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Archive: April 2004


News

Exhibitors up the ante in Vegas

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - For many at Medtrade Spring in March it was déj  vu. The towering displays and swelling crowds at the Las Vegas Convention Center felt more like the bigger fall version of the show than ever before. Drive Medical had the largest booth at Medtrade Spring with 1,500 square feet Impressions were mixed about whether the “intimate” atmosphere of Medtrade Spring was withering, but the numbers, which showed a 13% increase in attendance over last year, don't lie. Providers...

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Politics

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

ABCs of the CMN With Tim Zipp T. Zipp Q. According to CMS, what does “bed or chair confined” mean? A. While I agree with CMS that the coverage criteria for power wheelchairs has not changed since 1985, I do think that the definition of “bed or chair confined” changed with the revisions to the CMN in 1995-1996. In 1985 and today, the Coverage Issues Manual states that a wheelchair is covered “if the patient's condition is such that without the use of a wheelchair he...

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When it comes to change, CV Medical leads the charge

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY - CV Medical Solutions isn't forgetting its rural roots, but it's hard to argue with the provider's move last September to consolidate operations in the Oklahoma City metro area. CV Solutions consolidated four locations into one Oklahoma City location (above) and watched its revenue jump 20%. The company's revenue is up 20% and with the increased efficiencies that came from integrating four separate locations under one roof, the bottom line has swelled, said CEO Tracey Wills. “We...

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Optimists sit tight

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - As its 2005 start date draws closer, the new average sales price reimbursement for Part B drugs continues to draw fire - as well as questions and concerns - from those in the respiratory business. “There is no way patients will have access to care if [the ASP reimbursement] is implemented as written,” said Miriam Lieber, president of Lieber Consulting. “I understand that it was bloated, but I think [MMA] went overboard and beyond.” The MMA revised the reimbursement...

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Power Ox: The greatest thing since sliced bread?

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

DECATUR, Ala. - The pulse oximetry testing system, Power Ox, unveiled by the Letco Companies in March has generated buzz for its apparent relief of the headache involved in qualifying Medicare patients for oxygen. Power Ox allows providers to qualify oxygen patients using a hand-held palm pilot that collects data from the in-home pulse oximeter test. The DME then downloads the encrypted data to an independent diagnostic testing facility (IDTF), which reviews it and sends the results simultaneously...

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Setting sail into a stormy sea of change

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

The Medicare Prescription Drug Act has launched the HME provider into uncertain seas. Not since, the Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 and the Six Point Plan of 1989 have HMEs faced such momentous change to their business. If the legislated changes are implemented, the cheese will not be exhausted, but it will be moved. The challenge? A new route to respectable profitability. Before reporting the following suite of stories, we asked HME providers for new opportunities and new ways to cut costs. Here...

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Reimbursement

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

Post-pay review tips With Maureen Hanna M. Hanna Q. In post-payment Medicare audits, what insight can you provide to suppliers for best presenting their case? A. I often see providers merely attaching documents in no particular order and send the package off to Medicare. I recommend: - Enclosing a cover letter that briefly explains your documents. - Place documents in the same order as Medicare requests them (e.g. in alphabetic order by beneficiary name and the attachments documents in the same...

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Feds wrap up 27 bad guys

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - Since the Wheeler Dealer scandal erupted in Houston last September, at least 27 individuals have been convicted or reached plea agreements with prosecutors, according to a cursory OIG survey requested by HME News. The 27 convictions or plea agreements do not represent the number of scandals since most wheeler dealers worked in clusters. (For example, one South Florida case involved six individuals.) Nor does the number include arrests or indictments of individuals who cases are now...

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Docs order by e-mail

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

ATHENS, Tenn. - The same technology that lets you order a quick burger and fries as you make the turn on a golf course has found a home in a palm device that lets referral sources order DME from their office. A convalescent referral source places an order for durable medical equipment. Instead of leaving pamphlets and prescription pads with the doc, Jaysec Technologies wants you to leave behind an IOS (Ideal Ordering System). When a referral source needs DME for a patient, he'll drill through IOS...

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Cash is king

April 30, 2004HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - DME's retail environment has languished over the past 10 years with the rise and fall of the home health superstores and the move toward consolidation, but some providers are testing the big box waters again and opening locations within the world's retail king, Wal-Mart. Hutchinson Medical of Salem, Massachusetts was the first to take the plunge in October when it opened two Wal-Mart locations in Epping, New Hampshire and Waterford, Connecticut. The Scooter Store and Apria quickly...

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