In brief: Permobil, Medicaid, MAMES review course and more

Sunday, October 14, 2007

LEBANON, Tenn. - Permobil plans to forego exhibiting at next year's Medtrade Spring and Medtrade to host a rehab summit in the spring of 2008 for its certified provider network, the manufacturer announced Oct. 1.

The Rehab Summit will serve as a forum where attendees can learn about changes in the industry, participate in product demonstrations and receive continuing education units (CEUs). Several fun activities in Music City have already been planned for participants, and further details of the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Our decision to spearhead this event was driven by the need to present information in a more direct setting than just your typical tradeshow," said Larry Jackson, president of Permobil. "The Rehab Summit will allow us to take a focused approach and really educate our providers on industry trends, governmental regulations, product information and more."

Medicaid: Spending jumps, enrollment drops
WASHINGTON - Medicaid, the state-federal healthcare program, saw a 10.7% jump in costs during the first six months of the year, USA Today reported last week.

That puts the program on track to spend a record $330 billion in 2007, the newspaper reported.

"States are going to have to make some tough decisions on who receives care, what care they get and what the limitations are," Robert Campbell, vice chairman of Deloitte & Touche USA, told USA Today.

Medicaid spending unexpectedly fell 1.7% in 2006.

It's not clear why Medicaid costs have started to jump again, the newspaper reported. Possible causes: efforts to cover the uninsured, enrollment growth and pay raises to doctors and hospitals.

But not everyone believes Medicaid enrollment is on the up and up.

Medicaid experienced a 0.5% drop in enrollment for fiscal year 2007, according to a 50-state survey recently conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

State officials cited delays in processing applications, a good economy and lower unemployment as reasons for the decline.

Forty-two states have plans, however, to expand coverage to the uninsured next year, according to the survey.

Coming soon: ATS/ATP review course
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) hosts a review course for assistive technology suppliers and practitioners Oct. 24. The one-day course, at the Holiday Inn Select in Minneapolis/St. Paul from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., will address the process of assessing needs, developing intervention strategies and implementing follow-ups. After completing the course, participants will receive 0.8 CEUs or eight contact hours. The following day, Oct. 25, RESNA will administer ATS and ATP exams from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mark Schmeler, a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, will teach the $195 review course. For more information, go to

Arcadia moves corporate headquarters
INDIANAPOLIS - Arcadia HealthCare, formerly Arcadia Resources, has moved its corporate headquarters to Indianapolis from Southfield, Mich., the company announced last week. The move sets the stage for Arcadia's national launch of DailyMed, a consumer product line aimed at reducing medication errors, improving compliance and, ultimately, lowering the cost of care, according to a statement. The state will encourage 1.8 million Hoosiers to take advantage of DailyMed. To support the new program, Arcadia plans to hire more than 400 new employees by 2010, the company stated. Arcadia still provides durable medical equipment, but it has sold a good chunk of its DME branches. Most recently, it sold seven branches in Florida and Colorado to Aerocare. Arcadia changed its name to Arcadia HealthCare for "brand identity purposes," the company also stated in October.

Medicare scheme lands doc in jail
HOUSTON - A federal jury recently sentenced Dr. Jayshree Patel to 78 months in prison for defrauding Medicare of more than $21 million. Patel and other doctors allegedly provided false or fraudulent CMNs for power wheelchairs to DME companies. Patel and other doctors allegedly approved power wheelchairs for as many as 30 to 80 beneficiaries a day without performing physical exams or ordering medical tests. DME companies like Horizon Medical Supply and First Choice Medical allegedly paid the doctors $200 for each fraudulent prescription and CMN. They allegedly paid recruiters as much as $1,000 for each beneficiary they referred and transported to the doctors. Patel, alone, allegedly falsely certified more than 1,900 beneficiaries for power wheelchairs.