In brief: 'Slightly modified' competitive bidding, Invacare dividend

Sunday, May 24, 2009

WASHINGTON - CMS will publish "a slightly modified version" of the request for bid (RFB) for the Round 1 rebid of national competitive bidding, it stated in a Federal Register filing last week. The agency believes the revised instructions and accompanying forms will help providers better identify and understand the requirements to submit a bid. CMS will also modify the format of some of the documents to "make them more reader-friendly and help ease the burden of bid submission." Additionally, for providers that are awarded contracts, CMS will collect information on subcontracting relationships. Providers must disclose information on each subcontracting arrangement and whether each subcontractor meets the accreditation requirement. To view the Federal Register filing, go to CMS will accept comments on the revised documents until 5 p.m. EST on June 18. Send comments via fax to 202-395-6974.

AAHomecare pushes mobility, wound therapy agendas

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare will hold a mobility conference at the University of Pittsburgh on June 18 to help providers better understand mobility, seating and service policies. Speakers will include Dr. Paul Hughes, the medical director for the Jurisdiction A DME MAC; Mark Schmeler of UPitt's Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology; and Georgie Blackburn, vice president of government relations for Blackburn's. Continue education units (CEUs) will be offered. The conference is supported by an education grant from Pride Mobility...AAHomecare is collecting comments on the Office of Inspector General's report "Comparison of Prices for Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Pumps." The report, issued in March, recommended that CMS reduce reimbursement for pumps and include the category in Round 2 of national competitive bidding (NCB). The category was excluded from Round 1 to review coding. A preliminary review released in April concluded that there wasn't significant data to distinguish the therapeutic benefits of one device over another. To respond to the OIG report, contact Alex Bennewith at

Pride: 'Live Your Best'

EXETER, Pa. - Pride Mobility Products has launched a new tagline that it believes exemplifies the "life-enhancing capability" of its product lines: Pride Performance Mobility--Live Your Best. An accompanying registered logo uses a futuristic font and color scheme that reflects the "advanced technology and bold styling" of the products it represents, the company stated in a release. The new tagline and logo will be used for all retail mobility and standard power products, which are primarily targeted to the geriatric market.

Invacare, Air Products declare dividends

ELYRIA, Ohio and LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. - Invacare has declared a cash dividend of $.0125 per share on its common shares and $.011364 per share on its Class B common shares payable July 10, 2009 to shareholders on record on July 3, 2009. Air Products has declared a quarterly dividend of 45 cents per share of common stock payable Aug. 10, 2009, to shareholders of record on July 1, 2009.

Respironics issues recall

MONROEVILLE, Pa. - Respironics last week issued a voluntary recall of 4,992 infant apnea monitors. The manufacturer has recalled its SmartMonitor2 models 4002 and 4003 due to the possibility of an audible alarm failure. Caregivers or parents who are using the monitors for their infants should contact their homecare providers to determine if their monitors are affected. They can continue to use the monitors, however, until they are replaced, unless directed otherwise by physicians. The monitors produce alarms for periods of central apnea and high or low heart rates. If the monitors fail to alarm during an apnea or heart rate event, they will not deliver an audible alert to direct the caregiver to respond to the patient. Even if the audible alarm fails, the monitors will still trigger visual alerts. The monitors affected have been distributed in the United States and Canada.