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Archive: 2005


News

MAMES aims to pack more punch in Missouri

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

JEFFERSON, Mo. - The Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) hired a lobbyist in early December to foil, members hope, any further HME reimbursement cuts in Missouri. MAMES represents seven states, but the association decided to place its first lobbyist here, largely because last year Missouri handed down a Medicaid cut that reduced HME expenditures from about $57 million to $30 million. Adding salt to the wound: An October report from the state auditor suggests Missouri could...

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A&D pumps up retail efforts

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

MILPITAS, Calif. - When it comes to packaging blood pressure monitors, A&D Medical has a new take on what consumers desire, and it's not a box "flowered up with happy smiling faces of doctors and other healthcare providers," said Sarah Schiltz, director of marketing. "These consumers have either recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension or they are poorly controlled," Schiltz said. "They are scared and want to have the package reflect ease of use and accuracy." The company's...

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Pricing pressures handcuff vendors

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Senate proposal to eliminate Medicare's cap rental option for DME has given manufacturers the jitters. If the proposal goes through, they know, it's only a matter of time before providers come seeking price reductions. The problem with that: You can't draw blood from a stone, say manufacturers of bent metal. Others, especially sleep manufacturers, aren't saying anything at all. "On our side, there's not a whole heck of a lot to do price-wise," said Tom Tucker, Medline's vice president...

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Proposed Alaska cuts would reduce reimbursement

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Proposed Medicaid cuts to incontinence supplies in Alaska would significantly reduce reimbursements to healthcare providers. For example, the current reimbursement amount for an adult diaper is 12 cents. After the cut, it would be 3 cents. Providers in Alaska say there's no way providers can afford to supply these products if the regulations go into effect. Besides a higher out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries, suppliers say, proposed cuts could lead to access problems for beneficiaries...

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TLC buys Chicago homecare company

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

CHICAGO - An Illinois-based affiliate of TLC Health Care Services picked up Northwestern Memorial Home Health Care recently, expanding the company's presence in the greater Chicago area and adding 150 employees to its fold. Tender Loving Care HomeCare's acquisition marks TLC's first purchase since Arcapita bought TLC in February 2005. Northwestern Memorial Home Health Care provides nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, medical social work, home healthcare and infusion pharmacy...

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Show your cards

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

Here's something that should be said and rarely is: The HME industry needs to show its hand--not the whole hand, nothing so blatant as a collective average of its profit margin, but at least a reckoning of basic information. I'm talking about how many days, on average, a hospital bed is in the field. Or a patient lift? A CPAP? An oxygen concentrator? Whether all or most providers actually track this kind of information or not is another story. But savvy providers do. They know. And this kind of information...

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North Coast opens third Oregon store

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

NEWPORT, Ore. - North Coast Home Care opened its third location in October, this one in Newport. The company, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in June, also has locations in Seaside and Tillamook. North Coast was started as by Larry and Linda Slawson as a home oxygen business and grew to include DME, power mobility, incontinence, nebulizers, diabetic and bath safety products. The company also has women's health products like mastectomy bras and forms and breast pumps. It employs a professional...

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Air Products adds Nightingale Medical

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

CONSOHOCKEN, Pa. - Air Products Healthcare recently purchased Indianapolis-based Nightingale Medical to expand its coverage in the Great Lakes region. Nightingale, which has additional locations in Anderson and Carmel, is the largest independent home care company in central Indiana, according to Air Products. Last year, Air Products acquired Melrose Park, Ill.-based Ultra Care, one of the largest privately held home respiratory and infusion companies in the country, to strengthen its presence in...

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Invacare program aimed at provider's cash sales

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

HOLLISTON, Mass. - The first batch of a new product flier, part of Invacare Supply Group's new direct mail program, ships in February. Invacare debuted the program, designed to help providers enter the "world" of cash sales, at Medtrade in October. For "under $1,000," Invacare Supply will direct mail 10,000 four-page product fliers to zip codes specified by its HME customers. The fliers will be customized with the provider's company name. "This is something retail drug chains are used to doing but...

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Respirators Inc. enters retail HME market

December 31, 2005HME News Staff

NEW YORK - Respirators Inc., which has made a name for itself on the Internet by providing respirators, antiseptic wipes and other products to combat avian bird flu concerns, jumped into the HME market with a new sister Web site in late November. The site, www.familymedicalsupplies.com, features thousands of HME products grouped into dozens of categories--everything from wound care to respiratory to scooters, said Howard Ryan, a managing partner at Respirators. "We've proven that we can wrap our...

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