In brief: Industry groups tout homecare, CMS rethinks SGD policy

Friday, November 14, 2014

WASHINGTON – People for Quality Care (PFQC) and Save My Medical Supplies (SMMS) have partnered to spread the word about the positive impact of home medical equipment. In honor of Homecare Month, the two groups have created a centralized base,, for positive stories featuring patient testimonials and HME providers who go out of their way to help others. “The patients we speak with have remarkable things to stay about their home medical equipment providers,” said Kelly Turner, director of advocacy PFQC. “Unfortunately, these positive testimonies can get drowned out by stories of fraud and abuse. We want to shine the spotlight on the heart of HME providers and honor all the important work that they do.”

CMS revisits coverage of SGDs

BALTIMORE – CMS is instructing its contractors to rescind the “coverage reminder” that mandates speech generating devices (SGD be covered for speech only. Since 2001, when the current national coverage determination (NCD) took effect, technology for SGDs and the ways in which the devices are used for patients’ medical needs has changed significantly, says CMS. The agency has indicated that it will internally reconsider Medicare coverage of augmentative and alternative communication devices.

Brightree, Inogen make ‘500’ list

ATLANTA and GOLETA, Calif. – Brightree and Inogen were ranked on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list as two of the 500 fastest growing tech companies in North America. Between 2009 through 2013, Brightree and Inogen grew 331% and 605%, respectively.“The companies ranked on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 continue to set the bar for their industry higher each year,” said Eric Openshaw, Deloitte vice chairman. To be eligible for the list, companies must own proprietary intellectual property, have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD, have current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million and be headquartered in North America.

RAC contracts: CMS still working on it

BALTIMORE – CMS expects to award the national RAC contract by the end of this year, according to AAHomecare, as well as a contract for region 3 (Part A and Part B). Contracts for regions 1, 2 and 4 remain under a pre-award protest, filed earlier this year by CGI Federal and HMS Holdings. CMS wound down RAC operations for the most recent RACs over a period of several months, from February to June.

3B Medical devices offers advance reporting

LAKE WALES, Fla. – 3B Medical’s devices are now capable of enhanced reporting for central sleep apnea (CSA) detection. "Patients diagnosed by home sleep testing are often not screened or accurately diagnosed for the presence of CSA,” said Angela Giudice, 3B Medical clinical manager. “For that reason, the open airway apnea reporting in our units can act as a surrogate marker for CSA and allow for more comprehensive patient care." The devices can detect when a patient is experiencing an open or clear airway apnea in real time and alert clinicians and physicians should a patient require care.

BBB carries ‘torch’ for DeVilbiss

SOMERSET, Pa. – DeVilbiss Healthcare won a 2014 Better Business Bureau (BBB) Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics for mid-size companies in Western Pennsylvania, it announced today. Nominees were required to submit answers to questions regarding decision making, marketing and solicitations, recognition and awards, history and reputation, and return to the community. “Knowing every effort in our day directly affects the lives of others, we strive to be a company of individuals who try harder, work smarter and embrace the true value of innovation,” said Ed Murphy, president and CEO, of DeVilbiss, in a release.

Jurisdiction D to conduct neb-med review

FARGO, N.D. – The Jurisdiction D DME MAC is conducting a documentation compliance review for nebulizer inhalation drugs (J7605 and J7626). The purpose is to verify whether submitted documentation meets payment requirements according to local coverage determinations. To avoid denial, providers should ensure requested documentation is sent to the contractor within the allotted timeframe, medical records supporting the management of obstructive pulmonary disease are submitted and refill requirements are met.

International Biophysics, VGM ink deal

AUSTIN, Texas – International Biophysics Corporation has partnered with The VGM Group to become a preferred vendor for its AffloVest, it was announced yesterday. The AffloVestprovides daily portable oscillation treatment for respiratory diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, Bronchiectasis, ALS, MS, MD and COPD. “We’re thrilled to connect our members to this innovative technology that will improve their patients’ quality of life,” said Van Miller, CEO and founder of VGM, in a release.

ACHC offers new consultant program

CARY, N.C – ACHC has released a Certified Consultant program for industry professionals wanting to demonstrate proficiency in ACHC accreditation standards and processes. Participants will receive ACHC Certified Consultant recognition, a company listing on the organization’s website, access to ACHC accreditation and standards and an ACHC workbook. Certified consultants are required to attend a consult training workshop Dec. 2-3 at ACHC headquarters in Cary, N.C.

VMI celebrates Veterans Day with giveaway

PHOENIX – Toyota and Vantage Mobility International (VMI) awarded a disabled US Air Force veteran with a new car on Veterans Day. The 2015 Toyota Sienna with VMI’s Northstar Access360 wheelchair conversion was award to Susan Kirsch, who entered VMI’s Star Spangled Salute contest. Developed by VMI and Toyota, the Star Spangled Salute program educates disabled veterans about mobility. The wheelchair accessible van features a full-cut floor and removable driver and passenger seats.