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Archive: January 2004


News

Shield puts brakes on new Convatec business

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

VALENCIA, Calif. - While reimbursement for ostomy supplies continues to languish, Convatec's decision to raise prices again in 2004 is prompting some suppliers to say enough is enough. Shield Healthcare stopped accepting assignment on Convatec products for new ostomy customers Jan. 1. Klein Medical Equipment in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is transitioning its Medicaid patients from their existing brands - largely Convatec and Hollister - to a lower-priced alternative, Genairex. Shield cannot say yet...

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Briefs

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

Lincare's stock took a beating in 2003 CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lincare's stock distinguished itself in 2003 as one of only four in the Nasdaq Composite index of 100 companies to lose ground. The Nasdaq Composite closed 2003 at 2,003.37 - ¬  a 96% jump off a near-term low of 1,108.49 in mid-October of 2002, and a gain of 60% off its 52-week low of 1,253.22 in mid-March 2003. On January 16, Lincare's stock stood at $28.63, well off its 52-week high of 43.98. The company's stock lost much of its value...

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Billing

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The largest set of new HCPCS codes ever for power wheelchair seating and accessories went into effect Jan. 1. J. Keiderling Rehab providers must now use 53 new E codes instead of the K0108 miscellaneous code for the designated items. The codes cover, among other things, power tilt-and-recline systems, leg rests, anti-rollback devices, batteries, power chair drive-control devices, shock absorbers, anti-tipping devices, cylinder tank carriers and zero pressure tubes. The biggest challenge...

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Human Resources

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

Reviewing employee retention With Vince Crew Q. We just lost another employee to a new competitor. How do you keep up morale when that happens? A. People leave companies for various reasons: problems with their boss, co-worker(s), money, benefits, family issues etc. Regardless, there are four things you must do immediately: - Issue a statement - NOT a memo, but a face-to-face session. This needs to be done before the grapevine is in full negative swing. - Reaffirm the direction and strength of...

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Reform bill no obstacle for diabetes provider

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

WAKEFIELD, Mass. - Louis Belmonte, president of the Neighborhood Diabetes Shoppe, refused to take the Medicare Prescription Drug Act's string of abusive DME cuts lying down. Instead, Belmonte has stretched the legs of the 5-year-old business, adding new services and contracts in an attempt to limit the business's dependence on Medicare. No worries. Staff at the Neighborhood Diabetes Shoppe is pleased with the steps they have taken to limit the effect of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act on their...

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Briefs

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

Florida man sentenced in 'mammoth' fraud case MIAMI - A man convicted of health care fraud and conspiracy will spend the next nine years in prison and the rest of his life repaying the U.S. government $36.5 million he grossed from one of the largest Medicare fraud scams in history, reported the Miami Herald. Alfredo Omar Rodriguez, 38, was sentenced in January after he pleaded guilty to health-care fraud and conspiracy charges in September. Rodriguez masterminded a mammoth operation, overseeing...

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Providers ponder Medicare cuts

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The prospects for relief from the devastating Medicare Prescription Drug Act were unclear last month as Congress reconvened, but the HME industry's political lobbies expect to push for legislation that would mitigate the impact of the FEHPB cuts and the transition from an AWP to an ASP model for pricing respiratory medicine slated for next year. Clark Robichaux Whether a corrections bill comes to the floor in this Congress is a political football no one yet has a grip on. “There...

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CMS nixes new sleep codes

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - In a decision issued late last year, CMS rebuffed the sleep industries latest attempts to create billing codes for new technologies CMS won't budge on a code for Auto CPAP like ResMed's AutoSet Spirit. A group of sleep manufacturers, led by ResMed, failed again to win a new code for auto CPAP, a middle-ground technology between CPAP and bi-level CPAP. Respironics, not unexpectedly, failed to win a new code for its C-Flex CPAP but beat back some interest from CMS's Alpha-Numeric Work...

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Brainstorming a new Medicare for HME

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - You want to see some excitement? Take 10 HME providers, lock them in a room, and tell them they can't come out until they decide how to revamp, or not revamp, Medicare reimbursement for durable medical equipment. In response to the recent Medicare Prescription Drug Act that hit durable medical equipment with a bevy of reimbursement cuts, January's HME News Poll asked that question. Ninety-seven people responded - 20% preferred to keep the existing reimbursement system; 27% advocated...

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Briefs

January 31, 2004HME News Staff

Seventh person convicted in fraud case MIAMI - The last of seven people connected to a power wheelchair fraud scandal was found guilty by a Florida court last month. Todd W. Neff, owner of Imagine Consulting Services and K&F Services, was sentenced to 53 months in prison and three years of probation and also was ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to Medicare. Neff, along with six co-defendants, were indicted last February for conspiring to defraud Medicare in connection with the submission...

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