In brief: Lawmakers target fraud, AAH creates CPAP task force
WASHINGTON – Reps. Ron Klein, D-Fla., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., introduced the Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act of 2010 last week. The bill, H.R. 5044, would increase site visits and penalties for false statements; crack down on distribution of Medicare patient numbers; add a pilot project to examine the use of biometric technologies to verify physician visits; and direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study Medicare contractors, including the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs). Some of the bill’s provisions are similar to those included in AAHomecare’s 13-point anti-fraud legislative plan, which the association presented to Congress in early 2009.
CPAP task force to develop Medicare strategy
ARLINGTON, Va. – AAHomecare's HME/RT Council has created a CPAP task force to look at ways to improve Medicare policy. On the agenda: policy requirements for coverage beyond the first three months of therapy; documentation and compliance requirements; and the use of advance beneficiary notices. The task force will also examine changes that went into effect April 1 that require four specific criteria to be met when the patient changes from a CPAP to a bi-level device. The task force is currently reaching out to patients, physicians and other clinical organization and will present its strategy at Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas.
Active Healthcare ‘gives back’
RALEIGH, N.C. – Active Healthcare has been selected as one of eight sleep centers nationwide to receive a “Gives Back” award grant from the National Sleep Foundation to provide positive pressure (PAP) equipment to needy residents. “We are looking to our community physicians to refer their neediest sleep apnea patients to us for the free education, training and ongoing support they desperately need,” stated Lisa Feierstein, a registered nurse and founder of Active Healthcare, in a release. In 2008, Active Healthcare began partnering with Urban Ministries Open Door Clinic of Wake County to provide PAP equipment to needy residents. The provider has since expanded the program with Project Access in Durham and Wake counties, and Alliance Medical Ministries in Raleigh.
Invacare launches new Web site
ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare’s new Web site, www.invacare.com/homecare, emphasizes the company’s breadth of product and how they impact people’s lives, the company stated in a release last week. The site also will link to Invacare’s global family of Web sites—divisions and subsidiaries. “It was only 30 years ago when Invacare had limited product lines of standard wheelchairs and patient aids, net sales of $19.5 million, 350 associates and three plants in the United States,” said Lou Slangen, senior vice president, global market development. “Now the company has expanded into a full line of home and non-acute care medical products with $1.7 billion in sales, employment of 5,900 associates and manufacturing in 30 facilities worldwide. A company’s Web site is its primary face to the outside world, so it is important that our website captures the Invacare of today.”
Helios plant to close, relocate
PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Chart Industries plans to close a medical oxygen plant and lay off 130 workers this year. Chart acquired the business—formerly Covidien and currently operating under Chart's Caire division—last November. It plans to fold operations, including the manufacturing of Helios oxygen equipment—into its facility in Canton, Ga., according to an article on Indystar.com. The move is expected to take about a year to complete; displaced workers will be offered relocation assistance and severance packages.
‘Little Couple’ star thinks ‘big’ at Heartland Conference
WATERLOO, Iowa – Bill Klein, businessman and co-star of The Learning Channel’s “The Little Couple,” will be the keynote speaker at The VGM Group’s Heartland Conference June 8. Klein’s speech, “Think Big,” will cover his personal story of triumphs and challenges as he negotiates accessibility as a little person in an average-sized world. Klein is co-founder of Emerge Sales with Mike Sperduti.