In brief: HMEs need not apply, MED plays musical chairs and more

Sunday, November 25, 2007

WASHINGTON - CMS plans to roll out new online enterprise applications that will allow certain Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers to access, update and submit information over the Internet. Recently, the agency advised FFS providers to register for the Individuals Authorized Access to CMS Computer Services-Provider Community (IACS-PC). HME providers, however, need not apply. According to an announcement released last week: "CMS does not expect any new online services will be available to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies suppliers in 2008."

Wound therapy reviews to continue
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Payment denials for negative pressure wound therapy products (NPWT) in Jurisdiction A increased in the third quarter to 85.86%, up from 77.49% the previous quarter, according to a review this month by TriCenturion. The review found that 41% of claims were denied because coverage criteria weren't met. Of those, 23% lacked medical records and 77% did not meet criteria. Another 47% of claims were denied for non-response and 13% of claims were paid. TriCenturion said it planned to continue the review.

Use NPI when billing Medicare
WASHINGTON - Medicare claims must include a national provider identification (NPI) number in the primary provider fields on the claim form beginning March 1, 2008. No NPIs will result in claim denials. Providers can still submit NPI/legacy pairs in these fields or submit only the NPI. The secondary provider fields (i.e., referring, ordering and supervising) may continue to include only legacy number. Providers already billing with the NPI/legacy pair in the primary provider fields whose claims are processing correctly, should try submitting a small number of claims containing only the NPI in the primary provider fields. This test will serve to assure claims will successfully process when only the NPI is mandated on all claims.

MED Group re-assigns Clayback, Jones
LUBBOCK, Texas - The MED Group has appointed Don Clayback vice president of government relations and David Jones director of its National Rehab Network. Clayback was MED's senior vice president of networks and director of its National Rehab Network; Jones was its regional manager for the West. "We are fortunate to have the bench strength to make changes," stated President and CEO Bill Elliott in a release. "With both Don and David, we have two individuals with the right experience, knowledge and relationships to make a difference. I am confident that with their new focus, our members will realize even more value from MED."

CareCentric boosts software programs
ATLANTA - CareCentric announced last week an investment plan to accelerate the growth and development of its Ac-Cura billing and operations management software in the home health, HME and pharmacy/infusion markets. The plan includes capital and other resources. Additionally, CareCentric and its parent company Mestek, a $400-million company based in Westfield, Mass., plans to reaffirm its commitment to enhance and support all of its legacy product lines. Mestek envisions CareCentric as "the premier provider in post-acute care software and related services."

Invacare launches Top Web site
ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare Top End has launched a new Web site,, the company announced last week. The site offers viewers up-to-date product information about Top End performance wheelchairs, Team Invacare athletes and more. It also features an "Ask the Expert" section for helpful questions and answers about handcycles and everyday, tennis, basketball and other sport-specific wheelchairs. Top End is the sports and recreation rehab division of Invacare.

Online provider debuts patient forum
HOUSTON - has added a forum to its Web site, allowing patients to ask and respond to each other's questions about sleep apnea and oxygen equipment. It has also added a for-sale or trade section. From time to time, will post product reviews to the forum. It is an authorized dealer of Resmed, Respironics, Fisher & Paykel, Puritan Bennett, SeQual, Inogen, Viasys and Invacare products. Positive Air has seven locations in Texas and Louisiana.