In brief: Petition re-launches, Rotech wins contract

Friday, March 15, 2013

CUMMING, Ga. – The Accredited Medical Equipment Providers of America (AMEPA) is re-launching an online petition to replace competitive bidding with the market-pricing program (MPP), according to Rob Brant, CEO. The White House petition, which will be activated March 18, will be live for 30 days, expiring April 18. The petition needs 100,000 signatures to gain a response from the president. To help direct people to the petition, AMEPA has developed an easy-to-remember web site, The original petition expired March 10.

Rotech awarded $68.3M contract

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rotech Healthcare has won a $68.3 million contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Service Area Organization, according to federal agencies. As part of the contract, Rotech will provide home oxygen and respiratory services to medical centers in the following cities: New Orleans; Houston; Biloxi and Jackson, Miss.; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Ark.; and Muskogee and Oklahoma City, Okla. 

Philips Respironics updates resupply solution

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – Philips Respironics has made significant updates to medSage, a solution that helps providers manage the process of resupplying CPAP patients with masks and other supplies, according to a press release. “The changes reduce by half the number of steps and time needed to perform functions such as adding and viewing comments, patient searching, finding and editing reorders, and resolving patient notifications,” according to the release. medSage features include eligibility determination and customizable patient call scripts to assist with documentation. Philips Respironics acquired medSage Technologies in January 2011. 

NSC extends enrollment period

WASHINGTON – The National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) has extended the window period for HME providers to determine whether or not they want to change their enrollment status with Medicare, according to a bulletin from AAHomecare. Providers now have until April 15, 2013, to change their status. Any change to a provider’s status is prospective only for new claims received on or after the effective date of the provider’s participation. “If a provider elects to be non-participating, they can choose to not accept assignment, file the claim and let the patient get reimbursed their 80%,” stated Andrea Stark, AAHomecare member and Medicare consultant for MiraVista, in the bulletin. “Filing non-assigned is not an option available to participating providers.” Suppliers requesting a change in participation status should mail requests to the National Supplier Clearinghouse in Columbia, S.C.

Gorski leaves AAHomecare

WASHINGTON – Walt Gorski is leaving his post as vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare, the association announced in a bulletin to members. In the position since 2006, Gorski is leaving to become a private consultant for the HME industry, said President Tyler Wilson. “AAHomecare thanks him for this good work,” he stated. “Moving forward, the association will remain focused on the activities of CMS and will push at every opportunity to thwart or turn back the mounting burdens of doing business under Medicare.” Michael Reinemer also recently left his post as vice president of communications and policy.

Short takes

Nielsen Holdings has hired an investment bank to explore a sale of its tradeshow and event wing, Nielsen Expositions, which hosts Medtrade and Medtrade Spring… has launched an online training guide to help providers of power mobility devices (PMDs) comply with proper documentation standards…RESNA has announced a conference program that includes workshops on everything from seating and mobility to intelligent robotic wheelchairs. The conference is scheduled for June 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bellevue, Wash…To commemorate National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Convaid is giving a nine-year-old girl, named Samantha, a new custom wheelchair…As part of World Sleep Day 2013, Royal Philips Electronics has pledged to screen one million people worldwide for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over the next five years, according to a press release. Philips will use an online risk assessment test on its website to provide individuals with risk levels for OSA.

Studies in sleep

With basic training, primary care doctors and nurses could treat simple forms of sleep apnea, according to a new study by researchers in Australia. To conduct the study, researchers at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at Repatriation General Hospital followed 155 people with sleep apnea over six weeks, and found that those treated by trained primary care doctors and nurses improved just as much as those who were treated by specialists…A combination of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and weight loss can help lower blood pressure for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania…A study by Philips Respironics has found that 78% of those who reported symptoms of sleep apnea were entirely unaware that they were suffering from the disorder.