In brief: OIG finds spike in claims, Dynamic buys Evanko

Friday, November 9, 2012

WASHINGTON – Claims for more expensive, non-mail order diabetes test strips (DTS) increased 33% from 2010 to 2011, while claims for less expensive, mail order DTS decreased 71%, according to a study by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Under Round 1 of competitive bidding, non-mail order DTS are reimbursed at a rate more than double that of mail order DTS, creating what the OIG calls a “financial incentive to bill for non-mail order DTS.” The OIG reviewed 2010 and 2011 Medicare claims data and conducted telephone interviews with 211 beneficiaries. It found that 20% of those beneficiaries were improperly billed, which, according to the study, contributed to the increase in claims for non-mail order DTS. Additionally, the study found that 23% of beneficiaries reported what the OIG deemed inappropriate supplier activities, such as waiving copayments and sending unsolicited DTS.

For the full study:

Dynamic Healthcare Services buys Evanko Respiratory

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Dynamic Healthcare Services (DHS) announced Nov. 5, 2012, that it has acquired Evanko Respiratory. Evanko, a provider of sleep/respiratory equipment and mobility products, is based in Hazleton, Pa. DHS hopes the acquisition can give the company further regional traction in a key area. “Evanko is perfectly positioned to provide opportunity for DHS growth in one of our strategic areas—Hazleton, Pa.,” stated Terry Luft, president and CEO of DHS, in a press release. “Our experience, infrastructure and resources combined with Evanko’s current position in the marketplace will allow us to take advantage of growth opportunities in numerous locations in the Hazleton area.”

Invacare division in New Zealand to close

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Dynamic Controls, a division of Invacare that manufactures controls for power wheelchairs, is set to close up shop here, according to multiple reports. The move could result in between 40 and 60 job losses. “The impact of changes in global economic conditions over the last 9-12 months have been significant for our contract manufacturing business, to the point where it is no longer profitable,” Charlotte Walshe, chief executive of Dynamic Controls, stated. Invacare last month posted quarterly results that included a pretax loss of $2 million for the Asia-Pacific region. In 2007, Dynamic Controls moved its own manufacturing to China, while keeping its contract manufacturing unit in Christchurch.

Medtrade Spring 2013: Get ready to register

LAS VEGAS – Providers can register for Medtrade Spring 2013 starting this week to take advantage of early bird rates. Kevin Gaffney, Medtrade group show director, urges providers to consider early registration for the event, which is slated for March 19-21 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. After three years at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Medtrade Spring will move to the Mandalay Bay, located on the strip. The venue is a 1.7 million-square-foot space, the fifth largest convention center in the United States, according to a press release. Mandalay Bay will be the home of Medtrade Spring for 2013, 2014, and 2015. Visit

USM to buy Care Medical’s rehab, repair divisions

HAZELWOOD, Mo. – United Seating & Mobility (USM) has reached an agreement to purchase the rehab and repair divisions of Portland, Ore.­–based Care Medical Equipment, according to multiple reports. As part of the transaction, USM will add locations in Seattle, Olympia and Vancouver, Wash. Terms of the deal, expected to be completed Nov. 30, were not disclosed. The purchase of Care Medical comes on the heels of two recent acquisitions by USM: the Nov. 2 purchase of JeffQuip in Upper Chichester, Pa., and the September purchase of Glass Seating & Mobility in Huntsville, Ala.

MAMES board approves new dues structure

NORTH STILLWATER, Minn. – To help make state-level lobbying efforts affordable for HME businesses both large and small, the Midwestern Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) board of directors approved a new annual dues structure, according to a bulletin to members. Under the new structure, 10% of dues revenue will be designated for state-level legislative funds. The new dues structure includes six annual revenue tiers (increased from three). Dues for the lowest tier—companies whose revenue is less than $500,000—will be set at $475. Dues for the highest tier, which will include companies with revenues exceeding $10 million, will be $1,000. In addition, MAMES membership will now have two designated contacts per company membership instead of one.

Short takes

Pride Mobility Products and Quantum Rehab recently hosted 21 students with disabilities during their Disability Mentoring Day at their facility here. The day included remarks from Chairman and CEO Scott Meuser, a tour of the facility and test lab, and product demos…Medical Electronic Attachment, a health care IT solutions company, and The van Halem Group, a consulting and auditing firm, have agreed to provide MEA’s FastAttach, a solution for electronic submission of medical documentation, to DME providers, according to a press release. The solution will enable DME companies to electronically respond to additional documentation requests by Medicare Administrative Contractors and Recovery Audit Contractors through the esMD CONNECT gateway…Filmmaker Peter Rowe, who suffers from sleep apnea, recently climbed the 16,000 feet up the Himalayas with a Transcend CPAP device, according to a press release from Somnetics International, which manufactures the device. On the hike, Rowe used the Transcend Portable Solar Charger, launched in July of this year, which has batteries that are recharged by solar technology, even in low-light conditions…Medline was included on the “National 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” list, according to a press release. Medline was selected from more than 500 American companies based on its “exceptional human resources practices and impressive commitment to its employees.”

People news

Ronda Buhrmesterhas joined U.S. Rehab/The VGM Group as a reimbursement specialist. Buhrmester is a certified respiratory therapist and a certified mastectomy fitter. She comes to VGM from Iroquois Home Care, an independent hospital-affiliated DME. She will be working closely with Peggy Walker, a reimbursement advisor for VGM…Nelson LeMarquand has been named director of sales and education for Clinical Medical Resources/BMI International. LeMarquand received his orthotic certification and became a member of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists in 1980. He was named a fellow of the academy in 2001. He is also a Florida Licensed Orthotist.