In brief: Cuts still possible, ResMed goes high-tech, industry loses advocate
WASHINGTON - As long as lawmakers continue to wrangle over the federal debt ceiling, "everything is in until we know it's out," including cuts to HME reimbursement, said Walt Gorski, AAHomecare's vice president of government affairs. "We are concerned there will be DME provisions and we will not have an opportunity to have any sort of discussion about their merits," he said. The biggest concern: The president's proposal to apply competitive bidding rates to Medicaid in the states where program is in place. Meanwhile, the HME industry continues trying to drum up support for H.R. 1041, a bill to repeal the program. AMEPA plans to launch a two-week West Coast offensive, starting July 18. Provider educational meetings, followed by in-district meetings with lawmakers, are scheduled in California, Oregon and Washington state. For more information: www.amepa.us. H.R. 1041 has 134 co-sponsors.
ResMed goes high-tech
SAN DIEGO - ResMed has acquired BiancaMed, an Ireland-based manufacturer and distributor of a non-contact device for monitoring sleep and breathing in the home and hospital markets. BiancaMed's SleepMinder detects respiration and movement with biometric software. ResMed acquired all of BiancaMed's outstanding shares with cash. It plans to integrate the company into its new Ventures and Initiatives unit.
Industry loses long-time advocate
CLEVELAND - David Williams, a long-time industry advocate, passed away July 6 at the Cleveland Clinic. Williams, 62, who was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis in 1975, was director of government relations for Invacare from 1992 until his retirement in 2004. He has a long list of accomplishments, including coach of the Junior Buckeye Wheelers in the Ohio Wheelchair Games from 1983-1994; author of "Battling the Beast Within," a motivational biography; and most recently an appointment by the Ohio governor to a seven-year term on the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Lorain County Community College Foundation, 1005 North Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio, 44035; or St. Joseph Catholic School, 200 St. Joseph Dr., Amherst, Ohio, 44001.
CMS: Use new ABN form by Nov. 1
BALTIMORE - CMS officials during an Open Door Forum last week alerted HME providers of a new ABN form that they must begin using by Nov. 1, 2011. The agency has updated the form, but it has made no "substantive changes," officials said. Access the form. CMS has scheduled the next Open Door Forum for HME on Aug. 17.
Form C is ready
BALTIMORE - CMS has alerted contract suppliers participating in Round 1 of competitive bidding that it must receive their Form Cs for the second quarter no later than July 29. Typically, the form is due within 10 days of the following dates: March 31, June 30, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. The form details what items contracts suppliers have provided to beneficiaries under competitive bidding. For more information, go to www.dmecompetitivebid.com.
DeVilbiss sponsors Smart study
SOMERSET, Pa. - DeVilbiss Healthcare announced July 5 that a clinical study it sponsored confirms the effectiveness of its SmartFlex technology, an exhalation pressure relief solution that increases patient comfort. The randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical study showed the SmartFlex "to be equally effective to standard AutoPap therapy in that respiratory events and oxygen saturation during sleep were normalized among the participants," according to the company. SmartFlex provides three pressure relief drops and six rounding settings to ease inhale and exhale transitions. It's available exclusively on the DeVilbiss IntelliPap AutoAdjust and IntelliPap Standard Plus Pap systems.
Roho Group named top exporter
BELLEVILLE, Ill. - The Roho Group has been named the recipient of the Illinois Governor's Export Award for Exporter of the Year for medium-sized businesses. More than 55% of The Roho Group's total company revenues are from export sales in more than 60 international markets.
RESNA launches redesigned website
ARLINGTON, Va. - RESNA launched a redesigned website last week featuring a clean look and enhanced functionality. Members now have access to online communities and updated profiles. All visitors to the site now have access to a database of RESNA-certified individuals as well as educational resources. RESNA plans to add additional features such as a CEU tracking system and online applications for certification in the future. The address is still www.resna.org.