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Archive: April 2002


News

Ostomy fees in the bag

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

WASHINGTON — Providers are describing the recently released fees for the new ostomy codes as "generous," but they're describing the changes in billing they'll have to make to use those fees and codes as "time consuming." "It's really a double-edged sword," said Patti Langenbach, president of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Medical Care Products, which specializes in ostomy supplies. Twenty new ostomy codes went into effect April 1. They include everything from non-pectin based paste (K0561) to...

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Ohio State U. switches to Apria

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

WORTHINGTON, Ohio — In April, Apria inked a deal to handle the home medical equipment needs of University Home Care Services, a piece of Ohio State University. Apria replaces Columbus Prescription Pharmacies as University Home Care's HME subcontractor. The university chose Apria because it offers coverage beyond central Ohio, said Kelley Milliken, University Home Care president. The broader network is needed so a continuum of care can be provided, the president added. HME

News

AAH unfurls e-CMN plan

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

LAS VEGAS — Technology executives from Rotech and Apria rolled out the blueprints of an e-CMN software system at Medtrade Spring last month and handed off responsibility for further developmental efforts to a task force led by AAHomecare. The e-CMN initiative, if successfully negotiated, would automate the CMN process and position AAHomecare, or a designated subsidiary, as gatekeeper to an electronic document repository and beneficiary of revenues generated by a per transaction fee. Although...

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Exhibitors laud 'quality' of attendees

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

LAS VEGAS — For the first time in 22 years, Medtrade Spring sold out its educational seminars and by most accounts had one of its best showings ever. "The fire marshal would have had a field day," said speaker Wallace Weeks of the Week's Group. "We had people standing up and sitting on the floor." Last month's event took place in the 60,000-square-foot Sands Expo and included 396 exhibitors, up from 322 last year, and rougly 6,000 attendees, a 25% increase from last year's published figures. The...

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Question of the Show

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

If you were to receive an RFP for competitive bidding tomorrow, and you were asked to respond in 30 days, what would you do? "We'd have to bid. We'd have no choice. I mean it'd depend on what the project entailed and how big an area they wanted you to cover, but we'd bid. We'd be realistic and not bid too low, but we'd bid." —Neil Rotter, v.p. of marketing, Accredited Medical Equipment and Supply, Encino, Calif. "We'd respond to it, but we'd respond with real prices. We're not going to downgrade...

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Enrollment

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

Surpise: All's not well at the VA WASHINGTON — With government officials continuing to marvel at how — compared with HMEs — the VA can do more with less reimbursement, you might think all's well at the VA. It's not. Since the mid-1990s, the number of veterans enrolled in the VA health system — which includes 850 outpatient clinics, 163 hospitals and 137 nursing homes — has doubled to six million. Some aging veterans are entering the system because private doctors are...

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'Unbundling' Medicare reimbursement

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

The boldest proposal to come out of the recent AAHomecare Leadership Conference in Tucson - indeed, the most ambitious plan to reorient the way HME providers do business since the Six Point Plan and the Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 - sprung from a Power Point presentation by MED Group CEO David Miller. In short, Miller's plan would rewrite the rationale and formula behind the Medicare fee schedule. Where today DMEPOS suppliers are reimbursed for product only, Miller's "fresh approach" would...

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Conservers

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

AirSep ImPulse Elite AirSep's new ImPulse Elite offers 2-in-1 conserving technology at every breath for 3:1 or 6:1 oxygen savings, depending on mode. It features 12 pulse settings at up to 6 lpm continuous flow. The ImPulse's battery duration is10-18 months, and it has multiple safety features. It is lightweight and economical, with a three-year parts warranty. ¬  Precision Medical EASYPULSE Offers ease of use and reliability of a pneumatic with the pulse delivery and savings ratio of...

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Spotlights, not microscopes

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

In Las Vegas last month, I had dinner with a couple of HME providers who said they were not going to nominate their companies for the HME Excellence Awards. These guys run prestigious companies. Probably, though they didn't say as much, they're turning decent profits. (How else do you become that facile with a wine list at Olive's?) One guy said he'd thought about throwing his hat in the ring, but reckoned that a couple of rough quarters might put him out of the running. I can't remember the other...

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The ABN: not just about the upgrade

April 30, 2002HME News Staff

LAS VEGAS — The fastest regulatory change coming down the pike shouldn't blind-side suppliers. It's the much-hyped advanced beneficiary notice (ABN), the form advising beneficiaries that Medicare might not cover an item they're purchasing. Asela Cuervo, senior v.p. and general counsel for AAHomecare, schooled a full house on the ABN during a conference session titled "Regulatory Developments That Affect The Homecare Industry" at Medtrade Spring last month. Although the upgrade provision of...

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