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Medi-Cal to temporarily boost reimbursement rates

February 26, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s Department of Health Care Services has reversed plans to reduce reimbursement for oxygen concentrators 40% and will instead increase rates until the end of the public health emergency.  DHCS has submitted a waiver to CMS to increase the reimbursement rate for respiratory equipment from 80% to 100% of Medicare rural rates and eliminate a 10% clawback. Those rates will be retroactive to March 2020,...

Bob Achermann, CAMPS, coronavirus outbreak, Medi-Cal


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In brief: AdaptHealth acquisition, Roche settlement, AAHomecare conference

February 26, 2021HME News Staff

MERION STATION, Pa. – The owner of OxygenWorks, Philomena Baylor, has divested her business to AdaptHealth.  OxygenWorks, based here, is a privately owned, multi-generational company providing a broad spectrum of respiratory equipment and supplies to patients in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, according to a press release from the company’s adviser, Central HealthCare Group.  Central HealthCare Group is a Philadelphia-based investment banking firm representing...

aahomecare, AdaptHealth, OxygenWorks, Quality Biomedical, Repair Authority


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Vaccinations ease business, but can be difficult to secure 

February 19, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

YARMOUTH, Maine – The majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they’re eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, but they’re not immune to the difficulties securing access to them.  Nearly 80% of respondents to the poll say they are eligible for vaccines in their states.  “We have made it mandatory in our office,” wrote one respondent. “It makes a huge difference to have my delivery technicians and supporting...

coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19 vaccine, Home Medical Equipment


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‘Take the patient’ 

February 19, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WATERLOO, Iowa – For HME providers, the need for information and confirmation on waivers related to the public health emergency has ebbed and flowed with surges in COVID-19 cases, says Ronda Buhrmester of VGM Government Relations.  “Back in the spring, the hotspots were big cities and they were the ones dealing with the impact of the pandemic, while other areas were not,” said Buhrmester, senior director of payer relations....

coronavirus outbreak, Ronda Buhrmester, VGM Government Relations


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In brief: Biden and CMS, Dexcom and VC, Great Elm and acquisitions 

February 19, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – President Biden is expected to name Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS Administrator, according to numerous news reports.  Brooks-LaSure served in the Obama Administration, where she helped guide the Affordable Care Act through passage and implementation. She has also worked as a Democratic staffer for the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives.   Brooks-LaSure is currently a managing director with Manatt Health, where she provides...

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, dexcom, Great Elm DME, Northshore Care Supply


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Biden close to CMS pick

February 18, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – President Biden is expected to name Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS Administrator, according to numerous news reports.  Brooks-LaSure served in the Obama Administration, where she helped guide the Affordable Care Act through passage and implementation. She has also worked as a Democratic staffer for the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives.   Brooks-LaSure is currently a managing director with Manatt Health, where she provides policy analysis...

CMS administrator


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Billing expert pleads guilty in fraud scheme

February 18, 2021HME News Staff

TAMPA, Fla. – Kelly Wolfe, president of Regency Inc., a medical billing company, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal health care and tax fraud, and to pay $20.3 million in a civil False Claims Act settlement.  Wolfe, of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., faces a maximum penalty of 13 years in federal prison.  Wolfe and her conspirators used Regency to establish dozens of DME shell companies, placing the shell companies in the names of straw...

False Claims Act, Home Medical Equipment, Kelly Wolfe, Operation Brace Yourself


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In brief: Aeroflow’s acquisition, Roche’s settlement, Apria’s share price

February 12, 2021HME News Staff

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Healthcare has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wheeling, West Va.-based Family Medical Supply.  Family Medical Supply, founded in 1991, services West Virginia and the greater Ohio Valley with a product portfolio that includes HME and incontinence supplies.  “The acquisition of Family Medical Supply is an exciting step in Aeroflow’s ongoing strategy to grow through acquisition,” said Casey Hite, CEO of Aeroflow....

Aeroflow Healthcare, apria, Ascensia Diabetes Care, Integrated HomeCare, Prochant, VGM


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Stakeholders, largely in wait mode, keep close eye on DC 

February 5, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON – With a new administration, a new Congress and new leadership at CMS and HHS still taking shape, there won’t be a lot of action on HME priorities for the next few months, say AAHomecare officials.  Among those priorities is a final rule expected to include a host of DME-related provisions.  “The new administration is reviewing all regulations and still getting staff on board,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president...

aahomecare, DMEPOS final rule, Jay Witter, lobbying, sequestration cuts, Tom Ryan


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In brief: Error rate, Lifeway Mobility, Protech Home Medical

February 5, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The CERT error rate for DMEPOS is 31.8% for 2020, an 0.8% increase compared to 2019, according to a recent report from Medicare.  Insufficient documentation is at the root of about 65% of errors, according to the “2020 Medicare Fee-For-Service Supplemental Improper Payment Data,” which reviewed claims from June 2018-June 2019.  Medical necessity represented a small percentage of errors. Other types of...

CERT error rate, Lifeway Mobility, Protech Home Medical


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