In brief: Stakeholders organize, OIG investigates
WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders last week submitted comments to CMS outlining concerns with a recent wave of claims against surety bonds—some triggered by overpayments as low as $16. The stakeholder, which include the Wayne van Halem Group, U.S. Rehab and VGM Insurance, recommends that CMS only allow DME MACs to trigger a surety bond if a threshold dollar amount is reached. The group also asked for better communication throughout the process, including giving more notice for providers when the surety bond is about to be triggered; and allowing surety bond companies more time to notify providers that the surety bond is about to be triggered, which would allow them to take corrective action.
OIG to Pos-T-Vac: 51% of claims were no good
DODGE CITY, Kan. – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week recommended that Pos-T-Vac Medical, a manufacturer and supplier of male vacuum erectile systems, refund $4.2 million to Medicare for claims that should not have been allowed. The OIG reviewed 100 claims and found that 51 claims worth $18,007 did not comply with documentation requirements. It then extrapolated those results to all claims submitted from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2009. Medicare paid Pos-T-Vac $8.5 million for male vacuum erectile systems in 2010, the most of any provider, according to the HME Databank. In all, it paid providers $47.1 million for the systems that year. To read the OIG’s report, go to http://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region7/71105016.pdf.
United Access buys New Horizon
EL PASO, Texas – United Access, a provider of mobility equipment and wheelchair vans, has acquired New Horizon Vans, it announced last week. The deal will allow United Access to expand its service in the El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, N.M., areas, according to a press release.
United Access now has 12 locations in St. Louis; Columbia, Mo.; Lenexa, Kan.; Memphis, Tenn.; Dallas; and Peoria, Springfield and Champaign, Ill. The provider has more than 30 years of experience. It offers scooter lifts, mobility and transfer seats, wheelchair ramps, and new and used wheelchair-accessible vans.
Infusion provider rolls up another one
CINCINNATI – CarePoint Partners has acquired Albany, Ga.-based Pinnacle Infusion, which serves southwest Georgia, it announced recently. CarePoint now serves more than 6,500 patients through 28 locations in 10 states. “This acquisition fits perfectly into our business model of being a local, trusted healthcare provider with the resources of a sophisticated national network," stated Dana Soper, CEO of CarePoint, in a release. Former Pinnacle owner and pharmacist Tony Singletary will oversee the Albany operations. This deal marks the 16th acquisition in five years for CarePoint. Terms were not disclosed.
AOTA officially on board with H.R. 4378
BETHESDA, Md. – The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) voiced its support for H.R. 4378 in an official policy statement on complex rehab released last week. The document, crafted by AOTA members Cindi Petito and Tamara Kittelson-Aldred, states that a separate benefit for complex rehab would ensure beneficiary access to critical products and services. The document is available at www.aota.org.
Short takes: Invacare, Permobil, VGM, ResMed
Invacare will sponsor this year’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games, June 25-30 in Richmond, Va., for the 32nd consecutive year. Throughout the games, Invacare employees volunteer to ensure that the wheelchairs of the veteran athletes are competition ready…Permobil has signed on as a national team for the ALS Association’s “Walk to Defeat ALS” in May. The walk raises more than $20 million each year. Permobil has been a corporate partner of the association since 2006…The VGM Group has set the date for next year’s Heartland Conference: June 10-13…ResMed has expanded its line of sleep therapy products to include a CPAP alternative. The manufacturer now offers the Narval CC, a mandibular repositioning device that maintains the lower jaw in a forward position and allows natural movement, in the United States. The launch follows ResMed’s acquisition of France-based Labaratoires Narval.
People news: Mal Mixon
Mal Mixon, chairman of the board at Invacare and chair emeritus of the board at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, has received the Donald R. Newkirk Award from the Ohio Hospital Association. The award recognizes lifetime contribution to the healthcare field in Ohio.