In brief: NRRTS encourages; Global Direct sells

Sunday, June 1, 2008

WASHINGTON - If you're a rehab provider and you still have questions about national competitive bidding and power wheelchair documentation requirements, NRRTS encourages you to participate in a teleconference on Tuesday. During the teleconference, from 5-6:30 p.m., providers will have access to a panel of rehab experts: Blackburn's Georgie Blackburn, The MED Group's Don Clayback and The VGM Group's Jerry Keiderling. "Your questions will drive the direction of the conference," NRRTS stated in a release. If possible, e-mail your questions in advance to NRRTS Executive Director Simon Margolis at Sunrise Medical's Rita Hostak will moderate the conference. To participate, call 712-580-1100 and punch in the log-in ID 696701#. No registration required.

DOJ pats itself on the back
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week released a list of its accomplishments for 2007, including those of its Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The DOJ stated that strike forces in Miami-Dade County, Fla., and Los Angeles have resulted in 85 indictments against 139 defendants, many of them DME providers, who collectively billed Medicare for nearly $440 million; 92 guilty pleas and eight jury trials; and 89 sentences averaging 43 months of prison. Since March 2007, when the strike force initiative began in Florida, Medicare claims submissions have dropped by $1.75 billion and claims paid have decreased by $334 million, according to the department.

Health IT company acquires diabetes supplier
NEW YORK - Healthnostics acquired a large stake in Global Medical Direct, a national provider of direct-to-consumer diabetes supplies, the company announced May 28. The deal, paid for with common stock, furthers Healthnostics' strategic plan to grow through acquisitions and generation of immediate revenue. Global is expected to reach $10 million in revenues by its fiscal year end June 30. "Finalizing our ownership acquisition with GMD now allows us to actively move forward with all of the synergisms this excellent combination represents," said Healthnostics President Alan Grofe in a release. "Our plan is to enhance their Web presence and expand GMD's infrastructure order to keep pace with their projected growth." Healthnostics is a medical and biotech IT company.

Association rallies
MIAMI - Members of the Accredited Medical Equipment Providers of America (AMEPA) plan several public protests starting this week to raise public awareness of national competitive bidding. On June 5, providers, patients and healthcare professionals will demonstrate in front of the Medicare regional office in downtown Miami between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. AMEPA plans to hold similar events in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The association continues to highlight the various concerns it has with the program. "Here in Miami you have eight unlicensed companies that won the bid," said Rob Brant, AMEPA president and CEO of City Medical Services in North Miami Beach, Fla. "It takes six months for a new entity to get an oxygen license."

Customers click-to-call at US Medical
RALEIGH, N.C. - US Medical Supplies, a distributor of mobility scooters, lift chairs, stair lifts and other mobility equipment, added a click-to-call feature to its Web site in late May. To use the feature, a customer goes to and enters his phone number, and one of the company's mobility specialists then calls him. US Medical Supplies founder and CEO Jeff Sheffer said: "We strive to make communication with our sales and support staff as simple and straight forward as possible. Our new click-to-call services has been thoroughly tested and our staff is ready to answer your questions." US Medical distributes products by Pride Mobility Products, Golden Technologies, AmeriGlide and other manufacturers.