In brief: OIG report, accessory code

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON – Three types of diabetes test strips account for 58% of the Medicare mail-order market share, according to a study released Nov. 25 by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG examined 1,210 claims from the three-month period of October 2013 through December 2013. This is the third of three reports released in 2014 that the OIG has released to ensure that winning bidders are meeting the 50% market share requirement required by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. The study found that two types of strips accounted for 44% of the market and 10 types accounted for 91%. The Prodigy Autocode, from Prodigy Diabetes Care, has 26.9% of the market share. That’s an increase over a previous report, released in June, that found the Prodigy Autocode accounted for 23.9% of the market. By contrast, the same product comprised only 2.4% of the market for the three months ended December 2009.

Van Halem adds Medicare talent

ATLANTA – The van Halem Group has expanded, adding six full-time employees, it announced today. Among those joining the group are Lucretia LaFavor, a former operations manager with CGS Administrators, who will serve as a project manager; two former RAC clinical auditors, Karen Greco and Cheryl Wilkerson, as well as Donna Youngblood, a former reconsideration specialist, have also joined the team as clinical consultants. “There is no team in the industry that has more Medicare experience than ours,” says Wayne van Halem, president of The van Halem Group. “That knowledge and expertise is invaluable to our clients as we navigate complex issues related to audits, appeals, and compliance.” The van Halem Group merged with The VGM Group in June.

CPAP Planet debuts new site

FLOWOOD, Miss. – CPAP Planet’s new website,, features an online store for sleep apnea treatments and CPAP machines, and the company intends to add more in the future. Owner Rob Hines says the site has been well received. “It is the goal of CPAP Planet to become the leading resource for reliable information on issues impacting Sleep apnea sufferers,” he said. The company is asking visitors to give feedback for future improvements and updates.

Inventory Solutions updates price guide

NEW YORK – Inventory Solutions has released its Refurbished Equipment Price Guide for 2015. The guide includes pricing for many respiratory product categories, including vents, apnea monitors, pulse oximeters and concentrators. “Though the market has changed significantly since I started the company 14 years ago, our goal remains the same,” said President and Founder John Wittenberg. “We want to offer cost effective, reliable and affordable refurbished options to increase our customer’s bottom line.” For more information,

CMS adds accessory code

BALTIMORE – A new wheelchair accessory code, E2378 (power wheelchair component, actuator, replacement only) has been retroactively added to the group codes that were reclassified as the capped rental payment category, effective April 1, 2014. These codes can be billed as a purchase if used with a complex rehab wheelchair (K0835—K0864). If there is no indication that the E2378 is being used with a complex rehab wheelchair, it will be denied if billed as a purchase.

Invacare announces quarterly dividend

ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare announced a quarterly dividend last week. A cash dividend of 0.0125 per share will be payable Jan. 14 to shareholders of record on Jan. 5. Invacare’s founder, Mal Mixon, has decided to step down as executive chairman of the Board of Directors, effective Dec. 21. 

VMI teams up with USAA

PHOENIX – VMI and USAA are making it easier for USAA members to get a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) by applying directly to USAA for financing. “For over a quarter century, VMI has led the charge to help disabled American veterans regain their mobility with the wheelchair accessible van they deserve,” said Doug Eaton, president of VMI. “We’re honored to work with USAA.” USAA members with approved credit can fast track delivery of their Toyota, Honda or Chrysler minivan with a VMI ramp conversion or use their loan to purchase a new or used wheelchair accessible van at VMI dealerships.

FreeRider offers new scooters

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – FreeRider USA has added three new mobility scooters to its product line: the Luggie Classic, the FR168-4S, and the FR510-F. Powered by lead acid batteries, the Luggie Classic is a lightweight, compact and easy-folding mobility scooter. Designed for safety, FR168-4S holds up to 350 pounds and includes a dual electronic braking system and solid tires, while the FR510-F, carries up to 450 pounds and drives up to 18 miles.