In brief: ‘Unreasonable’ audits crippling providers, SGD bill passes

Friday, July 24, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – The impact of audits and competitive bidding on rural providers was on the agenda at a roundtable held by the Small Business Administration last week.

HME providers and other stakeholders attended the roundtable discussion on Regulatory Enforcement Fairness and hosted by Brian Castro, SBA national ombudsman.

“These unreasonable and excessive audits from CMS are crippling to durable medical equipment providers in Montana,” said Andrew Jeske, CEO of American Seating & Mobility in a VGM bulletin. “Audits are holding up revenue, for multiple years in most cases, that is crucial to the survival of rural providers.”

An appeals backlog at the Administration Law Judge level puts the backlog at more than 870,000.

Providers also spoke out against the national expansion of competitive bid rates, which will disproportionately impact rural providers.

“We face much different obligations than metropolitan areas,” said Mike Calcaterra, Montana Chairman of Big Sky AMES. “Fueling an SUV for an oxygen tank delivery that is 75 miles one-way is unsustainable with the proposed cuts.”

Castro told attendees the SBA understand problems associated with both issues and would be addressing them with key members of Congress.

Brady calls hearing on rural health

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing July 28 to discuss rural health care disparities created by Medicare regulations. Stakeholders maysubmit a written statement for consideration, however only the invited witness will testify. Those who wish to submit written comments may do so here.

SGD bill passes

WASHINGTON – The Steve Gleason Act is headed for the president’s signature. The bill, passed July 15, was signed off by Speaker John Boehner July 21. It protects access to medically necessary speech generating devices by making the devices purchase items instead of capped rental items, and clarify statutory language to ensure coverage of eye-tracking technology for beneficiaries who need it to operate their devices.

AAHomecare initiates grassroots initiative

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare last week launched a new initiative to help stop the nationwide rollout of competitive bid pricing slated for Jan. 1. allows users to send electronic letters to their representatives asking them to support legislation that seeks to prevent the expansion of rate cuts to non-competitive bid areas, which could cut reimbursement for rural providers by 45%, stakeholders say.

Oncologix increases sales ‘organically’

LAFAYETTE, La. – Oncologix on July 21 reported net revenues of $1.2 million for the three months ended May 31, 2015, compared to $988,000for the same period last year, a 25% increase. The medical holding company reported net revenues of $3.6million for the nine months ended May 31, 2015, compared to $2.7 million for the same period last year, a 34% increase. “We are very pleased with the results of our third quarter fiscal 2015. We increased our division sales revenues by organic growth and we will continue to focus on debt reduction over the next three months," said CEO Wayne Erwin in a release. Oncologix acquired Esteemcare in September 2014.

MK Battery hosts soccer championship

TAMPA, Fla. – Ten teams from around the country participated in the recent MK Battery Power Soccer Premier Cup Championship, the company announced. CNY United was the eventual winner, according to a press release. “The sport of power soccer enhances the lives of those with disabilities and we are extremely proud to be taking such an active role in the program,” said Wayne Merdinger, executive vice president and general manager of MK Battery. MK Battery has been the Title Sponsor and Official Battery of the United States Power Soccer Association and Team USA, which represents the United States in the Power Soccer World Cup.

Short takes

CPAP Store Las Vegas launched last week. The online store caters to customers who have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and offers CPAP machines, masks, humidifiers, supplies and accessories…The BCP Group, an O&P practice management company,has acquired Raleigh, N.C-based Beacon Prosthetics and Orthotics. The Nashville-based company will provide operational services and practice resources to support Beacon’s growth and Beacon will retain its name…InfuSystem Holdings, a national provider of infusion pumps and related services, has launched InfuSystem EXPRESS at the University of California in San Diego. The patent-pending EMR connectivity solution automates the daily processes associated with treatment logs and pump assignments, and tracks and standardizes data flow at practices with multiple locations…Somnia, a sleep wellness and retail store in Lone Tree, Colo., has published an e-book for people impacted by sleep disorders. The Sleep Disorder Guide: Symptoms, Treatments & Solutions is available for free download here.

A Personal Touch Boutiques has acquired MJ Medical. The La Mesa, Calif.-based MJ Medical provides mastectomy and compression products. ATP is a division of SunMED and plans to launch a National Network Affiliate for boutique owners.

People news

National Seating & Mobility has named William Mixon as its new CEO, the provider announced July 20. Mixon joined the company as president in *July 2014…Stealth Products has tapped Barry Steelman as its director of marketing, the manufacturer announced July 22. Steelman has more than 20 years of experience, most recently at Permobil…Permobil has named Caroline Weaver as its new regional director of marketing and product management. Weaver, who previously worked for Johnson & Johnson Medical Product Division, has more than 20 years of experience in brand management and advertising.