In brief: Red Flag Rule delayed

Sunday, August 2, 2009

WASHINGTON - HME providers have two more months to comply with The Red Flag Rule: a new federal regulation that requires them to have in place processes and procedures to prevent identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission delayed the rule's start date last week from Aug. 1, 2009, to Nov. 1, 2009. The reason for the delay: To give companies more time to develop and implement their programs.

CELA targets consumers

TRINIDAD, Colo. - NRRTS has added another sponsor for CELA 2010. The organization announced last week that New Mobility, a magazine for wheelchairs users, will sponsor the event with NCART and the University of Pittsburgh. "This will help us get more consumers involved," said Simon Margolis, NRRTS's executive director. CELA will take place in the Washington, D.C., area April 28-30.

Pharmacy exemption gains momentum

WASHINGTON - Efforts to exempt community pharmacies from the fast-approaching accreditation and surety bond requirements gained momentum last week when three groups offered their support. The National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rural Health Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators have all sent letters to the appropriate Senate and House committees, encouraging their members to support bills that would exempt pharmacies from the Oct. 1 accreditation and surety bond requirements.

'In-the-home' restriction: Rep. Langevin tries again

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., introduced a bill recently that would eliminate the "in-the-home" restriction for mobility devices for individuals with expected long-term needs. The Medicare Independent Living Act of 2009, H.R. 3184, has 12 co-sponsors. Right now, CMS covers mobility devices only if they're used in the home. The bill seeks coverage for mobility devices used as part of "normal domestic, vocational and community activities." Langevin introduced a similar bill in 2007.

Healthcare fraud: Feds ID arthritis, liquid food scams

WASHINGTON - Federal authorities conducted another healthcare fraud sweep last week, this time of businesses that billed Medicare for "arthritis kits" at $3,000 to $4,000 a pop. The kits, which beneficiaries didn't need, contained expensive orthotics like knee and shoulder braces and heating pads. As part of the $16 million bust, more than 30 suspects, including doctors, were arrested in New York, Louisiana, Boston and Houston. The suspects also billed Medicare for thousands of dollars worth of liquid food like Ensure that was never distributed to patients.

ACHC offers free accreditation help

RALEIGH, N.C. - ACHC has made its Interpretive Guide for Accreditation available at no charge, it announced last week. Providers can register for the guide on ACHC's Web site. Upon registration, they will receive access to the standards and other helpful accreditation tools. Providers also have access to a personal account manager to assist them if they have any questions about the accreditation process. The guide is valued at $300.

Dr. Comfort tries education on for size

MEQUON, Wis. - Dr. Comfort has launched a certified fitter education program approved by the National Commission on Orthotic & Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), it announced last week. The program meets the prerequisite education requirement for individuals who seek to become certified by the American Board for Certification in orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics. Four programs have been scheduled: Aug. 24 in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 25 in Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 24-25 in Mequon, Wis., and Oct. 8 in Orldando, Fla.

Sleep provider rounds up financing

CARMEL, Ind. - Dormir, Inc., a provider of sleep diagnostic services and sleep therapy equipment, has received $12 million in financing. Investors include CHL Medical Partners, Noro-Moseley Partners and Excel Venture Management. Dormir will use the funding to open new sites around the United States. The company already has 63 sites: 32 sleep diagnostic centers and 31 sleep therapy equipment distribution sites.