In brief: LMI hammers out reorg, CMS updates error rate

Friday, October 4, 2013

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Landauer Metropolitan Inc. (LMI) will continue to operate businesses in nine states and accept new patients as it works with secured lender Quadrant Management to reorganize, the company announced Oct. 1. LMI hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of this year, according to the news release. It filed for bankruptcy in August, citing reduced revenue related to competitive bidding. Quadrant Management owns several HME suppliers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

CMS: $6.4B in improper payments to DMEPOS in 2012
WASHINGTON – The improper payment rate for DMEPOS in 2012 was a whopping 66%, according to a new report released by CMS. Of the $9.7 billion Medicare paid for DMEPOS in 2012, $6.4 billion was improper, the report states. Across Medicare, the improper payment rate was 8.5%, representing $29.6 billion. That means DMEPOS, which represents about 2.8% of all Medicare fee-for-service expenditures, accounted for 19.8% of the overall improper payment rate, the report states. The vast majority of improper payments identified for DMEPOS were due to insufficient documentation (94.2%). About 4.2% of the improper payments were classified as errors in medical necessity. Oxygen supplies and equipment, glucose monitors, and nebulizers and related drugs had the highest incidence of improper payments, accounting for about 45.8% of improper payments for DMEPOS, according to the report.

AAH names homecare champions
WASHINGTON – AAHomecare has named the recipients of its annual Homecare Champion Award: Scott Meuser, chairman and CEO of Pride Mobility; and Shelly Prial, an industry advocate. The award recognizes association members who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community throughout their careers, according to AAHomecare. In a letter to Meuser, President Tom Ryan and Chairman Robert Steedley wrote: “Your steadfast commitment to the homecare sector is evidenced not only by your personal leadership on public policy issues in your service as a member of the AAHomecare board of directors, but also by Pride Mobility’s dedication to working in close partnership with the DME provider community.” To Prial, who was one of the first pharmacy owners to supply DME and oxygen and who founded the Homecare Providers Co-op, they wrote: “Your voice as an advocate for the DME community remains as vibrant and respected as ever through your influential blog and your service as a Medtrade ambassador.” AAHomecare will present the awards to Meuser and Prial at the Stand Up for Homecare reception at Medtrade on Oct. 8 at Baterbys Art Gallery in Orlando.

OIG: Redeterminations on the rise
WASHINGTON – Contractors processed 2.9 million redeterminations involving 3.7 million claims in 2012, a 33% increase since 2008, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Also among the findings in the report, titled “The First Level of the Medicare Appeals Process, 2008–2012:  Volume, Outcomes, and Timeliness”: Contractors decided in favor of Part A appellants at a lower rate than Part B appellants; and 80% of redeterminations involved Part B services, although those involving Part A services have risen more rapidly. The report also found that contractors largely met the required timeframes for processing redeterminations and paying appeals, but they fell short on meeting timeframes for transferring case files for second-level appeals. The OIG recommends that CMS use the MACs to monitor contractor performance; continue to share information among contractors; and monitor the quality of redetermination data in the Medicare Appeals System (MAS).

Brightree, ResMed agreement streamlines ordering
ATLANTA and SAN DIEGO – Brightree and ResMed have signed an electronic data exchange agreement to help joint customers streamline their business processes. The agreement will allow customers to order ResMed equipment directly from the Brightree platform, reducing inventory-related costs, eliminating duplicate data entry and maximizing order accuracy, according to a news release. Because Brightree and the ResMed online store are web-based platforms, they can easily exchange provider, patient and product information, ensuring access to real-time pricing and product availability information, the release notes.

Survey finds low awareness of OSA screening, testing
GLEN BURNIE, Md. – There’s a clear lack of awareness among Americans about the latest screening and testing technologies for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a survey commissioned by NovaSom and the American Sleep Apnea Association. The survey, which polled 500 men and women between the ages of 30 and 65, found that 88% were unaware of either the Epworth or Stop-Bang questionnaires, and 82% were unaware of home sleep tests. Additionally, it found 40% who suspected themselves or a spouse/partner of having OSA took no action to get diagnosed or treated. The survey exposes “one of the likely reasons why 85% of the more than 43 million Americans with OSA remain undiagnosed,” according to a news release. While awareness of screening and testing techniques was low, the survey found that 78% have heard of OSA, 70% have friends or family with OSA, and 76% understood the risks associated with the condition.

Prayer breakfast scheduled for Medtrade
ORLANDO, Fla. – The HME Christian Fellowship is sponsoring a Purposeful Prayer Breakfast at Medtrade for the third straight year. The breakfast will take place Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 6:45 to 8 a.m., in Room W311E of the Orange County Convention Center. It will feature keynote speaker David Miller, a founding member of The MED Group. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Sponsors of the event include Brightree, Mal Mixon, Drive Medical, Pride Mobility, The VGM Group, Jeff Woodham and Terry Henderson.

iCode Connect sends sleep compliance data remotely
LAKE WALES, Fla. – 3B, a developer of sleep therapy solutions, has launched iCode Connect, a new cloud-based information management system, the company announced Oct. 1. The system pivots around 3B’s free smartphone app, which decodes and sends sleep reports with the snap of a photo. iCode Connect uses character recognition to extract and archive data, allowing it to manage records, develop patient reports and track the treatment of sleep apnea patients. “In a time when healthcare costs are rising but reimbursement is lower, iCode Connect brings easy and effective mobile technology into the space,” said Joe Toth, national sales director for 3B, in a news release.

Europe’s infusion therapy market expected to grow
LONDON – The infusion therapy device market in Europe, which passed 505 million euros in 2012, is expected to continue its stable growth, according to a new study by iData Research. Released Sept. 26, the report says a growing elderly population and a corresponding rise in diseases that are treated with infusion therapy are driving the growth. Infusion devices include infusion pumps, needleless connectors and intravenous sets, the report says.

Short takes
VGM Forbin plans to unveil its new website platform for DME providers at Medtrade, Oct. 8-10, in Orlando, Fla., the company announced Sept. 26. Called PowerWeb 4.0, the social-media friendly platform includes new features like a scrolling product catalog and a performance dashboard…With a new website, the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) is keeping stakeholders up-to-date with continuing education information and social media feeds, the board announced in a Sept. 30 news release. Certified providers and accredited facility owners can also use the website to manage their accounts… Sunrise Medical has announced the latest recipients of its Propel Donation Program: Damon Bosier of Hawaii and Cameron Irwin from Tasmania, Australia. Sunrise worked with National Seating and Mobility to serve Bosier…Glancy Binkow & Goldberg is investigating potential claims on behalf of shareholders of BioScrip concerning possible breaches of fiduciary duties by the company, according to a news release. The investigation is focused on certain statements issued by the Elmsford, N.Y.-based company concerning business and operations…Sacramento, Calif.-based Surety1 is now offering $50,000 Medicare sure bonds for an annual premium of as low as $250, according to a news release. HME providers must obtain a surety bonds to do business with Medicare…101 Mobility executives launched an advertising campaign in October targeted at potential franchisees in Kansas City. The company, which provides mobility and accessibility equipment, hopes that “remarkable” aging and disability statistics will grab the interest of people who have previously owned a business or managed a team in that area, according to a press release.

People news
Handicare US has appointed Chris Blackmore to the newly created position of business development director, the company announced Sept. 27. Allentown, Pa.-based Blackmore will be responsible for identifying business growth opportunities in the U.S. market and managing key client relationships for increased revenue.


I wish that CMS (and the medica) would recognize that DMEPOS providers, unlike doctors and hospitals, have no control over the medical documentation which CMS requires.  This puts us at an extreme disadvantage.