In brief: PMD demo start date, fraud command center

Friday, August 3, 2012

WASHINGTON – The seven-state power mobility device demonstration project will begin nine months after its original start date. The three-year demo will begin Sept. 1, according to a notice CMS filed in the Federal Register Aug. 1. The notice states that the primary reason for the demo is to reduce Medicare fraud. Since it announced the demo last November, CMS has held Open Door Forums to release information about the program. As previously announced, providers will have a three-month grace period to begin using the demo's prior authorization process. After that, non-competitive bidding contract providers will receive a 25% pay reduction and undergo prepay reviews for claims not sent through the prior authorization process. Read the notice here:

Medicare fraud command center debuts

BALTIMORE – Medicare now has a $3.6 million command center featuring a giant screen and the latest computer and communications gear to help it fight fraud, according to news reports. The Associated Press, which toured the command center last week described it this way: “It brings together in real time the geeks running Medicare's new computerized fraud detection system with gumshoes deployed around the country. Imagine a kind of NCIS-Medicare, except (Fraud czar Peter Budetti) says it's not make-believe.” Government officials estimate that Medicare fraud costs more than $60 billion annually and that the command center will pay for itself. But in a letter to Health and Human Services, two Republican senators questioned the high price tag of the command center. “If huge sums of money have indeed been spent on a video screen while other common-sense recommendations may have not been implemented due to 'resource concerns,' this seems to be a case of misplaced priorities,” they wrote.

MED adds vent program

LUBBOCK, Texas – The MED Group has added a ventilator program to its suppliers network website. The goal: to help healthcare professionals identify quality MED member providers to care for their patients. The vent program was created in direct response from needs expressed by case managers, discharge planners and payers seeking quality clinical respiratory providers to care for their vent patients, according to a press release. The supplier network website was created in 2010 to drive awareness of MED members to healthcare professionals, consumers and caregivers. The website, which also includes a tool to locate providers who are competitive bidding contract suppliers, has received more than 4 million hits this past year.

Diabetes monitoring devices to hit $13.3B by 2018

NEW YORK – Glucose monitoring devices dominate the global diabetes devices market, according to a new report from GBI Research. The devices represented $9.7 billion of the $17.7 billion market in 2011. GBI research expects this to rise to $13.3 billion by the end of 2018. Driving the growth is the adoption of more technologically advanced devices. Glucose monitoring products account for 61% of the total pipeline in the diabetes market, with many devices using the latest technologies to offer more accurate, more efficacious and more user-friendly devices than those currently available, according to GBI. In the works: products that seek to measure glucose levels through sweat, exhaled breath and fluorescent eye signals.

HGI Global announces new brand

CLEVELAND – Edgepark Medical Supplies and Independence Medical have been re-branded as AssuraMed, it was announced last week. HGI Global Holdings is the parent company. AssuraMed is one of the nation's largest direct-to-patient and wholesale medical supply distributors. The provider offers more than 30,000 products from 500 manufacturers, including diabetes, ostomy, wound care, and respiratory. "Our new corporate brand exemplifies our strong customer commitment, our highly ethical operating practices and our focus on continuous improvement," stated Michael Petras, AssuraMed CEO, in a release.

Short takes: Golden, Medtrade, Fastrack, Convaid

Golden Technologies announced in August that it will donate proceeds from the sale of pink shroud kits for its Buzzaround XL GB116 scooter and pink head pillows for its lift chairs to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF)…Medtrade has teamed up with Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) to host a charity golf tournament Oct. 15 at the Lakemont Course at Stone Mountain Golf Club. The event kicks off a weeklong presence at Medtrade for FODAC, an organization that donates and repairs HME for people in need. FMI:…Fastrack Healthcare Systems has completed the integration to the Tom Tom Web Fleet product line, allowing new routing capability incorporating GPS. With the integration, Fastrack clients can send optimized routes to Tom Tom devices in each delivery vehicle…Convaid will observe Child Passenger Safety Month in September by using Facebook to give away a Carrot 3, its new child restraint system.

People at PAMS, NRRTS

Julie Sullivan, the first full time executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS), has passed away. Sullivan, 48, continued to work with PAMS up until the time of her death, serving as the association's convention planner. John Shirvinsky, executive director of PAMS, said: “Julie had a remarkably upbeat personality and her smile and laugh were contagious. She was a friend to everyone at PAMS and made everyone she ever met feel welcome.”…Keith Jolicouer and Toby Bergantino have joined the NRRTS board of the directors. Jolicouer takes the position of review board chairman for DMAC C and Bergantino at-large board member. Jolicouer has been an ATP/CRTS with United Seating & Mobility in Springfield, Mo., since 2003. Bergantino has been a NRRTS registrant since 1994 and an ATP/CRTS since 1997.