In brief: F2F audits must wait, ResMed resolves patent dispute
WASHINGTON – CMS has instructed its contractors not to retrospectively audit providers for compliance with the face-to-face requirement. The news comes via an Aug. 20 letter sent by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to Rep. David Roe, R-Tenn., who inquired about audit activities related to the requirement after meeting with members of ATHOMES. “The delay in enforcement on the face-to-face encounter requirements applies to reviews conducted by the DME MACs, Recovery Auditors, the Zone Integrity Contractors and Program Safeguard Contracts,” CMS states in the letter. “Once an enforcement date is announced for the delayed requirements, CMS and its contractors will begin enforcement after the announced date. When CMS begins enforcing the face-to-face encounter requirements, audits will be conducted prospectively.” CMS implemented the face-to-face requirement July 1, 2013, but it hasn’t begun enforcing the requirement. The delay does not apply, however, to reviews completed by the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program (CERT), CMS states in the letter. “CERT must review claims in accordance with all Medicare policies to product an unbiased improper payment rate,” it stated. Members of ATHOMES have made the face-to-face requirement a priority when meeting with their congressional members. They received support from not only Roe, but also Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, John Duncan, Chuck Fleischmann, Scott DesJarlais and Stephen Fincher.
ResMed, Apex Medical resolve patent disputes
SAN DIEGO and TAIPEI, Taiwan – ResMed and Apex Medical have agreed to a confidential settlement that resolves their outstanding patent disputes. Per the agreement, announced Sept. 5, Apex has the right to sell and import globally its Wizard masks, and its XT and iCH glow generators. In turn, it has agreed to dismiss all validity challenges to ResMed patents pending in the United States, Europe, Germany, Japan and China. ResMed has agreed to dismiss pending litigation against Apex’s products. The two companies didn’t provide any additional details. The settlement brings to a close a legal conflict that began in March 2013, when ResMed filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apex with the U.S. International Trade Commission and in federal court in Los Angeles.
Invacare sponsors summer sports clinic for vets
ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare is sponsoring the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic Sept. 7-12 in San Diego. The clinic features adventure sports and recreation, including sailing, surfing, track and field, kayaking and cycling to recently-injured veterans. “The clinic helps participants to develop sports skills that improve their quality of life and to realize that a disability doesn’t meant they can’t live life to the fullest,” said Brian LaDuke, Invacare vice president, homecare and long-term care, in a press release. “This is something Invacare fully believes and it is crucial to the work we do every day.” The clinic aims to provide early intervention to veterans recovering from injuries to strengthen their bodies and improve their overall being and self-worth.
EZ-Access launches new website
ALGONA, Wash. – EZ-Access has unveiled a new website featuring four new tools: the ramp selector, the incline calculator, the dealer locator and the buy online tool. The tools were added to help customers select ramps and inclines, find nearby dealers and, if there’s no dealer in their area, buy online. The website also includes product information and large images, and a support section. The company plans further updates to the website.
Power Soccer association to play exhibition games at Medtrade
ATLANTA – The United States Power Soccer Association will play two exhibition games during Medtrade. The games will take place on the show floor on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m., according to a press release. Two teams of four will play with a 13-inch soccer ball in games typically held on regulation basketball courts in gymnasiums. The 11 a.m. game will be followed by a press conference and Q&A session.
NSM makes buy in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – National Seating & Mobility (NSM) has acquired Advantage Mobility & Medical Equipment, a provider doing business here since March 2005. Advantage Mobility’s eight staff members will continue to work for NSM and former owner Tom Hoover will remain onboard as NSM Oklahoma City branch manager. “As a team, we provide 45 years of experience in the complex rehab technology industry and we’re excited to add our passion to the NSM family,” said Hoover, who will serve as one of three ATPs and CRTSs at the location.
Hasco Medical’s Q2 revenues jump 28%
ADDISON, Texas – Hasco Medical’s net revenues for the second quarter of 2014 were $24 million, up 28% from the same quarter last year, the company has announced. Gross profit was $5.1 million vs. $4.3 million. Revenues in the first half of 2014 totaled $44.5 million, up 32% from the same period last year. Gross profit was $10.4 million vs. $7.8 million. The company credits increased private-pay business for accessible vans and contributions from Auto Mobility Sales, which it bought last September, for the gains.
Interactive Compliance acquires CMB Solutions
INDIANAPOLIS – Interactive Compliance has acquired a 95% interest in CMB Solutions, a provider of patient contact management and business solutions to the HME industry, and installed Asif Kidwai as CEO. “The acquisition allows for an optimized business plan of growth, as well as a broader scope of support for existing and new clients,” said Nyika Wright, now COO and executive director. Interactive Compliance is a provider of physician-backed patient management tools and home health alternatives to accountable care organizations, managed care organizations, major hospitals, medical research facilities, pharmacies, equipment providers and physicians, according to its LinkedIn page.
DMEevalumate offers new face-to-face tool
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – DMEevalumate.com has launched its General DME program, an online documentation tool to aid clinicians with face-to-face evaluations. The program offers standardized documentation for manual wheelchairs, canes, crutches, walkers, hospital beds, support surfaces, commodes, urological supplies and diabetic supplies. “Rather than guessing what is needed for each DME item, DMEevalumate.com ensures that all data points are addressed and answered,” stated Eric Gregory, director of operations, in a press release. DMEevalumate launched a PMD module in 2012 and a respiratory module in 2013.
NRRTS names board members
LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has announced its 2014-205 board members. Mike Osborn is president, Mike Barner is president elect, Elaine Stewart is vice president, Leslie Rigg is secretary, Mike Nadeau is treasurer, Carey Britton is review chair DMAC A, Toby Bergantino is review chair DMAC B, Keith Jolicouer is review chair DMAC C and Katie Roberts is review chair DMAC D. At-large directors are Gerry Dickerson, Thana France, Jim Douglas, Andrea Madsen and Luke Moore.
More people in the news
Universal Software Solutions has hired Carmen Purcell-Vasquez as an account executive. Purcell-Vasquez has more than 20 years of experience in the HME industry, including seven years as a software trainer at Fastrack. She will be based in St. Louis…Ottobock has added two mobility sales representatives: Kelly Hasenei, a certified orthotic fitter with experience in medical sales, and Keith Friedman, owner/operator of a therapy clinic…Numotion has appointed Mark Vachon to its board of directors. Vachon spent 30 years with GE before retiring. He was most recently president and CEO of GE Healthcare Americas.