In brief: OIG lobbies for 13-month oxygen cap, Philips sponsors sleep day

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WASHINGTON - The Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week released a "Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations" that includes several HME-related changes that it believes would result in cost savings and/or program improvements if implemented. Perhaps the most egregious recommendation: That CMS should work with Congress to reduce the rental period for oxygen equipment from 36 months to 13 months. The OIG estimates such a move would save $3.2 billion. Other recommendations include: adjusting the fee schedule amounts of power wheelchairs using competitive bidding amounts; and reducing reimbursement for negative pressure wound therapy pumps and including the pumps in Round 2 of competitive bidding. To read the report, go to

Oxygen errors remain high

FARGO, N.D. - Oxygen claims for E1390 and E0431 have an overall error rate of 66% in Jurisdiction D for the third quarter, according to a March 14 bulletin from DME MAC Noridian Administrative Services. That's down from 67% in the second quarter and up from 54% for the first quarter. "Because the error rate remains high, NAS will continue with the widespread complex review," the bulletin stated. To read the bulletin, go to

Philips sponsors World Sleep Day

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Royal Philips Electronics announced March 18 a global partnership with the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) to sponsor World Sleep Day 2011. "Through the sponsorship of the World Sleep Day we aim to increase people's understanding of the seriousness of sleep disorders, such as OSA, which, if not properly managed, can have a significant impact on a person's health and well-being," stated Dr. David White, chief medical officer for Philips Home Healthcare Solutions and a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, in a release. The fourth annual event has the theme "Sleep Well, Grow Healthy." In concert with the event, Philips and WASM have launched a new educational module on sleep for children as part of the SimplyHealthy@Schools program. The program aims to support teachers in educating children between the ages of 8 and 12 years on the importance of sleep and how it can help to improve their health and well being.

Permobil hits the road

LEBANON, Tenn. - Permobil on March 14 kicked off a 32-stop tour in Miami to support its new M300 mid-wheel drive wheelchair and Corpus 3G seating system. The tour, called "Power Trip," will end June 16 in St. Louis. For more information, go to

Bruno, Braun partner

OCONOMOWOC, Wis., and WINAMAC, Ind. - Bruno Independent Living Aids and the Braun Corporation announced March 14 that they've entered into a partnership that will result in a global expansion. Braun has acquired partial ownership in Autoadapt AB, a manufacturer of mobility products based in Sweden. Bruno acquired Autoadapt in 2002. Now the two companies own Autoadapt 50/50. The partnership positions Autoadapt to offer mobility products to customers throughout Europe and the Middle East. Bruno manufactures home accessibility products, including stairlifts and vertical platform lifts. Braun manufactures wheelchair lifts and wheelchair accessible vehicles.

AG Industries buys SP Medical

ST. LOUIS - AG Industries has acquired SP Medical, a Superior Products Company, the companies announced March 11. Both companies sell direct to their home healthcare customers. "Our model mirrors that of AG industries," stated Tim Austin, formerly managing director of SP Medical, now vice president of sales and business development at AG Industries. "We see joining forces as an opportunity to give our customers direct access to more products, expanded manufacturing capabilities, enhanced services and the benefits of consolidated purchasing." SP will relocate its manufacturing and sales offices to St. Louis. AG Industries manufactures medical devices, healthcare filters and related systems for the medical industry. SP Medical manufactures compressed gas fittings and assemblies.

For your calendar: Open Door, listening session

BALTIMORE - CMS will hold its next Open Door Forum on April 13 at 2 p.m. EST. To participate by phone, call 800-837-1935 and use the ID 44707742. If you miss the forum and want to listen to an encore presentation, call 800-642-1687 and use the ID 44701142. The encore presentation will be available two hours after the forum takes place and expires after 10 business days. CMS has also scheduled three national outreach listening sessions, called the Provider Compliance Group Outreach Calls that will focus on several OIG reports. The purpose of the calls is to educate providers and suppliers on specific vulnerabilities that exist in DME, Part A, Part B and home health and hospice. The subject of the third listening session on March 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET will be "A Review of Claims for Capped Rental Durable Medical Equipment." For more more information, go to