In brief: VA, HHS partner on fraud prevention; Beacon transitions HME biz to Alick’s

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Friday, January 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS are partnering to strengthen fraud prevention efforts.

The agencies will share data, analytics tools and best practices for identifying and preventing fraud, waste and abuse, according to a press release.

The VA plans to capitalize on the advancements CMS has made in this area, particularly the agency’s use of advanced technology, statistics and analytics to improve fraud detection and prevention efforts.

“We have a special obligation to keep America’s promise to those who have served our country and ensure that veterans receive high-quality and accessible health care,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “CMS is sharing lessons learned and expertise to support VA to identify waste and fraud and eliminate these abuses of the public trust. Using state-of-the-art data analytics, CMS is partnering with VA to better detect and prevent wrongdoing in its programs.”

CMS estimates its program integrity efforts saved Medicare $17 billion in fiscal year 2015.

Beacon transitions HME biz to Alick’s

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Beacon Home Care is transitioning its medical equipment and supplies business to Alick’s Home Medical Equipment by the end of the month, according to the South Bend Tribune. The companies, which are both based here, are calling the change a “joint venture,” the newspaper says. Beacon Home Care will retain its nursing, therapy, home health aide and other services. “We are focusing our energies on what Beacon does best,” Heidi Prescott, a spokeswoman for Beacon Home Care told the Tribune. “Home medical equipment is what Alick’s does best.” The 35 employees affected by the change have been offered positions at Alick’s, according to the newspaper. Alick’s also has locations in Elkhart, Plymouth, Michigan City and Mishawaka. The family owned business offers a full line of HME, including hospital beds, scooters, lift chairs and respiratory equipment.

Mediware expands portfolio

LENEXA, Kan. – Mediware Information Systems has acquired MEDTranDirect, a provider of software solutions for healthcare revenue cycle management and an approved network service vendor for Medicare. The move extends the capabilities in Mediware’s Kinnser Software, which it acquired in 2017. "At Mediware, we are transforming and empowering data-driven decision-making across the continuum of care to help providers determine the most cost-effective paths to improving patient outcomes,” said Bill Miller, CEO of Mediware. Mediware is a portfolio company of TPG Capital.

Drive DeVilbiss scores exclusive

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has become the exclusive distributor of the Uccello Kettle in the United States and Canada, the company announced Jan. 26. The kettle features a weighted base that arcs on a rotating axis, and a non-weight bearing, ergonomic handle for easy and safe pouring. “The Uccello Kettle is equipped with easy pouring technology,” said Jeanne Borgia, product manager, Personal Care and Bath Safety. “This gives individuals with limited dexterity and strength the ability to pour hot water safely and steadily.” Other features include a power light to indicate when the kettle is boiling and an auto shut off to protect it from overheating.

NSM notes: Contracts with payer, extends partnership with WHILL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility is now in-network with Geisinger Health Plan in Pennsylvania, the provider announced Jan. 23. “Our experienced assistive technology professionals and branch teams in Pennsylvania look forward to bringing customized rehab solutions to plan members with mobility challenges,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO, in a press release. NSM currently has branches in Harrisburg, Reading and Allentown, Pa. Geisinger serves 557,000 members in the state…NSM has extended its partnership with WHILL Inc. Per the partmership, NSM will serve as the national complex rehab distributor of the new Model Ci power mobility device. WHILL’s Model Ci has two motors, front omni-wheels, easy-to-use controllers and the ability to disassemble into three parts. NSM and WHILL previously announced an exclusive nationwide complex rehab agreement for the Model M power wheelchair in July 2017.

HME/RT Council has new leaders

WASHINGTON – Missy Cross, administrative director of ProMedica, has taken the reins as chairwoman of AAHomecare’s HME/RT Council, after two years of serving as vice chair. Al Neumann, co-owner of Corner Home Medical, will now serve as vice chair. Both Cross and Neumann have been actively involved in the industry. Cross, recipient of the inaugural Van Miller Homecare Champion Award in 2016, also sits on the board of directors of AAHomecare and the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services. Neumann is the secretary of the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services and also serves on its board. The council will convene in February to finalize its 2018 goals.

NHIA releases updated coding resource

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Home Infusion Association has released the 2018 version of the NHIA National Coding Standard for Home Infusion Claims under HIPAA. The document presents HCPCS per diem "S" codes as a comprehensive coding system for home infusion therapy claims, and provides procedures for their use, information about what's included in the home infusion per diem, and detailed coding examples for both typical and unusual claims. The resource is available for free and can be downloaded here.

Study: ASV better for central apnea patients

SAN DIEGO – Patients with central sleep apnea who switch from positive airway pressure to adaptive servo ventilation therapy may be more adherent to therapy, according to a ResMed-funded study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The study analyzed anonymous, aggregated data from the devices of 198,890 telemonitored patients with treatment-emergent central sleep apnea who started on PAP therapy. Researchers found 62.7% of patients were adherent on therapy while still on PAP; and 76.6% were adherent after switching to ASV therapy. “JCSM’s publication is a significant call for clinicians to monitor sleep apnea patients for central apneas and prescribe the therapy that best fits their needs,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., ResMed’s chief medical officer.

RRI issues new product catalog

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Responsive Respiratory has released its 2018 oxygen products catalog. The catalog features several new products and categories, including DOT-compliant multi-cylinder racks and an expanded line of home filling products. “We are continually monitoring the needs of providers to ensure we are meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers,” said Tom Bannon, president, in a press release. The full color catalog is available by request in both print and electronic format.

Aeroflow highlights success in 2017

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare logged an annual sales growth rate of 146% in 2017, making it the company’s best year yet. “By actively seeking new markets, expanding through its competitive acquisition strategy, and moving from a brick-and-mortar model to a pack, pick and ship model, Aeroflow continued its expansion geographically and in product lines,” it stated in a press release. Other highlights from the year: Aeroflow saw a 17% increase in job growth in 2017, with plans to hire an additional 50 to 100 employees in 2018; and the company purchased and renovated a new distribution facility, The Hite Fulfillment Center, that spans 35,000 square feet, consolidates all inventory and improves logistical efficiency. Aeroflow also earned three recognitions in 2017, including being named to Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list, and being certified for the highly coveted Great Place to Work Award.

Early rates for Medtrade Spring set to expire

LAS VEGAS – Early registration rates for Medtrade Spring expire on Jan. 31, show organizers remind prospective attendees. “An expo pass gets you in front of hundreds of exhibitors and products, and a conference pass includes that plus access to education and experts,” said Sarah Varner, marketing director for Medtrade. “Don’t let this great value pass you by.” The show takes place March 27-29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.