In brief: Court rules against CMS, AAH snags Blum

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WASHINGTON - An appeals court in December upheld a 2008 federal court decision that states Medicare cannot pay for respiratory drugs based on the least costly alternative (LCA) payment policy. At issue was whether brand-name DuoNeb could be reimbursed at the same rates as separate vials of generic albuterol and ipratropium. The decision is a win for the entire HME industry, not just respiratory medication providers, said AAHomecare in a statement. "CMS has frequently thought about using least costly alternative policy for HME items and services," stated Walt Gorski, vice president of government affairs. "Imagine if CMS told a provider who furnished a Medicare beneficiary with a power wheelchair that the program would only pay for a manual chair."

AAHomecare snags CMS official

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare has snagged Jonathan Blum, CMS's director of the Center for Medicare Management, to speak at its Washington Legislative Conference March 1-3. Blum also co-chairs CMS's program advisory and oversight committee (PAOC). The association has also snagged Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., to speak at the conference.

Fastrack partners with

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. - Fastrack Healthcare Systems and have formed a strategic alliance. The partnership, which will automate the shipping of CPAP supplies to patients, is designed to reduce operating costs for providers and improve compliance, the companies stated in a January release. The programs offered include a patient-direct drop ship, patient follow up, and integration of and Fastrack software.

H. D. Smith set to distribute Roscoe products

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - Roscoe Medical has signed a two-year agreement distribution agreement with H. D. Smith, effective Jan. 1, 2010. H. D. Smith will distribute Roscoe Medical's products throughout their distribution centers across the United States. H. D. Smith will offer Roscoe Medical's durable medical equipment line via the company's catalog and e-commerce Web site. Products in the agreement include bath benches, raised toilet seats, commodes, canes, walkers, rollators, transport chairs and wheelchairs.