In brief: Share misery on competitive bidding forum

Sunday, July 5, 2009

WASHINGTON - Industry stakeholders, including The VGM Group, are encouraging providers to post comments about national competitive bidding on a new online discussion forum. The forum,, was created by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, a Washington, D.C.-based "watchdog" organization that has a history of opposing federal regulation. In a Legislative Update last week, VGM quoted Jim Tozzi of the CRE as saying: "The White House is reviewing (the forum), and nothing gives it more stature than articles by affected parties."

Provider advances presence

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Advanced Home Care has acquired Takoma Regional Home Health Services, it announced last week. Greeneville, Tenn.-based Takoma Regional Home Health Services, a division of Takoma Regional Hospital, provides skilled services--skilled nursing, rehab therapy, social work and home health aide--to patients in six counties in northeast Tennessee. Advanced will continue to provide those services and add home medical equipment. Advanced, a joint venture of 13 health systems, now has 27 branches in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

NASDAQ delivers blow to Lincare

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The NASDAQ notified Lincare in June that it was one of 12 companies to be removed from the Q-50 Index. The index tracks the performance of the 50 securities that are next in line to replace those currently in the NASDAQ-100 Index. NASDAQ re-ranks the index on a quarterly basis.

Beware same-or-similar issues with manual wheelchairs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Cigna Government Services, the DME MAC for Jurisdiction C, pointed out in a June 26 bulletin that manual wheelchair issues make up, on average, 8% of all redeterminations. Fifty-four percent of those issues involve same-or-similar denials. As such, Cigna reminded providers that they should make certain that beneficiaries understand that manual and power wheelchairs are considered similar equipment. Medicare will not cover both items when they are used simultaneously. Backup wheelchairs have no coverage benefit. Same-or-similar denials also occur when more than one provider supplies equipment.

Pride talks up social networking

EXETER, Pa - Pride Mobility has updated its social networking site for the Pride and Quantum Owners Club. Consumers who visit the online clubs will find a site that looks and operates much like FaceBook, making it easy for users to share pictures, videos, information, blog entries and more. Updated versions of the Pride Web Talk message boards are also part of the new online community. New features include condition-specific forums and a "Groups" feature that helps like-minded members share common interests. Visit the club at