. Following a Senate roundtable on audits in July, where it was revealed that the RACs pay hospitals up to $25 per audit, the association recommended the agency change the policy. Acting Director of the Provider Compliance Group Melanie Combs-Dyer told Executive Director Liz Moran in an Aug. 6 letter: “Suppliers under the fee schedule, such as DMEPOS suppliers, generally do not receive additional payments for copy and mailing expenses, as these are included in the indirect costs associated with the fee schedule amount.” MESA was encouraged, however, that Combs-Dyer also stated, “Regarding your recommendations that CMS direct recovery auditors to compensate DMEPOS suppliers for submitting medical records, I have directed my staff to further research this issue and explore the possibility of revising future recovery auditor contracts as you suggest.”

Know a Homecare Champion?

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare is calling for nominations for its Homecare Champion Award, which recognizes those making a significant impact in the HME community. “The Homecare Champion Award is the opportunity to honor and thank someone in our community for their hard work and dedication,” the association stated in a bulletin. AAHomecare is also reminding providers to sign up for its Stand Up for Homecare fundraising reception at Medtrade in October. The Homecare Champion will be named and honored at the event.

Physicians release guidelines for diagnosing sleep disorders

PHILADELPHIA – The American College of Physicians, in a clinical practice guideline published Aug. 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, recommends a sleep study for patients with unexplained daytime sleepiness. It also recommends polysomnography for diagnostic testing in patients suspected of obstructive sleep apnea. It recommends portable sleep monitors in patients without serious comorbidities as an alternative to polysomnography when polysomnography is not available for diagnostic testing. The group grades the first recommendation “weak” with low-quality evidence and the second “weak” with moderate-quality evidence. “Considerable controversy surrounds the type and level of respiratory abnormality, the presence and type of signs or symptoms, and the most appropriate sleep monitoring device for diagnosing OSA,” the group states. “The purpose of this guideline is to address the screening and diagnosis of OSA by presenting a comparison of the effectiveness of the available diagnostic methods.”

BioScrip’s home infusion revenues jump nearly 50%

ELMSFORD, N.Y. – BioScrip has reported revenues of $247.1 million and a net loss of $18.6 million for the second quarter of 2014. Total revenues increased by $74.8 million or 43.4% compared to the same period last year. Revenues from home infusion, specifically, increased $74.6 million or 47.8%. The growth in home infusion was driven primarily by continued strong double-digit organic growth and the acquisition of CarePoint Partners, the company stated.

ResMed officials sell shares

SAN DIEGO – ResMed Director Peter Farrell on Aug. 1 sold 25,000 shares of stock at an average price of $49.04 for a total transaction of about $1.23 million. Farrell now owns 279,990 shares valued at about $13.73 million. Also on Aug. 1, COO Robert Andrew Douglas sold 8,000 shares at an average price of $48.95 for a total transaction of $391,600. The day before the transactions, ResMed reported earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30.

Patient sues NSM, Invacare for damages

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court against National Seating & Mobility (NSM) and Invacare Outcomes Management, claiming their negligence is responsible for injuries he sustained from his power wheelchair. Terry Hicks claims the chair accelerated at an improper time, causing him to incur serious and permanent physical injuries, including a broken leg, and medical costs, according to local media reports. Hicks claims NSM had recently repaired the chair, for which Invacare had issued a recall and was aware of defects causing unintended acceleration. Hicks seeks judgment of unspecified compensatory damages.

Short takes

Life After Spinal Cord Injury (LASCI),a motivational program offered by Suwanee, Ga.-based UroMed, has hit 35,000 followers on Facebook. LASCI was created in 2010 to help people who use wheelchairs find more information about motivational speaking programs and other resources to assist them with daily living…Appleton, Wis.-based Bill-Ray Home Mobility, maker of “Friendly Beds,” has a new location at 3000 E Enterprise Avenue with a bigger display area. “Friendly Beds” is a bed mobility system that includes a transfer bar option for safe and independent transfers for those with no leg strength…Michael Johnson Racing will visit Home Care Medical’s Milwaukee retail store Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Johnson was paralyzed from the mid-chest down in a 2005 dirt-track accident; he hopes to be the first paralyzed driver to race in the Indianapolis 500…HASCO Medical now has the rights to market BraunAbility and Vantage Mobility International wheelchair-accessible vans in Miami. The company plans to offer wheelchair lifts, transfer seating, hand controls, and wheelchair-accessible vehicle service and rentals at a new location there.

People news

Dave Cormack, president and CEO of Brightree, has been elected to the AAHomecare board of directors. AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan said of Cormack, who has led Brightree since 2005: “He is exactly the kind of voice we need to hear more of in this organization as we navigate the rough terrain the HME industry faces.”…George Kucka, president of Schererville, Ind.-based Fairmeadows Home Health Center, has been appointed chairman of the Home Medical Equipment/Respiratory Therapy Council at AAHomecare. Kuchka is currently a member of the association’s board of directors…Heather Rider has been elected to Inogen’s board of directors, effective immediately. Rider, who fills a vacancy created by Charles Larsen’s resignation, has 25 years of experience in global human resources, having held executive level positions for Alphatec Spine, Sunrise Medical and Biosense Webster.