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Archive: 2007


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Therapists share in the pain

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

WASHINGTON -¬ A Jan. 1 cut to reimbursement for OTs and PTs may have also pushed the Program Safeguard Contractors (PSCs) to dump their ATP requirement, say industry sources. The medical directors announced in December that they would not move forward with plans to require independent ATPs to conduct certain wheelchair evaluations beginning April 1 (See story, page 1). “Perhaps the medical directors saw the writing on the wall,” said Tim Pederson, chairman of AAHomecare's Rehab and...

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MEDIchair pounces: expands next door

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

GUELPH, Ontario - When 1,400 square feet of retail space became available adjacent to its location, MEDIchair Guelph “pounced” at the opportunity to expand its store, according to a November release. The provider transformed the additional space into an expanded showroom that now features lifting devices, hospital beds and rehab products. It also features a fitting room for physiotherapists and adequate space for test-driving wheelchairs, scooters and walkers. “It's been an amazing...

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Generic DuoNeb market

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - Neb-med providers could see a leveling of the playing field in the coming months as the six-month patent on generic DuoNeb expires and competing generics hit the market, say industry leaders. “I think you'll see the generic pricing become more competitive,” said Sam Jarczynski, president of Rx Stat in St. Petersburg, Fla. “So far, the pricing hasn't been good for many people.” The generic, manufactured by Princeton, N.J.-based Sandoz and launched in early...

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Invacare opts to skip Medtrade

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

ELYRIA, Ohio ¬≠- Invacare “easily” spent more than $1 million to attend the Medtrade spring and fall shows last year, but that won't happen in 2008. Instead, the industry's largest manufacturer will spend its money on, among other things, regional and state HME events, educating clinicians and “a couple of our own events,” Carl Will, group vice president, HME division, said in mid November. “We don't have anything against Medtrade—we're not looking to damage the...

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Physicians put on notice

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

WASHINGTON -¬ After requests from the rehab industry, the DME Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) posted letters to their Web sites in November that providers can download and send to physicians, reminding them of their documentation duties. The one-page letters describe the documentation that must be included in physician medical records, including patient diagnosis and prognosis. It also puts physicians on notice: “Your cooperation is a legal requirement as outlined in the Social...

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NPI warning: Don’t give out your Social Security number

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - Providers should double-check their information in the National Provider Identifier (NPI) registry or risk having sensitive information like Social Security numbers disclosed to others, warned Medicare in late November. Concerns were raised last fall when it became apparent that some providers had entered social security numbers in fields labeled “other provider identification numbers,” “employer identification number (EIN)” and “license numbers.” CMS...

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Rotech continues free-fall

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. -¬ Things have gone from bad to worse for Rotech Healthcare, industry watchers say. On Nov. 16, the NASDAQ notified Rotech (ticker symbol: ROHI) that it's in danger of being de-listed from the stock market for not meeting a minimum market value of $15 million. The provider, which, at press time, was valued at $12.75 million, has until Feb. 18 to regain compliance. Few industry watchers were surprised by the news. “They've been free-falling for some time,” said Balaji...

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CMS backs at-home sleep tests for OSA

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

BALTIMORE, M.D. — CMS announced Dec. 14 it will recommend coverage for home-based sleep testing for obstructive sleep apnea. The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee recommended that coverage be expanded to cover treatment for patients with a clinical evaluation and an unattended home sleep study using a type 11, 111 or IV device and that CPAP coverage initially be limited to 12 weeks.

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Georgia Tech offers wheelchair course

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

ATLANTA - The Georgia Institute of Technology has a new online course for licensed physical and occupational therapists and physicians responsible for recommending manual wheelchairs to consumers. The $150 course, “Evidence-Based Manual Wheelchair Practice,” will cover features, postural stability, propulsion biomechanics, configurations, standards and letters of medical necessity. Upon completion, they receive 1.5 continuing education credits.

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Employee turnover has hidden expenses

December 31, 2007HME News Staff

Q. How do you determine the true cost of employee turnover, and what can be done to minimize it? A. Costs associated with recruiting include hard costs such as advertisements ($200 to $1,500 for newspaper or online ads), screening tools ($25 to $300 for background, drug tests), and travel costs required to facilitate the recruiting process. Costs not typically calculated include: management time spent reviewing job requirements and descriptions (5 to 20 hours per position); interview time (hourly...

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