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Archive: January 2010


Executive Session

Just in from CMS: 14,078 HME providers quit billing Medicare between September 2009 and December 2009

January 29, 2010Mike Moran

Just in from CMS early this afternoon: The number of active DMEPOS suppliers who bill Medicare dropped from 106,707 on Sept. 1, 2009 to 92,629 on Dec. 1, 2009. That's a 13.2% reduction, and most likely reflects the number of providers who gave up their supplier numbers rather than become accredited by Medicare's Sept. 30, 2009 deadline. HME News solicited the data from CMS in early December via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Industry watchers surmised that thousands of providers would...

Blue Dog Coalition, David brooks, Executive Session


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On the Editor's Desk

Muscular Dystrophy Association cuts where it hurts

January 29, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I read this story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today about the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) cutting its $6-million-a-year wheelchair program due to a decrease in donations and a poor return on its investments, both results of the poor economy. The MDA used to provide grants of up to $2,000 for wheelchairs. Now people like 27-year-old Joey Feltner, who called the MDA after his manual wheelchair was stolen recently, can't afford a replacement. In addition to cutting its wheelchair program,...

budget cuts, Jerry Lewis, Muscular Dystrophy Association, On The Editor's Desk


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E-SP

Typo, math dyslexia or typical government officials? You be the judge

January 29, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

Did you listen to CMS' Open Door Forum last week? I did. Do you remember how CMS officials said they had added 220 NPIs to the PECOS enrollment records? And how callers questioned that tiny number? And how CMS officials stood by it? Well guess, what. Looks like that number was wrong after all. A CMS listserv forwarded to me this morning reminds folks that CMS has completed uploading 220,000 NPIs to PECOS. That's right, two-hundred-and-twenty thousand numbers, or 219,780 than they said last week. Small...

CMS, e-SP, hme, hme, hme, Medicare, Medicare, NPI, PECOS


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On the Editor's Desk

Andrew Davis: NRRTS's first consumer relations/advocacy intern

January 28, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The rehab industry continues to make strides strengthening its ties with the disability community. NRRTS announced today that it has appointed Andrew Davis, a wheelchair user, as its first consumer relations/advocacy intern. The organization has charged Davis, a Marietta, Ga., resident and graduate of Kennesaw University, with, first, learning about the industry's efforts to create a separate benefit for complex rehab and, then, educating disability groups about it. Executive Director Simon Margolis...

Andrew Davis, nrrts, nrrts, On The Editor's Desk


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Specialty Providers

Big deal: Infusion company sold for $343 million

January 28, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. - After a failed deal in 2008, it looks like Bob Cucuel has found a buyer for Critical Homecare Solutions (CHS). BioScrip, a specialty pharmacy organization, has agreed to pay $343 million for the company, it announced Jan. 25. "It's a good deal for both sides," said Michael Patton, a managing director with Provident Healthcare Partners, a Boston-based M&A firm. "BioScrip becomes much stronger in the infusion sector, and it also gives some complementary business lines to both companies...

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News

Fraud summit: 'We should have been more involved'

January 28, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON - Last week's National Summit on Health Care Fraud was billed as "the first national gathering on healthcare fraud between law enforcement and the private and public sectors," but AAHomecare didn't get a seat at the table until the last minute. Even then, the association was shut out of much of the proceedings. Here's what Michael Reinemer, AAHomecare's vice president of communications and policy, had to say about the association's disappointment and what it expects to come out of the...

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Specialty Providers

Sens. Baucus, Grassley urge CMS to use 'discretion' toward pharmacies

January 28, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A couple of marquee-name senators last week asked Medicare to cut some slack for pharmacies that have not gotten accredited. In a Jan. 26 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, urged "discretion" in enforcing the requirement. "They were concerned that CMS was going to start acting in a draconian fashion and crack down on pharmacies that haven't gone through accreditation," said...

accreditation, charles grassley, health care reform, kathleen sebelilus, max baucus, max baucus, national community pharmacists association, national community pharmacists association, NCPA, pharmacies


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News

OIG rips on HME documentation

January 28, 2010HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - About 50% of the time, the KX modifier does not ensure that HME providers have the required supporting documentation on file, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG examined 100 claims with the KX modifier from 2006 totaling $8,809. It found that providers didn't have the required documentation on file for 54 claims totaling $4,574. "Based on our sample, we estimated that Palmetto GBA (the DMERC for Jurisdiction C at the time) paid approximately...

Cigna, hme, hme, hme, KX modifier, office of inspector general, OIG


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Mobility

Apply now for specialty certification

January 28, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. - Assistive technology professionals (ATPs) can now apply to become seating and mobility specialists (SMSs). RESNA in January posted the application for the specialty certification to www.resna.org (click on "certification" then "seating and mobility certification"). "We've had inquiries from OTs, PTs, suppliers and even some academics," said Anjali Weber, an ATP and RESNA's director of certification, in January. Applicants for the specialty certification must have 1,000 hours of...

ATP, cindi petito, RESNA, seating and mobility specialist, SMS


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News

In brief: CMS posts NPI file, AAH disses fraud alert

January 28, 2010HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - CMS has posted a file that contains the national provider identifier (NPI) numbers and names of physician and non-physician practitioners with current enrollment records who are eligible to order and refer Medicare beneficiaries. The file can be viewed online or downloaded at www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareProviderSupEnroll. Click on "Ordering/Referring Report" on the left-hand side. The file contains about 800,000 records and will be updated periodically. The file can be searched by either...

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