In brief: 'Get consumers engaged,' AAH says; Deadline approaches

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare last week posted a form letter to its Web site that providers can use to educate consumers about national competitive bidding. The hope: That consumers will read the letter and contact members of Congress to co-sign H.R. 3790, a bill that would eliminate the program. (The bill had 64 co-sponsors at press time on Friday). The letter details how the program could reduce access to quality equipment and services. "I think the real play here is getting consumers engaged on this issue," said Walt Gorski, AAHomecare's vice president of government affairs. "We always worry about engaging consumers and scare tactics, but consumers really need to reach out to their consumer and patient organizations, and we think this is an effective way to get them to do that." Find the letter in AAHomecare's Action Center at:

Competitive deadline approaches

BALTIMORE - Bidders that want CMS to review their financial documentation must have their document package postmarked by 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 21. As part of a covered document review date (CDRD) provision outlined in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), CMS must review financial documentation and notify providers of any missing documents. It plans to notify providers within 45 days. CMS encourages bidders to review the CDRD fact sheet available at

NCART redesigns Web site

BUFFALO, N.Y. - NCART went live last week with a redesigned Web site that's chockfull of resources. The site,, has been designed to provide information in an easy-to-access format, with sections on advocacy, position papers, Medicaid, educational material, policymakers and members. "With the coverage and funding issues now and those that lie ahead, our Web site will serve as an important tool in telling the complex rehab technology story and protecting access to these important products and services," stated Don Clayback, executive director, in a release. Other features of the site include a database of rehab technology suppliers and a video library.

NCB: Pennsylvania association hosts media call

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Two members of Congress and representatives of patient and business groups will speak out against national competitive bidding during a media conference call Nov. 17 at 9:15 EST. Participating in the call, hosted by the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (PAMS), will be Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa; Lily Spruill, director of public policy and community relations for United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh; Georgie Blackburn, vice president of government relations and legislative affairs for Blackburn's; and John Shirvinsky, executive director of PAMS. Altmire and Thompson have both co-sponsored H.R. 3790, a bill that would eliminate competitive bidding. To participate, call 866-439-4712 and enter the access code 784421.

Pari adds CEU course for RTs

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. - Pari Respiratory Equipment has bolstered its continuing education offerings with a new class titled "Managing Respiratory

Patients Through Efficient Aerosol Delivery." This rounds out Pari's free online education program for respiratory therapists, nurses, case managers and pharmacists. The classes can be accessed online at and include: Managing Respiratory Patients Through Efficient Aerosol Delivery; Managing the Patient with Asthma; Respiratory Management of Patients with Cystic Fibrosis; Case Management and COPD; Managing Childhood Asthma; Respiratory Drug Update; Challenges of the Chronic Respiratory Patient.