In brief: Licensure rules confuse bidders, Strike Force conducts record takedown

Friday, May 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS – Providers who submitted bids in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La., competitive bidding area became concerned last week that a recent licensure change on the National Suppliers Clearinghouse (NSC) website could disqualify them from the program. It appears that the NSC updated its licensure directory at some point in April—after the bid window closed. The problem: The NSC site now states that a "Louisiana Controlled Dangerous Substances License," issued by the state Board of Pharmacy (BOP), is required to dispense negative pressure wound therapy, enteral pumps and supplies, CPAP and respiratory assist devices. In response to questions from AMEPA, Elaine Hensley, chief ombudsman of the CBIC, said that CMS planned to go by licensure requirements listed on the NSC site as of Jan. 30, 2012, the date the bid window opened. Providers who don’t meet that recently listed license won't be disqualified, however, they must meet any requirements by the time Round 2 contracts become effective.

Strike Force conducts record takedown

WASHINGTON – A nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities has resulted in charges against 107 individuals for alleged schemes involving durable medical equipment and other medical treatments and services, the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week. The alleged schemes resulted in about $452 million in false billing. “This coordinated takedown involved the highest amount of false Medicare billings in a single takedown in strike force history,” according to a release. The defendants allegedly participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided, according to court documents. In many cases, patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other co-conspirators were allegedly paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could submit fraudulent billing to Medicare, according to documents.

More execs out at The Scooter Store

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – About a dozen executives are no longer Scooter Store employees, the San Antonio Express-News reported May 3. The management changes come on the heels of CEO Doug Harrison's resignation in March. In January, Chief Financial Officer Tom Shaw and Chief Sales Officer Mike Pfister left the company. Mark Leita, The Scooter Store's vice president of external relations and government affairs, told the Express-News the company was "streamlining" its management team "as part of an ongoing effort to position the company to better meet current and future changes."

Report: HME market to hit $26.2B by 2016

ROCKVILLE, Md. – The global market for home medical equipment was worth $17.9 billion in 2010, nearly $19 billion in 2011 and should reach $26.2 billion by 2016, according to a new report from MarketResearch. The therapeutic device segment was worth $8.8 billion in 2011 and should reach $12.8 billion in 2016. The assistive devices segment was valued at $5.4 billion in 2011 and should reach $5.9 billion in 2016. For more information, visit

Another report: Bidding will dampen growth for home care

NEW YORK – New Medicare policies have resulted in reduced growth in the U.S. market for homecare products like wheelchairs and oxygen systems, according to Kalorama Information. U.S. homecare product revenues exceeded $5 billion and will grow at an annual compound growth rate of 4% for the next five years—lower than expected but still positive, the healthcare market research publisher says. “A few years ago, we had anticipated 7% growth, but CMS competitive bidding policies have dampened the increase in revenues,” stated Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, in a release. For more information, visit

Alpine Home Medical tops in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – Alpine Home Medical Equipment last week was named "Best of State" for the fourth year running. Alpine was recognized in the merchandising and consumer services category, medical equipment/supplies sub-category. The award is based on criteria that include financial achievements, customer satisfaction, quality products and membership affiliations. "It is a testament to our dedication as a quality medical equipment provider in Utah," stated Jay Broadbent, president, in a press release.

Region B reviewing oxygen, glucose testing supplies

WASHINGTON – National Government Services, the Jurisdiction B DME MAC, reminded providers last week that it’s currently conducting widespread prepay claim reviews for oxygen and oxygen equipment, and blood glucose monitoring supplies. The reviews were implemented due to high volumes of errors for missing and/or incomplete documentation. Suppliers must comply with documentation requirements as outlined in local coverage determinations (LCDs) and policy articles (PAs). Suppliers can access LCDs and PAs at

Short takes: Responsive Respiratory, Nonin Medical

Responsive Respiratory announced last week that its new Oxygen Solutions Catalog is available for download in PDF format at The catalog includes several new products, including cart designs with oversized wheels for patient cylinder delivery….Nonin Medical announced last week that it has snagged a 36-month contract with Novation, a large healthcare supply contracting company. Per the agreement, 65,000 members of Novation and affiliate organizations served by the company will be able to purchase Nonin Medical’s fingertip, handheld and wrist-worn pulse oximeters at discounted prices.