In brief: Shutdown won't shut off Medicare payments, NCART conducts survey
WASHINGTON - It looked as though a government shutdown was a possibility at press time on Friday, as lawmakers appeared unable to reach an agreement over the federal budget. If that happens, Medicare will remain largely unaffected, stated AAHomecare in a bulletin to members. HME providers, doctors and hospitals will not experience any disruption in Medicare payments, but a shutdown could force the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce its staffing levels. That could mean a delay in some new Medicare enrollments and beneficiaries could experience some delays to program questions. It is AAHomecare's understanding that audits will continue as well, but CMS's oversight of audit contractors may be interrupted.
NCART conducts survey
BUFFALO, N.Y. - NCART needs more current financial information from complex rehab providers, according to Don Clayback, executive director. "Having more current financial information will enable us to more effectively advocate with payers and policy makers to protect and improve access to complex rehab for people with disabilities," he stated in a bulletin to members. The newest information the coalition has is from 2007. As such, NCART is having the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, conduct a confidential, 14-question financial survey with responses due May 6. Providers may attend a webinar at 3 p.m. April 15 to review the survey and ask questions. To attend, go here.
CarePoint closes in on Florida
CINCINNATI - Infusion provider CarePoint Partners has acquired Infusion Technologies, it announced April 4. The deal is CarePoint's 11th in three years and its second this year. The new deal will move CarePoint closer to its goal of providing home infusion services throughout Florida. The provider already has a location in Jacksonville, and Infusion Technologies has locations in North Miami and Tampa. "The addition of these two sites of service not only expands our reach for providing care to home infusion patients, but also strengthens our expertise in the specialty injectable pharmacy business providing our company the capability to expand our services to meet market demands," stated CarePoint CEO Dana Soper in a release. CarePoint Partners--a portfolio company of Waud Capital Partners--was formed in 2007 to acquire and develop a network of home infusion and specialty pharmacies. CarePoint currently operates 20 locations in eight states. In January, CarePoint picked up Houston-based ivA Lifetec.
ATG Rehab helps make LA marathon possible for quadriplegic
CERRITOS, Calif. - ATG Rehab, with support from Quantum Rehab, donated a wheelchair to Doug Shull, a quadriplegic, and his friend, Chris Ackerman, so they could participate in the Honda LA Marathon on March 20. The wheelchair the two men used was a specially outfitted Litestream XF ultra light manual wheelchair. Ackerman pushed Shull in the wheelchair. They finished in 4 hours and 47 minutes.
MED Group adds new network
LUBBOCK, Texas - The MED Group, a Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) company, recently created The MED Group National Orthotics and Prosthetics Network. Tim Pederson will lead development of the group, whose main focus will be to help MED members enter into the O&P product category, according to a recent release. The group will also reach out to 1,800 existing providers in that category to help with purchasing power and business efficiencies. The program will be formally introduced at the Med National Business Meeting April 12.
Invacare launches awareness campaign
ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare has kicked off a "Real Life" campaign to raise awareness of the everyday struggles and achievements of those living with disabilities, ailments or advancing age. The campaign calls for people to share "real life" stories or the story of someone who inspires them. Three entrants will win $3,000 prizes for themselves and $6,000 for the charity of his or her choice. The contest began April 4 and ends June 30. Participants can submit their video or photo entry during the contest period by visiting www.invacare.com/reallife and clicking "Share Your Story."
Associate creates code of ethics
WASHINGTON - The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) has launched industry-wide "Standards for Ethical Practice," it announced April 5. "Healthcare providers have an obligation to act in ways that will merit the trust, confidence and respect of patients and the broad spectrum of stakeholders," said Russell Bodoff, NHIA president and CEO, in a release. The standards, which outline expectations for ethical patient care and business practices, were developed in conjunction with industry stakeholders including clinicians, healthcare providers and compliance experts.