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Archive: September 2010


News

Lawmakers break for recess without names of winning bidders

September 30, 2010Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON - September is over, Congress has gone home and, at press time on Friday, the HME industry was still waiting for CMS to release the names of the providers who won contracts for national competitive bidding. "We're very concerned that CMS has not yet released the names," said Walt Gorski, vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare. "They have the names--just let them out." CMS released the winning bid amounts in July and it was scheduled to release the names of the winning bidders...

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News

Q and A: Economist slams bidding program

September 30, 2010Mike Moran

YARMOUTH, Maine - Economist Peter Cramton has studied and created competitive bidding programs for 20 years and when it comes to Medicare's bidding program for DME, he doesn't mince words: "It will be a disaster." The University of Maryland economist played a lead role in writing a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee last month, pointing out the flaws in the program. His views were also published in The New York Times last week. Essentially, the DME bidding program should be scrapped and...

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Providers

Rotech shows signs of 'strength'

September 30, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - It looks like Rotech Healthcare will succeed in selling $230 million in senior secured notes--a sign, industry sources say, that Wall Street hasn't completely abandoned the HME industry. On Sept. 27, Rotech announced that it intended to offer $225 million in notes. Two days later, Thomson Reuters, a financial news service, reported that the provider had lined up buyers for $230 million in notes at an 11.5% yield. "I think it's a sign of strength that they're able to do this," said...

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Mobility

Rehab report: Lawmakers send message on first-month purchase option, committee revamps separate benefit

September 30, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON - House and Senate lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have put their names behind the industry's effort to delay elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs. On Sept. 24, a letter signed by 46 representatives was sent to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees. A week later, on Oct. 1, a letter signed by seven senators was sent to leaders of the Finance Committee. "They both convey bipartisan support for this and that's...

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News

More competitive bidding: Hospital exception frustrates providers

September 30, 2010Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON - A provision tucked away in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) that makes an exception for hospitals from competitive bidding came back to haunt HME providers recently. CMS released an MLN Matters article on Sept. 21 that stated hospitals, whether or not they have been awarded a competitive bidding contract, will be able to furnish walkers and "related accessories" to their patients when the program kicks off Jan. 1, 2011. Even though the provision is not...

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News

In brief: Anti-fraud efforts gain momentum, MedForce launches online store

September 30, 2010HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - Two bills that seek to reduce Medicare fraud and abuse are working their way through Congress, AAHomecare reported to members last week. S. 2128, a bill introduced by Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., that would require CMS to implement a real-time data monitoring technology to analyze and detect fraudulent claims before they're paid, was included in a larger bill for small business lending that recently passed the House and Senate. It awaits the president's signature. H.R. 6130, a bill introduced...

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News

Medtrade renews commitment to industry

September 30, 2010John Andrews

Medtrade Show Director Kevin Gaffney can't stress enough that this year's event is about one thing above all: Commitment to the HME industry. As various external forces weigh heavily upon Medtrade's core attendees, Gaffney wants them to know that show organizers are doing everything in their power to support them during these turbulent times. He recently spoke with HME News about how Medtrade is focused on presenting attendees with the best programs possible to help them overcome the challenges they...

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Frank Margulis: Don't make my mistakes

September 30, 2010Amanda Estes

Like most HME providers, Frank Margulis thought he understood the rules. Then he was charged with obstructing a Medicare audit. In 2005, he was sentenced to five months in a federal prison camp and five months of house arrest. Now a free man, Margulis will share his story during his Medtrade session, "Avoiding Legal Landmines: Lessons Learned the Hard Way." HME News: What was the basis of the lawsuit? Frank Margulis: When we gathered CMNs for a routine audit, we noticed that only the first line...

CMNs, Fraud, Fraud, Medicare, Medicare


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Frank Margulis: Don't make my mistakes

September 30, 2010Amanda Estes

Like most HME providers, Frank Margulis thought he understood the rules. Then he was charged with obstructing a Medicare audit. In 2005, he was sentenced to five months in a federal prison camp and five months of house arrest. Now a free man, Margulis will share his story during his Medtrade session, "Avoiding Legal Landmines: Lessons Learned the Hard Way." HME News: What was the basis of the lawsuit? Frank Margulis: When we gathered CMNs for a routine audit, we noticed that only the first line...

frank margulis, Fraud, Fraud, Medicare, Medicare, Medtrade, Medtrade


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Amy Leopard: Consider joint ventures

September 30, 2010Amanda Estes

What can providers gain by teaming up with the competition? Efficiency and stability, says attorney Amy Leopard, who has seen a growing trend in merger alternatives, such as joint bidding or networking and subcontracting. Leopard will identify the benefits and challenges of affiliation in "Joint Ventures, Subcontracting and Merger Alternatives for HMEs" at Medtrade. HME News: Why are joint ventures, subcontracting and merger alternatives relevant to providers right now? Amy Leopard:  With...

amy leopard, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Medtrade, Medtrade


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