In brief: Don't redefine DME, Inogen buys 02 provider, Invacare aligns with Nonin Medical

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - AAHomecare added its name to a letter sent to CMS Administrator Donald Berwick opposing a proposal to redefine durable medical equipment. The letter was drafted by the ITEM Coalition and signed by nearly 30 consumer organizations. CMS in July published a proposed rule that would revise the definition of "durable" in DME by adding a three-year minimum lifetime criteria. An item or device would have to meet the criteria to be considered durable for the purpose of classification under the Medicare benefit category for DME. The ITEM Coalition is a consumer-led group of approximately 80 disability-related organizations.

Inogen boosts presence in direct-to-consumer market

GOLETA, Calif. - Inogen, a manufacturer that went direct to consumers in 2010 when it won six contracts in Round 1 of competitive bidding, announced last week that it has acquired Breathe Oxygen Services, a home respiratory equipment company outside of Nashville, Tenn. Inogen, which services thousands of oxygen patients across the country, says the acquisition will allow it to service additional patients in the state. Coincidentally, several areas in Tennessee are included in the upcoming Round 2 of competitive bidding: Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis and Chattanooga. Inogen recently announced that it had secured a $6 million credit facility from Square 1 Bank.

Invacare aligns with Non Medical

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare and Nonin Medical announced last week a strategic distributorship alliance whereby Invacare will add Nonin Medical's pulse oximetry solutions to its line of oxygen therapy products. The new alliance delivers a complete solution to providers who need high quality, professional-grade pulse oximetry, oxygen treatment, titration and qualification products from a single source, the companies stated in a release. Nonin Medical's pulse oximetry solutions include finger, tabletop, wrist-worn and handheld products and sensors.

CMS: Are you ready for Round 2?

BALTIMORE - CMS last week reminded providers who plan to participate in Round 2 of competitive bidding to update their contact information at the National Supplier Clearinghouse. Files should be reviewed for name, Social Security number and date of birth for all authorized officials, and for correspondence address. Providers can update their information through the Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS), or by using the July 7, 2011, version of CMS-855S. Providers should also make sure they are properly licensed and accredited. 

Drive Medical: Ready to finance

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. - Drive Medical announced last week that is has launched Drive Credit Company, a new financing division. Drive Credit Company will offer cash flow options to providers through its Cash Flow Options (CFO) Programs. "We recognize that it is critical for us our customers through the dynamics our industry and its reimbursement environment," stated Harvey Diamond, chairman and CEO, in a release. The CFO programs include specific lines of credit for financing, in addition to lines of credit with Drive, which increases the overall purchasing power of customers. Other features of the programs: security agreements aren't required and applications are approved within 24 hours.

Cigna takes aim at diabetes claims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - If you provide diabetes supplies in Jurisdiction C, make sure you have the documentation to back up claims. Cigna Government Services, the Jurisdiction C DME MAC, said in a message last week that it plans to increase claims editing for diabetes testing supplies. The reason: Cigna is projecting high error rates in its November 2011 CERT error rate. Edits will be implemented to automatically deny claims that exceed clinically unbelievable levels.