Briefs

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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

CMS proposes coding change for NPPV

WASHINGTON - CMS issued a proposed rule change last month that would change the payment category for non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) from frequent and substantial to capped rental. CMS believes that units in the K0533 category were improperly coded as therapeutic ventilators when the code was first created. CMS also believes that the switch in payment levels will not result in a decrease in current patient service levels. The industry disagrees, arguing that switching the code to capped rental would removed the incentive for providers to furnish the necessary ongoing care such patients require once the capped rental period ends. AAHomecare plans to work with patients, doctors, suppliers and manufacturers to develop a response to the proposed change.
Rhode Island provider scores a lobbying coup

LINCOLN, R.I. - Respiratory Solutions jumped on the grassroots bandwagon this summer, reaching out successfully to the state’s two U.S. representatives. In July, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., visited Respiratory Solutions to discuss the impact Medicare reform, specifically competitive bidding, would have on small business (lost HME jobs) and beneficiaries (reduced access). In August, a Respiratory Solutions investor discussed similar issues by phone with Rep. James R. Langevin, D-R.I. Both representatives appeared sensitive to the industry’s position, Lambrese said. Kennedy and Langevin both voted against the House Medicare reform bill, which includes a competitive bidding provision for DME. Nevertheless, any effort to educate House members can only help when it comes to crafting a Medicare reform compromise between Senate and House members, Lambrese said.
AHP moves into Omaha

RALSTON, Neb. - American Home Patients-Midlands Heath Resources Home Care recently opened its fifth Nebraska location along 72nd Street in Ralston. The office is the company’s first in the Omaha metropolitan area, the company told a local news source. The Ralston center will employ 14 people. It joins centers in Beatrice, Hastings, Lincoln and Norfolk. Nationwide, there are 386 centers in 38 states.

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