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Archive: August 2006


News

AHP up against$20-million lawsuit

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

HARRISONBURG, Va. - The family members of two victims killed during a shooting at an American HomePatient branch have filed a $20-million lawsuit against the company and the shooter's family. The lawsuit alleges that, even though AHP knew the shooter, Brewer Hoover Jr., was dangerous, it failed to provide a safe work environment for its employees. One of the victims, Bonnie Sue Crump, and other employees had reported Hoover's behavior to their superiors. The lawsuit includes $350,000 in compensation...

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Opportunity knocks twice

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

After David McCall sold his DME company in 2002, he saw plenty of opportunity as an industry consultant. Now, with competitive bidding staring providers in the face, he hears opportunity knocking again. The owner of A Plus DME Services recently debuted the National Competitive Bidding Supplier Network (www.nationalsuppliernetwork.com) to help small local providers band together to participate in NCB. "I've heard some DME companies talking about starting their own networks, but I'm not sure that is...

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Letters to the editor

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

'WE ALL NEED TO REMAIN VIGILANT' Stop the ranting" (HME News, July 2006) made me think, "Yeah, there may be some jealousy going on, but there's sure a lot of fraud, stealing and cheating, too." Recent settlements and pending investigations beg these questions of each provider: Are you reporting irregularities and suspicions to the proper authorities; and are you checking your own operations to make sure temptation isn't getting the best of you and some of your people? No doubt the biggest irony...

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Joni Milluzzo: Success follows integrity

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

Even after 16 years as CEO and owner of Apple Homecare, it's not uncommon to find Joni Milluzzo out in the retail store answering customers' questions or doing a CPAP setup in a patient's home. "I do whatever it takes," Milluzzo said. As a respiratory therapist, "I still have a clinician's mindset, wanting to make the patient happy. When we've made someone's life easier, then yea!" Early in her career, she worked in hospitals, with private-practice physicians and at two homecare companies, but says...

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FDA slaps Rotech, CCS, Reliant with warning

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration warned Rotech, CCS Medical and Reliant Pharmacy--a Lincare subsidiary--on Aug. 9 that they were in violation of federal law for making and distributing "thousands of doses" of nebulizer drugs. The FDA said the companies were targeted because they made inhalants without proving medical need. Steve Silverman, the FDA's acting assistant director of the Office of Compliance, said in USA Today that the agency expects the companies to either show they are...

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Pride presents a Jazzy exhibit

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

Booth 1614 -Pride Mobility's booth at Medtrade will be so festively decorated that one might say it looks "Jazzy." That's because the manufacturer will be commemorating the 10-year anniversary of its first Jazzy chair in 1996. Company officials say the milestone is a significant event for a highly influential product. "The Jazzy's impact is readily apparent in the industry today," a Pride statement read. "Pride led the way with the Jazzy and the industry followed, but the authentic Jazzy has only...

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Lending: 'You really have to get in the trenches'

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

DETROIT - For HME companies, dealing with financial institutions can be daunting and cumbersome. But when Mitchell Home Medical in Ypsilanti, Mich., reflects on its relationship with its lender, the Detroit-based Comerica Bank, this comes to mind: "We've never seen a large financial institution treat a smaller customer this good." Comerica's vice president of middle market banking, Jeffrey Lafferty, spoke with HME News recently about demystifying the relationship between financial institutions and...

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Alan Kirk: 'Distinguished Alumnus'

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

ELGIN, Illinois - When Alan Kirk graduated from Elgin Community College with high honors in 1985, he had no plans to manage the family's home medical equipment business. Ironically though, it is his success in the HME field that led to his accepting in January the school's "Distinguished Alumnus Award" for 2006. A totally surprised Kirk, COO of Total Home Health, didn't even know he was being considered for the award. Clandestinely nominating him were his mother, company President Carolyn Kirk-Likou;...

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CPAP study: Patients, providers need to talk more

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

SAN DIEGO - While patients clean their sleep masks frequently, most don't replace them as often as recommended under CMS guidelines, according to a blind survey conducted in May by TalkAboutSleep.com. TalkAboutSleep.com, an online resource for people with sleep disorders, conducted the survey for sleep manufacturer ResMed, which released the results in June. The survey found that only 30% of the 372 respondents had replaced their masks in the past nine months. About 54% had not replaced their mask...

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Arletta Samulak: Focus on what you do best

August 31, 2006HME News Staff

Perhaps it's because she grew up in a starkly different culture, or maybe it's due to having a very supportive husband and father, but Arletta Samulak moves very easily in an industry dominated by men. Samulak joined Associated Healthcare as a reimbursement manager in 1997, and earned the CFO title four years ago. "The image of CFOs is that we are bean counters," she said. "But when (company president Don White) promoted me, I believe he saw me as a leader who could participate in various areas--strategic...

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