In brief: PECOS goes live, provider accepts 41 bid contracts

Friday, March 8, 2013

BALTIMORE – It’s official: CMS will start rejecting claims that contain the names of physicians not enrolled in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) on May 1, the agency announced March 1. CMS will hold a national provider call, “Implementation of Edits on the Ordering/Referring Providers in Medicare Part B, DMEPOS, and Part A Home Health Agency Claims,” on March 20 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. Registration information for the call will be issued soon. CMS also posted an MLN Matters Article on the implementation of the edits. To view the article, click here.

Heartland I.V. Care: We accepted 41 bid contracts 

TOLEDO, Ohio – Heartland I.V. Care has accepted 41 Medicare contracts as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding, according to a press release. Through the contracts, Heartland I.V. will continue to serve the Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Seattle areas with nutrition support services and intravenous medications, the release states. “Enteral therapy is an important part of Heartland’s continuum of home-based services, and we look forward to expanding these services to meet the needs of patients in the communities we serve,” stated Connie Sullivan, infusion director at Heartland I.V., in the release. Heartland I.V. operates in partnership with Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice, both part of the HCR ManorCare family. HCR ManorCare is a provider of home infusion, home health care and hospice services, as well as short-term post-acute and long-term care services. It has 60,000 caregivers nationwide. 

Dynamic Healthcare Services buys APO2

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Dynamic Healthcare Services (DHS), a provider of home medical equipment and respiratory products and services, has acquired APO2, a Hazleton, Pa.-based provider of oxygen supplies, sleep therapy products and power mobility devices, according to a press release. APO2 will be integrated into DHS’s Evanko Respiratory division, which the company acquired in September of 2012. The acquisition of APO2 continues a recent trend of strong growth for DHS. In 2012, they acquired HomeTown Oxygen and Evanko, both in the Pennsylvania market, and increased its staff to more than 100 employees. “We are actively seeking to acquire other companies in the home medical equipment marketplace to expand our regional presence,” stated Michael Holloway, president of GMH Ventures, the parent company of DHS.

MedCare adds new partner

GREENSBURG, Pa. – MedCare Equipment Company, an HME provider based here, has added the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) as a partner, according to a press release. Since 2008, MedCare has grown through partnerships with area hospitals and healthcare providers, all of whom have a share in the company’s operations and business success. Other partners include Excela Health, Conemaugh, Heritage Valley and Butler. With the latest addition, MedCare now serves 35,000 patients annually and employs 250 people in 15 locations, according to the release. The company will be adding new locations in Bridgeville, Pa., and in Mercer County, Pa.

Time running out for TSS to repay city

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Fifteen days remain for The Scooter Store to pay the $1.3 million that New Braunfels says the company owes the city as part of a “claw-back” stipulation from a 2009 incentive agreement, according to an article from KGNB, a local radio station. In 2009, several Texas cities were trying to woo The Scooter Store, a large private employer, away from New Braunfels. But when the city stepped in and offered $3.4 million dollars in incentives, the company opted to stay put, according to the radio station. After a recent audit of The Scooter Store’s employment data, however, city officials found that about half of the roughly 400 jobs the company created through the economic incentives were not maintained. As a result, the city says The Scooter Store is contractually obligated to repay $1.3 million, according to the radio station. On Feb. 19, the day before the FBI raided The Scooter Store, the city informed the company by letter that it had until March 20, 2013, to make the payment.

CCS Medical teams up with LifeScan

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – CCS Medical has entered into an agreement with LifeScan to become a mail-order supplier of its products, including the OneTouch Ultra meter and test strips, according to a press release. “This is a tremendous development for CCS Medical that will enhance our leadership role within the industry,” stated Dirk Allison, CCS Medical president and CEO, in the release. CCS Medical is a provider of products and services delivered directly to the homes of patients with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Short takes

Therapy Supply House has launched a new website designed to help those with visual impairments shop for medical equipment online, according to a press release. Text and images on the website——have been enlarged and formatted for easier navigation…RESNA is offering a discount on the application fee for the Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) certification from March 5 until April 13, 2013. Applications received during this period will receive $50 off the regular fee of $250…United Spinal Association’s grassroots advocacy program, UsersFirst, has developed a mobile registration form to rally wheelchair users and advocates in their fight against policies that limit access to mobility equipment…The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) won a Stevie Award for sales and customer service at the seventh annual Stevie Awards ceremony in Las Vegas. BOC was recognized for equipping its customers with the ability to apply for and manage their credentials through an online management portal. The portal allows staff to respond more directly to customer needs…MedForce Technologies has been certified as a Health Information Handler (HIH), according to a press release. HIH certification authorizes MedForce to submit medical record documentation and prior authorization requests for power mobility devices (PMDs) directly to CMS as part of the Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation (esMD) program…In a bulletin to members, VGM congratulated Laurie Nivala, a sales and marketing associate at Wheelchairs Plus in Grand Rapids, Minn., for submitting the winning Twitter hashtag: #stopCBforDME. VGM held the hashtag contest to get providers to use social media to voice concerns about competitive bidding.