In brief: RACs rake it in, Stribling leaves HME industry

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BALTIMORE - So far this year, Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) have collected $162 million in overpayments, CMS said in a newsletter last week. And that's just for the first quarter, which also saw $22.6 million in underpayments returned. One big issue for home medical equipment providers: Billing for DMEPOS when the beneficiary is in a covered inpatient stay. To read the newsletter:


The van Halem Group adds compliance services

ATLANTA - HC Comply will become part of The van Halem Group effective May 16, the companies announced April 25. The move follows Clay Stribling's decision to accept a position as president and CEO of the Amarillo Area Foundation, a regional charitable organization in Texas. Stribling was founder and president of HC Comply, and before that, he was a healthcare attorney with Brown & Fortunato. "Clay has been a tireless advocate and compliance pioneer within the HME industry," stated Wayne van Halem, president and founder of The van Halem Group, in a release. "I've been proud to work alongside him as we've both sought to help companies navigate through new and often complicated federal requirements and rigorous enforcement." The van Halem Group will create a new division focused on compliance to continue providing HC Comply's services. The van Halem Group has been in business since 2006, helping its clients navigate Medicare and Medicaid issues related to audits, investigations, medical review, appeals, enrollment, coding, education and training.


Invacare shuffles compliance duties

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare announced April 22 that its chief compliance officer, Colleen Craven, resigned for personal reasons. Doug Newlin, senior vice president of global engineering, will assume leadership of the company's regulatory team. Invacare announced April 4 that it had hired Craven as chief compliance officer to improve its corporate compliance procedures and documentation practices. In December, Invacare received a warning letter from the FDA for failing to correctly document allegations that some of its hospital beds made in Sanford, Fla., malfunctioned. Newlin has experience working with the FDA from his time at Fenwal, where as senior vice president of research and development, his responsibilities included regulatory and medical affairs.


Trying to access CEDI? Dial-up won't work

INDIANAPOLIS - Providers can no longer use direct dial-up to access the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) gateway. The change went into effect May 1. Providers are encouraged to contact one of the approved Network Service Vendors (NSVs) for information on pricing and instructions. The change is being made in response to security concerns. The NSVs offer a variety of ways to connect to the gateway, including Internet, secure FTP sites and secure dial-up service. A list of approved NSVs can be found at under "Telecommunications."


Decorated sergeant to keynote VGM's Heartland Conference

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group announced April 27 that retired Army sergeant Matthew Eversmann will be the keynote speaker at its Heartland Conference June 6-9. Eversmann was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Somalia, where he was involved in the 18-hour Battle of Mogadishu. That experience was the basis for the movie "Black Hawk Down." FMI:


NRRTS launches new website

TRINIDAD, Colo. - The newly remodeled offers an updated look and new features. Topping the list: A new consumers and advocacy section and new homepage links to industry news. Additionally, NRRTS's continuing education offerings are more readily available, as well as issues of Directions Magazine. It is also full-text searchable, making it easier for search engines to direct people to the site.