In brief: Rep. Myrick hosts bid briefing, Allstate cites HME providers in $2.1M lawsuit

Thursday, May 19, 2011

WASHINGTON - A competitive bidding update for congressional staffers will be held tomorrow, May 24. The update, "Competitive Bidding Congressional Update--What You Need To Know," will feature an introduction and comments by Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and a panelist of guest speakers, including economist Peter Cramton, a vocal critic of the program as it's currently designed. Other invited panelists include Program Advisory and Oversight Committee members Tom Milam, former COO of mail order provider AmMed Direct; and Barbara Rogers, president/CEO of the National Emphysema/COPD Association; and Round 1 contract suppliers Paul Gabos, CFO of Lincare; and Rob Brant, owner of City Medical Services.

Allstate Insurance cites HME providers in $2.1M lawsuit

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. - In a $2.1 million lawsuit, Allstate Insurance Company alleges that numerous DME providers and wholesalers engaged in a scheme that involved submitting fraudulent and misleading bills. The complaint specifically cites 11 DME companies, owned by nine individuals, and 11 DME wholesale companies, owned by six individuals. The lawsuit comes two weeks after Allstate filed a similar lawsuit for $4.7 million, also in New York. 

There's a new BCBS manager for Florida. Will cuts follow?

TALLAHASSE, Fla. - CareCentrix, a provider of home health benefits management services, announced last week a new exclusive contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. Per the contract, CareCentrix will coordinate the home health care needs, including those for durable medical equipment, for 4 million members in the state. A similar contract in Tennessee, resulted in reimbursement cuts. To read about what happened in Tennessee, go here.

 State-by-state assault on competitive bidding continues

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare, working with state and regional HME associations, continues to distribute press releases that are customized to detail the concerns about the bidding program in different areas. In recent releases, HME providers in Massachusetts, Maine, Utah, California, Montana and Missouri weighed in on the program. 

CMS makes correction to grandfathered items

WASHINGTON - CMS last week published an MLN Matters article that informs Medicare providers and DME MACs that Medicare payment is allowed to a non-contract, grandfathered provider for furnishing certain purchased, covered accessories or supplies furnished for use with capped rental equipment. Read the article

HME billing expert joins Audit Team

CANTON, Ohio - Lisa Bargmann has joined Harrington Management Group's Audit Team as senior vice president of consulting services, the company announced last week. Bargmann will use her 22 years of experience to advise clients on reimbursement, claim review, compliance and new business development. Previously, Bargmann founded Bargmann Management, also known as Homecare Collection Services, which she sold to Invacare in 2008.