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Archive: November 2009


On the Editor's Desk

Heyday for power wheelchairs, like stocks and houses, may be O-V-A

November 30, 2009Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I have a feeling, with 552 views, that the HME News TV interview with Doug Harrison is making the rounds. I'm not surprised. Harrison, CEO and president of The Scooter Store, is no Pollyana, so what he has to say can be either a breathe of fresh air or a lightening rod. Take, for example, what Harrison has to say about the prospects of future reductions to power wheelchair reimbursement: At some point, Medicare's not going to pay $4,000 for a power wheelchair," he said. "They're going to pay $2,000....

Doug Harrison, On The Editor's Desk, power wheelchairs, reimbursement, The Scooter Store


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E-SP

Not every cat has nine lives. And that's OK.

November 30, 2009Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

There was a reader essay in my local Maine Sunday paper yesterday: a goodbye to a "much-loved" cat. The cat, a 16-year-old Siamese, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. From diagnosis to death: a visit to the emergency vet; an ultrasound to reveal a grapefruit-sized tumor; a visit to a pet ultrasound specialist in New Hampshire; a visit to a veterinary cancer surgeon in Boston; scripts for kitty painkillers and appetite stimulants; a visit to a local veterinary cancer specialist; a holistic veterinarian...

e-SP, health care reform, medicaid, medicaid, Medicare, Medicare


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News

Want to save $500K? Here's how one provider did it

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

In September 2008, four months before the 36-month cap on Medicare reimbursement kicked in, University of Michigan Home Care Services decided to aggressively explore reducing costs associated with the delivery of oxygen. With an average cost of $75 per delivery and some patients receiving upward of five deliveries per month, we knew there was great potential for cost savings. After analyzing our monthly deliveries, we identified that the patient population that was receiving the majority of the deliveries...

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News

What's complex rehab?

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

BUFFALO, N.Y. - During a Webinar yesterday, members of a steering committee discussed why they don't plan to include certain Group 2 power wheelchairs in a separate benefit for complex rehab. A listener to the Webinar asked members why they plan to focus solely on Group 3 power wheelchairs, especially since CMS categorizes certain Group 2 power wheelchairs as complex rehab. “We do recognize there are issues around the Group 2 SPO and MPO (single- and multi-power option) codes,” said Rita...

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News

Job applications overwhelm HME providers

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - Many providers are trying to put a lid on expenditures to avoid laying off employees, but there a few hanging up proverbial "help wanted" signs. Provider Robert Slama is trying to fill several new, full-time positions. "Business is booming," said Slama, owner of Medi-Healthcare in Lakeland, Fla. "We've picked up several large contracts, and we've seen some competitors go out of business. We need repair and delivery techs." Provider Gary Sheehan has hired half-a-dozen new full- and...

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News

CMS delays PECOS

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - To the relief of HME providers everywhere, CMS last week delayed for three months a new rule that requires ordering and referring physicians to register with its new Provider, Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). The rule will now go into effect April 5, 2010, according to a listserv message CMS sent out on Nov. 23. HME providers have been in a panic about the rule. Initially, CMS planned to begin rejecting HME claims that included the names of unregistered physicians and non-physician...

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News

The British are coming!

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

SAN DIEGO - British respiratory products manufacturer Clement Clarke International is taking another stab at expanding its presence in the U.S. home medical equipment market. The 92-year-old company recently hired industry veteran Stuart Novitz as vice president of sales and marketing for North America and charged him with expanding the firm's "distribution foot print." "I'm in business-development mode right now," said Novitz, who until two years ago served as SeQual Technologies' North American...

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News

In brief: Do 'right' by HME, patients

November 29, 2009HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The VGM Group last week encouraged providers and their patients to submit formal complaints about national competitive bidding with CMS. The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has identified three ways to do this: submit complaints by suppliers or individuals to the CMS competitive acquisition ombudsman; submit complaints by beneficiaries to the CMS Medicare beneficiary ombudsman; or submit complaints by beneficiaries to Medicare quality improvement organizations. Providers and...

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Executive Session

Carol Gentry smears the HME industry; AAHomecare fires back

November 25, 2009Mike Moran

If you can help it, never miss an opportunity to set the record straight when it comes to ignorance about the HME industry. And as we all know, there's plenty of ignorance out there. Here's a perfect example. Carol Gentry, the editor of Health News Florida published an editorial today, absurdly insinuating that the HME industry has no interest in controlling Medicare fraud and abuse. Once he saw that, Michael Reinemer, AAHomecare's vice president, communications and policy, took action. At 1:51 p.m.,...

Carol Gentry, Executive Session, media, MIxon. Invacare


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On the Editor's Desk

Giving thanks to the Rifton XL Pacer

November 25, 2009Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Feast your pre-Thanksgiving eyes on this... I was poking around NCART's Web site this afternoon and watched this video of Sean Carter walking for the first time after being in a wheelchair for more than four years due to a traumatic brain injury. His mom says, "This, to us, is the first step of the rest of Sean's life. We're giving him the ability to walk again." Sean's first step comes at about 2 minutes and by 3:08, he's well on his way. Liz Beaulieu

ncart, ncart, On The Editor's Desk, Rifton, Sean Carter


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