In brief: Study compares sleep success rates, MedPAC debuts new members

Thursday, May 20, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - New research indicates that patients who get tested for sleep apnea in their homes do as well on CPAP therapy as patients who get tested in labs. Researchers at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center conducted a two-site study with nearly 300 randomized patients who underwent either standard in-laboratory sleep-testing or at-home testing. Of the 223 patients who started CPAP treatment after evaluation, 185 completed three months of follow-up. Average hours of daily use over the three-month period were similar between the two groups. "One of the biggest and most insurmountable barriers to treatment is the need for overnight testing in a sleep laboratory," stated Dr. Samuel Kuna, chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep at the center. "Our research suggests that this may no longer be mandatory for diagnosis."

MedPAC gets facelift

WASHINGTON - Four new members have been added to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a group that advises Congress on Medicare issues. The new members, whose terms expire in 2013, are Scott Armstrong, president and CEO of Group Health Cooperative; Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health; Mary Naylor, professor of gerontology and director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing; and Cori Uccello, senior health fellow of the American Academy of Actuaries. Their terms expire in 2013. Two existing members have been reappointed until 2013: Thomas Dean, a family physician in South Dakota; and Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of Missouri Hospital Association.

Noridian keeps eye on wheelchair, oxygen claims

FARGO, N.D. - Widespread prepayment reviews of power wheelchairs (K0823) and oxygen concentrators (E1390 and E0431) will continue, Noridian Administrative Services, the Jurisdiction D DME MAC, announced last week. Earlier this year, Noridian found an error rate of 97% for K0823 claims and an error rate of 85% for E1390 and E0431 claims. The DME MAC reminds providers that they will receive additional documentation request (ADR) letters asking for specific information to determine if these items comply with existing reasonable and necessary criteria. Providers have 30 days to supply the information. Read the complete updates at and

Invacare declares dividend

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare's board of directors last week declared a cash dividend of $0.0125 per share on its common shares and $0.011364 per share on its Class B common shares payable July 12, 2010, to shareholders of record on July 2, 2010.

Prodigy exports success

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Prodigy Diabetes Care has been recognized by the U.S. Commerce Department for the success of its exporting business. The manufacturer of diabetes testing supplies sells its products in 80 countries, which accounts for 22% of its annual revenues of $30 million.

CMS: Claims can't be more than one year old

BALTMORE - A recent MLN Matters article (#MM6960) advises providers that claims with dates of service on or after Jan. 1, 2010, received later than one calendar year before the date of service will be denied by Medicare. FMI: