In brief: Lawmakers make fraud recommendations, Sleep HealthCenters closes

Friday, February 1, 2013

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of six senators on Jan. 31 released recommendations aimed at curbing waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. In May 2012, members of the Senate Finance Committee, led by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked the healthcare community for its suggestions on how to tackle the problem and received more than 2,000 pages of suggestions in response. Those suggestions include: eliminating duplication and redundancy in anti-fraud programs, ensuring that provider enrollment policies are consistent and used effectively, and creating an advisory panel to provide clinical input as part of contractor oversight. “Every dollar that goes to waste, fraud or abuse doesn’t help a Medicare of Medicaid beneficiary,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, stated in a release. “We need all hands on deck to protect every dollar in these programs.” The senators plan to work with key committees of jurisdiction, the Government Accountability Office, DHHS and other stakeholders to develop a more detailed list of administrative recommendations and potential legislation. To read the report, click here

Braden Med acquires HME division

CALDWELL, Ohio – Braden Med Services, a provider of HME supplies and services, has acquired the HME and medical supply division of NorthStar Pharmacy, based in Cambridge, Ohio, according to local news reports. The deal allows Braden Med, a sister company to Gillespie’s Drugs, to increase its customer base, which is primarily in Guernsey County, Ohio.  

Sleep HealthCenters closes abruptly

BOSTON – Sleep HealthCenters, a sleep testing diagnostics chain, abruptly closed down all 19 of its locations, according to an article in the Boston Globe. With most of its locations in New England, including 11 in Massachusetts, the company cited “circumstances beyond our control” as the reason for the closure. In particular, Richard Mikels, the company’s lawyer, blamed the proliferation of home sleep testing kits. “This change from the pervasive use of sleep centers to the pervasive use of home testing, which is less lucrative for the provider, is actually at the core of the problem,” Mikels told the newspaper. The company is now in the process of notifying patients of the closure and transitioning them to other providers, the article states.

DME Data Solutions crunches CPAP data

SAN DIEGO – DME Data Solutions has introduced a CPAP Patient Data Analyzer (CPDA), an analytics system that allows users to mine data and manage clinical outcomes, according to a press release. CPDA imports data from sleep studies, CPAP therapy reports and EMR systems, and stores it in a shared database. The data allows users to manage clinical outcomes through trend reports. After creating a patient baseline from the sleep study, users can view CPAP device data, such as leak, pressure and compliance, alongside non-device data, such as weight, BMI, blood pressure and other data points, according to the release. "Users are interested in packaging their data to seek higher reimbursement and attract new referral sources," stated Ken Ravazzolo, president and founder of DME Data Solutions. 

Sleep apnea specialists collaborate to improve care

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Signature Sleep Services and CPAP Horizon Project are working together to improve sleep apnea management for patients, according to a press release. The management of sleep apnea involves many software applications and medical devices, but they often don’t share data, according to the release. To bridge this gap, Signature Sleep Services has introduced SleepScreener, a web-based application that screens and refers sleep disorder patients to facilities licensed to access the application. CPAP Horizon Project will then manage ongoing CPAP therapy by employing a cloud application that allows patients to interact with their HME provider and access relevant records in one location. Using the application, patients can complete virtual checkups, track their therapy, order replacement supplies, and find additional information about managing their condition. 

Vendor short takes

The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) has relocated to new headquarters in Cary, N.C., according to a press release. The 30,000-square-foot building features a large training room designed for educational events for clients, surveyors and employees…Nonin Medicalhas donated six finger pulse oximeters for a medical mission in Honduras, according to a press release. Nonin donated the Onyx 9500 oximeters to the Evangelistic International Ministries (EIM) for use at the Hospital Centro Socorro De Lo Alto, located in Sula, Honduras, a remote village… Responsive Respiratory has a new oxygen solutions catalog for 2013, according to a press release. The catalog features an array of oxygen products, including conservers and regulators, as well as cases, carts, racks cylinders and other accessory items.