Skip to Content

Archive: December 2009


Executive Session

The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

December 31, 2009Mike Moran

I generally don't make New Year's resolutions. I mean, what's the point?  I can make and break a resolution in June just as easily as I can in January. So that's what I do. I make resolutions all year long. This increases my chance of success and failure, but in the end I think I'll come out ahead, or a least that is my hope. Here is a nice New Year's quote from the poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is...

Executive Session, VA


Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

E-SP

Auld lang syne, CPAP issues? Not so fast

December 31, 2009Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

At this time of year we editors like to cull top 10 lists. On this last day of 2009 I perused our stats to see what the top story was for specialty providers. No surprise: it was a CPAP story: Providers request CPAP do-over, which first appeared back in March. In fact, CPAP documentation requirements, which went into effect in November of 2008, were an ongoing saga this year, with providers trying to educate both physicians and patients with varying degrees of success. This fall, providers in the...

Apnea, compliance, CPAP, CPAP, e-SP, Medicare, Medicare, sleep


Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

E-SP

Stupid people, low blood sugar and gun control

December 30, 2009Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

I grew up in Maine, a gun-friendly state if there ever was one. I don't understand the desire to own a gun but ... whatever. However. Stupid people shouldn't be allowed to own guns (or have driver's licenses for that matter) which brings me to my point. Owing a gun, driving a car, having children all bring with them a healthy amount of personal responsibility, a notion I frequently trumpet in this space. Police in Macon, Georgia recently cited a 55-year old diabetic man for unlawfully firing a gun...

diabetic, e-SP, gun, low blood sugar


Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

On the Editor's Desk

OIG: Wheelchair documentation is more often wrong than right

December 30, 2009Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Three out of five claims for standard and complex power wheelchair claims did not meet Medicare documentation requirements during the first half of 2007, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) states in a new report. Those claims accounted for $112 million of the $189 million in total improper payments allowed for that time period. The OIG based its report on a review of 375 claims for standard and complex power wheelchairs. Other findings in the OIG's report: Two out of five claims had multiple...

OIG, On The Editor's Desk, standard vs. complex power wheelchairs, wheelchair documentation


Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

News

Healthcare reform tax targets HME manufacturers

December 30, 2009HME News Staff

WASHINGTON ¬- It appears inevitable that final health care reform legislation will include a tax on HME and other medical device manufacturers, and if that happens there's a good chance providers and Medicare beneficiaries will share the pain, say industry watchers. “This tax seems to be counter to the stated goals of healthcare reform to reduce costs,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility. “It will have the opposite effect of increasing costs...

Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

News

HME accreditation exploded in 2009: 'Thousands added to the mix'

December 30, 2009HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - Unless something strange happens—like some new Congressional mandate—industry accrediting organizations can expect to never again see a year like 2009. “It was a unique time for everybody,” said Tom Cesar, president of ACHC. “You had to rise to the occasion.” You can say that again. An informal poll of accrediting agencies shows that, on average, those companies accredited twice as many HMEs in 2009 as in 2008. Credit that to the mandate that...

Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

News

CMS still processing pharmacy accreditation apps

December 30, 2009HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - CMS will continue to process accreditation applications for pharmacies after the Dec. 31, 2009 deadline, the agency stated in a bulletin last week. That means it's also likely that CMS will not immediately revoke billing privileges for pharmacies whose applications have not yet been processed, say stakeholders. "We're hopeful that the agency will not take immediate action against pharmacies that are not accredited by Jan. 1, 2010," said Kevin Schweers, spokesman for the National Community...

Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

News

Some providers struggle in aftermath of new requirements

December 30, 2009HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - Delaware Valley Medical Supply, like hundreds if not thousands of HME providers, has been without a Medicare supplier number for months now, despite meeting CMS's accreditation and surety bond requirements in time. The Margaretville, N.Y.-based provider received a letter from the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) on Nov. 17, stating that its number had been revoked because it hadn't obtain a surety bond by the Oct. 1 deadline. Long story short: After numerous phone calls, the NSC...

Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

News

A look ahead at 2010: Prepare for a new compliance environment

December 30, 2009HME News Staff

YARMOUTH, Maine - This year-end, HME providers find themselves in a familiar place—preparing for a new year in which so many policies that can change their business plans remain unresolved. They also have a greater sense of urgency than in the past. Providers are struggling to meet the needs of patients whose oxygen equipment “capped” in 2009, and they are concerned about the future of their businesses under national competitive bidding. Congress, meanwhile, continues to debate...

Read Full Articlered right arrow icon

E-SP

Medicare may rob you blind but no need to let the Oxy addicts do it too

December 29, 2009Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

This one's from the kind of interesting file. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and RxPatrol, which tracks pharmacy crimes, recently released a 10-minute training video for pharmacy staff. Pharmacies, it appears, are subject to special pharmacy crimes. I have talked to one or two pharmacists in the past who have been robbed. Drugs exude an enticing pull after all. I suppose the "mom and pop" nature of many community pharmacies makes them seem like easy targets. The 10-minute...

Community Pharmacy, drugs, e-SP, Medicare, Medicare, NCPA, rxpatrol


Read Full Articlered right arrow icon