Power Ox popularity expands to 31 states

Monday, May 31, 2004

New pulse ox testing system passes scrutiny of live CMS demonstration
BIRMINGHAM, Michigan - The Power Ox oximetry testing system has fast earned a following from providers nationwide as a remedy to the tricky process of qualifying patients for oxygen therapy.

The technology, which is owned by Newco Holdings and distributed by the Letco Companies, was adopted by more than 100 providers over 31 states in its first month .

“The proliferation of the software is a clear indication of the immense demand for an efficient way to get this piece of the puzzle solved,” said Bob Rudowski, Power Ox’s designer and owner of Newco Holdings.

The Power Ox system allows providers to qualify oxygen patients using a hand-held palm pilot that collects data on the in-home pulse oximetry test. The data is encrypted and then uploaded directly to Oximetry Company, an independent diagnostic testing facility (IDTF) in Michigan that Rudowski owns.

“Literally, because of this technology, you are able to turn that report around in less than 24 hours,” said Rudowski. “If you are able to turn the month it usually took to get a patient qualified into one day, then the DME is able to severely improve their financial situation, their ability to properly take care of the patient and their ability to control reimbursement.”

Despite its success in eliminating the problems of long waiting periods for tests and too few IDTFs, many in the industry still have lingering questions as to its validity with Medicare. Rudowski hopes the response from his meeting with CMS will clear up those questions and concerns.

“We literally ran through the technology from stem to stern, and at the end of that the consensus in the room was ‘This looks valid to me,’” he said.

CMS’s third letter on the system dated April 23 states that the Power Ox “does not violate any portion of the Local Medical Review Policy of National Coverage Determination for home oxygen therapy.”

The Power Ox was able to meet the stringent standards of CMS and HIPAA because it is completely secure and safeguards against tampering, said Rudowski. Data and patient information is encrypted by the system immediately and cannot be viewed or revised by anyone but IDTF authorities.

“We have an immense amount of security to our system,” he said. “You’d be better off breaking into Fort Knox.”