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Archive: 2008


News

Diabetes providers face claim review

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Cigna Government Services, the Jurisdiction C DME MAC, will conduct a prepayment medical review of randomly selected claims for glucose test strips (A4253) and lancets (A4259), it announced in December. The review will focus on non-insulin treated beneficiaries (KS modifier) who are receiving quantities of supplies that exceed the utilization guidelines defined in the local coverage determination: 100 strips and 100 lancets in a 90-day period. Providers can review the glucose monitor...

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CMS details anti-fraud program

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - The recovery audit contractor (RAC) program is on hold for now, but CMS has no plans to scrap it altogether. During a Special Open Door Forum on Nov. 13, CMS officials told 860 callers that it has put an "automatic stay" on the program due to protests filed by two unsuccessful bidders (the Government Accountability Office has until mid-February to make a ruling); however, the program is still on track to go nationwide by Jan. 1, 2010. Industry stakeholders have voiced their own protests...

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Short takes

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

Drive Medical has acquired Achieve Medical Canada, a distributor of mobility products, patient aids and bathroom safety products in Toronto...SP Medical has acquired the LeverHaler MDI Spacer product line from BirdSong Medical…Diagnostic Devices and The Comfort Company have revamped their Web sites, and Mabis DMI has launched an e-commerce Web site...Juzo has launched an online video series to educate and train providers...Freedom Lift now operates as Freedom Sciences.

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Philips to truckers: Sleep well, drive safe

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

MURRYSVILLE, Pa.--Philips Respironics recently launched a program to increase awareness of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among truck drivers. The “Sleep Well, Drive Safe” program incorporates five elements: education, screening, testing, therapy and compliance. Additionally, Philips Respironics has launched a Web site, www.philips.com/trucking, which provides information for trucking company owners, safety directors and drivers.

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Apria Healthcare names new chief

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

LAKE FOREST, Calif.-- Apria Healthcare, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, named Dr. Norman Payson CEO in December. Since October, when Blackstone acquired Apria, Payson has served as Apria's executive chairman and interim CEO. He has been a member of the provider's board of directors for the past two years. Previously, Payson served as CEO of two multi-million member publicly traded health plans: Healthsource, a physician-sponsored health plan now part of Cigna; and Oxford Health Plans,...

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Industry studies aftermath

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

The complex rehab industry stands ready to document the fallout of Medicare's 9.5% nationwide reimbursement cut, which goes into effect Jan. 1. An NCART study released in September found that 95% of 184 responding complex rehab providers will reduce or eliminate product choice due to the cut; 87% will reduce or eliminate off-site assessments and evaluations; and 88% will reduce or eliminate the availability of demo equipment. “That predicts what might happen, but we need to know exactly...

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Firm pulls plug on home infusion deal

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--A $420 million deal between MBF Healthcare Acquisitions and home infusion provider Critical Homecare Solutions fell victim to the slumping economy, according to news reports in early November. MBF had announced in February 2008 that it planned to purchase the two-year-old company founded by former Air Products exec Bob Cucuel. The deal was originally expected to close in June or July, but the original letter of intent expired July 31, 2008. The deal was restructured in September...

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Scooter Store racks up non-Medicare biz

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas--The Scooter Store announced in November that it had formed new partnerships with 17 health plans with 3.9 million members. But that's not the whole story, company officials say. “We have acquired more than 133 contracts over the last six or seven years,” said Sharon Kleinfelder, vice president of corporate contracting. But 2008 was a particularly good year for The Scooter Store: In all, it added 30 contracts with health plans with more than 30 million members,...

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Cap provision gives hope

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

BALTIMORE --Recently released guidance on the 36-month oxygen cap may contain a silver lining for providers, at least those with long-term patients. On pages 846 and 847 of the guidance, Medicare states that, after five years from the day of setup, providers can supply oxygen patients with new equipment and bill Medicare for another three years. That's music to the ears of Lee Guay, a coordinator for Apex of St. Peters in Helena, Mont. Thanks to the provision, 40 oxygen patients who he thought were...

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Renewed hope for carve out

December 31, 2008HME News Staff

WASHINGTON--If passed, an economic stimulus package designed to jump-start the lagging economy could also be a boon to the complex rehab industry, some stakeholders say. The package, which would likely include additional funding for Medicaid programs, could be a potential vehicle for carving out complex rehab from the 9.5% nationwide reimbursement cut. The cut will negatively impact patient care, industry stakeholders say. Providers are expected to reduce product offerings and limit services such...

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