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Archive: November 2010


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Diabetes: What's in a name?

November 30, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

It's diabetes awareness month—oh wait. It just ended (where does the time go?). I digress. Among the usual awareness raising campaigns and events, alongside calls to arms, I mean action, against America's obesity—and therefore TYPE 2 epidemic—a little debate among those of us in the know seems to have picked up a bit of steam. The big question: Should TYPE 1 be renamed (one could as easily argue in favor of re-branding TYPE 2)? It's an interesting question. While I, and I think...

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Walking and rolling

November 30, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

I had an interesting chat with provider Bert Berns today. Berns has been in a wheelchair since 1982. When a person is first injured, he told me, it's hard to believe life isn't over. "No matter what they tell you," he said, 'that's eveybody's initial thought." But life isn't over. You just have to do things differently, said Berns. "It's rolling instead of walking," he told me. That might be a good thing for providers to keep in mind as they nervously await competitive bidding. If one can consider...

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On the Editor's Desk

A familiar foe: wheelchair pricing

November 30, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The Sun Sentinel in Florida took on wheelchair pricing this week in a feature it calls "Waste Watch: Investigating Where Our Tax Dollars Go." I probably don't have to tell you that the author of the article compared Medicare vs. Internet pricing for wheelchairs. She states, for example, that Medicare paid $800 for a provider to supply a manual wheelchair to the wife of one Alan Siegel of Fort Lauderdale, a wheelchair that any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy for $99 online. The author cites other low-hanging...

Internet, On The Editor's Desk, wheelchair pricing


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Vendors

Inova Labs gets picky with providers

November 30, 2010Mike Moran

AUSTIN, Texas - Inova Labs isn't going to sell its portable oxygen concentrator, LifeChoice, to just any old HME provider. "To the HME who says, 'I just want a couple of units,' the answer is, 'No,'" said President David Shockley. "I'm interested in the one who says, 'I agree. We need to change our business model. We need to go non-delivery. We have to expand. We have to add new patients. Let's do this together.' That is the company we are looking for." After a soft rollout in 2009, Inova Labs...

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Providers

Wright & Filippis drives down costs

November 29, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

ROCHESTER, Mich. - Wright & Filippis has a cab ride in Las Vegas to thank for a new initiative that will not only save the provider money but also make it more “green.” “Our leadership was attending Medtrade West three years ago and took a cab that was powered by propane,” said Tom Hopkins, the distribution and fleet manager at Wright & Filippis. “A.J. Filippis (president) came back and said, 'We should be looking into this.'” Fast forward to Medtrade in November,...

costs, delivery, environment, fuel


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Executive Session

These seniors give the Greatest Generation a bad name

November 24, 2010Mike Moran

It's the day before Thanksgiving so I don't want to tee off on anyone—at least not excessively. But really, what's up with some seniors out there? They are giving the "Greatest Generation" a bad name. I say this after reading through a recent HME News Poll. According to this poll, an overwhelming majority of providers—92%—report that their customers are having more trouble paying out of pocket this year than last year. That makes sense. Most seniors are on fixed incomes and with...

Executive Session


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On the Editor's Desk

Separate benefit for complex rehab: Heard at Medtrade

November 24, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

During an update at Medtrade on the separate benefit for complex rehab, attendees were given the chance to ask questions of  steering committee members, including Don Clayback, chairman of the committee and executive director of NCART. I always find it interesting to hear what providers are concerned about. Here are a few of their questions and Clayback's answers. Will the benefit include additional accreditation requirements for complex rehab providers? Clayback says if providers are accredited...

On The Editor's Desk, separate benefit for complex rehab


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Vendors

Bariatrics offers 'potentially explosive' growth

November 23, 2010Mike Moran

BRYAN, Ohio - The market for bariatric HME products shows no signs of slowing down, and no one knows that better than the folks at Gendron, who in October moved into a new assembly facility for the second time in five years. The old facility spanned 60,000 square feet; the new one, 100,000 square feet. "Right now about 34% of the U.S. population is considered obese," said Gendron CEO Steve Cotter. "Looking forward, over the next five years, it's estimated that number will go up to 75%." Gendron specializes...

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News

New competitive bidding study: 'Things are not all fine and dandy'

November 23, 2010Mike Moran

ELYRIA, Ohio - A new analysis of Medicare's competitive bidding program paints a bleak picture of the winning bidders and raises concerns that many may not be qualified or have the financial resources to adequately serve beneficiaries. "We'll be hitting the Hill heavily next week with this information," said Cara Bachenheimer, Invacare's senior vice president of government relations. "We think it's important for members of Congress to see the full picture. All they hear is CMS's side and the fact...

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News

Competitive bidding: Administrative delay 'focus of attention'

November 23, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON - With the industry's chances of repealing competitive bidding before Jan. 1 looking slim to none, HME stakeholders are pursuing an administrative delay of the program. "The association has always been trying to stop this program because of its fatal flaws, either through legislation or an administrative delay," said Walt Gorski, vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare. "It has become increasingly more difficult to believe that the program can be stopped legislatively because...

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