In brief: ICD-10 goes live, BraunAbility sells to investment firm

Friday, October 2, 2015

WASHINGTON – ICD-10 went into effect Oct. 1, but it will be several days, if not a month, before the impact of the new code system sets in.

“It will take a couple of weeks before we have the full picture of ICD-10 implementation because very few health care providers file claims on the same day a medical service is given,” said Sean Cavanaugh, CMS deputy administrator and director, in a blog post. “Most providers batch their claims and submit them every few days.”

Once submitted, the claims take several days to be processed. Medicare must then wait two weeks before issuing payment. From start to finish, the entire process can take up to 30 days.

“Because of these timeframes, we expect to know more about the transition to ICD-10 after completion of a full billing cycle,” said Cavanaugh. 

ICD-10 features expanded alphanumeric code sets, as well as an expanded number of codes—68,000 vs. 13,000 under ICD-9—to identify disease etiology, anatomic site and severity.

According to a recent HME NewsPoll, 70% of respondents say they expect some disruption in cash flow as physicians and payers navigate the new code set.

However, there is one silver lining: Physicians and other practitioners under Medicare Part B won’t be denied for having the precise diagnosis code until Oct. 1, 2016. 

Should providers have any difficulty navigating the new code sets, CMS recommends contacting their MAC or the ICD-10 Coordination Center.

BraunAbility sells to Swedish investment firm

WINAMAC, Ind. – BraunAbility has signed an agreement to sell to Patricia Industries, a division of Stockholm, Sweden-based Investor AB.

BraunAbility will join Permobil on Patricia Industries’ roster of “high-quality, high-growth” companies, according to a press release.

“With the support of Patricia Industries, we will be positioned to accelerate our rate of growth, powered by product innovation, development of our brand promise within the communities we serve and continued expansion into global markets,” stated Nick Gutwein, BraunAbility’s president and CEO.

The manufacturer of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts generated $415 million in sales in 2014, according to the release.

BraunAbility is Investor AB’s first North American subsidiary, following the creation of Patricia Industries earlier this year. It will be managed out of the New York office.

BraunAbility was founded nearly 50 years ago by Ralph Braun, who was himself disabled and built his first wheelchair accessible vehicle in 1972.

In addition to Permobil, Patricia Industries also owns a majority stake in MoInlycke Health Care, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based manufacturer of wound care and single-use surgical products.

COPD Foundation adds coaching app to growing list of support tools

WASHINGTON – The COPD Foundation and ViiMed launched an interactive website and mobile app this week for coaching, education and wellness monitoring for COPD patients. COPD360coach uses educational modules comprised of online videos and courses taught by health professionals and COPD patients. The foundation envisions health systems and accountable care organizations deploying the technology to their patients to help them better managed their disease. COPD360coach is the brainchild of a Crowdshaped event in June co-hosted by the COPD Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. The COPD Foundation selected ViiMed to develop a solution combining what was derived from the Crowdshaped event into one, cohesive platform. COPD360coach joins the foundation’s existing initiatives COPD360social and its COPD Patient-Powered Research Network.

ACHC formalizes education division

CARY, N.C. – The Accreditation Commission for Health Care has re-launched Accreditation University as a division of ACHC to create a foundation for additional educational offerings. “The expansion of our educational products and services is a natural extension of our accreditation foundation, allowing us to leverage our expertise to better help providers achieve success,” said CEO José Domingos in a release. Additional products and services will be available through policy manuals, forms and other tools in 2016. Pharmacy, DMEPOS and sleep providers will also have access to consulting services through ACHC’s network of certified consultants.

Vent system gets coded

IRVINE, Calif. – CMS has assigned two HCPC codes to Breathe Technologies’ Life2000 Ventilation System, the medical device manufacturer announced recently. “Breathe Technologies recognizes the assignment of these codes as a significant advancement in addressing an unmet need for individuals living with respiratory insufficiency and neuromuscular diseases,” said President and CEO Larry Mastrovich in a release. The Life2000 Ventilation System received 510(k) clearance from the FDA in June and treats both acute and chronic respiratory failure in the home, as well as in institutional settings. The system will be commercially available in the U.S. in late 2015.

NCPA videos examine changing healthcare models

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has launched a five-part video series that looks at how community pharmacies can adapt to changing healthcare models and improve patient care. Topics include the role of technology, marketing, and new models of payment, according to a press release. “Pharmacy is changing and the shift toward quality standards and value-based patient care presents opportunities, as well as challenges,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “Community pharmacies are solution companies—every day, they are adapting and evolving to fill gaps in care.” The videos, which are sponsored by H.D. Smith, are each worth 0.1 CEU. Pharmacists must complete a pre-read and post-test before and after each video to receive credit. FMI.

HOMES gets pharmacy license requirement for DME dropped

AUGUSTA, Maine – The National Suppliers Clearinghouse will remove the pharmacy license requirement for certain DME items in Maine, the Home Medical Equipment and Services Association of New England has reported. To obtain such a license, a provider had to have a pharmacist in charge or PIC, not appropriate for DME providers, HOMES argued. The association began working on this issue last summer, when the NSC updated its State License Directory to include a requirement for a pharmacy license for some DME. It testified at the Maine Board of Pharmacy meeting in April to argue for at least a limited pharmacy license, but the board decided a license wasn’t needed for the items in question because they did not meet its definition of “device.”

Short takes: Brightree, AOPA, Masimo, Nonin & more

Brightree’selectronic health record solution for home health and hospice has been selected by Merida Health Care Group. Merida already uses Brightree’s solution for HME…The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association has announced the winners of its annual student poster awards: Tyler Klenow has received the Otto and Lucille Becker Award for his orthotic abstract, “A Functional Comparison of Carbon Fiber AFO and Two Modular KAFO Conditions Using Outcome Measures in a Veteran Subject with Traumatic Brain Injury.” Lisa Abernathy has received the Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award for her prosthetic abstract, “Going Back in Time: A Content Analysis on the Media Portrayal of Characters with Antiquated Prostheses”…Masimo has committed to donating $5 million in Signal Extraction Technology Pulse Oximeters and Pulse Co-Oximeters and other medical equipment to Jordanian hospitals to help improve care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and Jordanian citizens. The first shipment of equipment is already in use at Al-Bashir Hospital in Amman…Nonin Medical has promoted Christopher Holland to chief compliance officer. He was previously the company’s vice president of business development. In his new role, Holland will continue to lead business development, in addition to overseeing the company’s commercialization strategies and activities…YouCan TooCan Home Medical Supply has opened a new store in Colorado Springs, it announced today. The 2,500-square-foot store offers scooters, wheelchairs, lift chairs, respiratory equipment and aids to daily living. The store is owned by Marvin Holland, who acquired it in November 2014…Sleep Apnea Awareness Week,a campaign focused on increasing public awareness about the sleep disorder, takes place Oct. 1 through Oc. 7. Affiliates and members of the American Sleep Association from multiple sites will participate in the event, and affiliated sleep disorder treatment centers will discuss topics relating to sleep apnea. The ASA website will also present important information on the signs, symptoms, risks and treatment options of obstructive sleep apnea…U.S. Rehab has named Ron Turzy as vice president of complex rehab. He previously worked with HomeLink and U.S. Rehab. In his new role, he will work with the company’s outcomes program and seek national insurance contracts.