In brief: Push continues to delay wheelchair provision, OIG faults contractor

Thursday, September 9, 2010

WASHINGTON - HME providers have until Sept. 17 to get their congressmen to support the industry's efforts to delay a provision that eliminates the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs Jan. 1. That's the industry's deadline for collecting signatures for a Dear Colleague letter crafted by Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. The industry seeks to delay the provision for one year in exchange for a 1% reduction in the consumer price index-urban update (CPI-U). A similar letter in the Senate is "under development," says Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products.

OIG report faults Medicare contractor

WASHINGTON - Medicare overpaid nearly $40 million for diabetes test strips and lancets in 2007 in Jurisdiction A, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG). NHIC, the DME MAC for Jurisdiction A, failed to require proper authorization for high-utilization claims, leading to the overpayments. Of 100 sampled claims, 70 were deficient. The most common reasons: Documentation did not support the quantity of excess supplies; the specific reason for additional supplies; the frequency of testing; and/or the treating physician's evaluation of the patient's glucose control.

"Washington Update" at Medtrade will feature D.C. expert

ATLANTA - AAHomecare's "Washington Update" on Nov. 17 at Medtrade will include guest speaker Stan Collender, a Washington, D.C., expert on federal fiscal and monetary policies. Other speakers: AAHomecare's Tyler Wilson and Walt Gorski. The update is scheduled for 1:30 to 3 p.m. in room B313/314 at the Georgia World Congress Center. It's open and free to all registered attendees and exhibitors.

Break in need or break in billing? There is a difference

FARGO, N.D. - In a bulletin last week, Noridian Administrative Services, the DME MAC for Jurisdiction D, outlined the difference between break in need and break in billing for oxygen. The bulletin also provides submission guidelines. To read the bulletin, go to

Partnership aims to make HMEs more efficient

DAVISON, Mich. - Universal Software Solutions has partnered with HealthCall, a medical communications company, to create a product that automates how HME providers contact patients and refill orders, the companies stated in a release. HealthCall Direct can contact patients multiple ways, including phone, e-mail and postal mail. Patients reply in a manner most convenient to them. "As HME suppliers face more costs and less room for service, this will fully automate a time-consuming process and ensure patients receive the supplies they need," stated Universal Vice President Dave Golen in a release.

New Solutions signs up new distributor

RIVERSIDE, Calif.- New Solutions, an aftermarket wheelchair parts distributor, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Ortomix of Brazil. Ortomix manufactures its own line of wheelchairs and now distributes New Solutions' products throughout Brazil. New Solutions' owners, Leonard Graves and Nick Hambrick, are quadriplegics and wheelchair users.