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Archive: April 2011


Vendors

Flowers reinvents himself

April 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

SEWELL, N.J. - As soon as Michael Flowers closed the door on one company, he opened the door on another. On April 4, Flowers simultaneously began winding down operations at Electric Mobility and began ramping up operations at Active Controls. Through his new company, Flowers plans to sell licenses to the technology that his Rascal scooters are known for, like stabilizer wheels, to other manufacturers. "I have 100,000 hours logged in developing products," Flowers said. "Because we're no longer competitors...

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Vendors

Electric Mobility settles with the FTC

April 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Is there a third reason that Electric Mobility will be ceasing operations sometime this summer? Electric Mobility recently settled with the Federal Trace Commission (FTC) over charges that it improperly used a "Win a Free Rascal" sweepstakes as a way to call 3 million people on the Do Not Call registry since 2003. "In small print under the part of the sweepstakes form provided for the entrant's phone number, EMC reminded consumers to list their numbers so the company could contact them if they...

Electric Mobility, FTC, telemarketing rules


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News

H.R. 1041: Industry efforts remain steadfast

April 28, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON - Industry stakeholders say they expect to see an uptick in sponsors for H.R. 1041 when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week. "We know people are calling (lawmakers)," said Wayne Stanfield, president of the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers. "We've had enough feedback that I think there will be a significant spike in co-sponsors." So far, H.R. 1041, the bill to repeal Medicare's national competitive bidding program, has 83 co-sponsors. A previous House...

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Mobility

CMS revises policy but leaves patients 'in limbo'

April 28, 2011Elizabeth Deprey

WASHINGTON - HME providers will once again be able to get partial reimbursement from CMS for certain power wheelchairs. In an April 28 bulletin, the DME MACs announced that they plan to reverse a Feb. 4 policy change that prevented providers from using advanced beneficiary notices (ABNs) for Group 2 scooters and Group 4 power wheelchairs. That's the good news. The bad news: The reversal won't take effect until June 1. "It's not good for those folks to be in limbo for another three months," said...

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Vendors

Electric Mobility's days are numbered

April 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

SEWELL, N.J. - Despite 35 years in business and a recent attempt to revive its dealer division, Electric Mobility began winding down operations in April. Owner Michael Flowers blames steep cuts to power wheelchair reimbursement in 2006 and the loss of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contract last year for the company's demise. "It was the combination of those losses over a five-year period," he said. "The loss of the VA contract was really the precipitating factor. That really shot us down." Electric...

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Providers

Q and A: Jim Clark

April 28, 2011Elizabeth Deprey

CATSKILL, N.Y. - Jim Clark wanted to find out if providers really do make a difference. So his company, Clark Respiratory and Medical Supply, conducted a study of 324 oxygen-dependent COPD patients during a 10-month time period to see if improved patient education had any effect on outcomes. What it found: Improved patient education reduced hospital re-admissions by 14.8%. Clark spoke with HME News recently about his findings and the increasing importance of evidence-based medicine. HME News:...

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Vendors

Earnings: Invacare, ResMed

April 28, 2011HME News Staff

Invacare posts 'solid' first quarter ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare last week reported net earnings of $7.45 million for the first quarter ended March 1, 2011, compared to $3.1 million for the same period last year. It reported net sales of $428.5 million vs. $402.2 million, a 6.5% increase. "Invacare is off to a solid start in 2011," stated President and CEO Gerald Blouch in a release. "Invacare is confident that the momentum from this quarter will continue to deliver positive results for its shareholders...

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News

In brief: RACs rake it in, Stribling leaves HME industry

April 28, 2011HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - So far this year, Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) have collected $162 million in overpayments, CMS said in a newsletter last week. And that's just for the first quarter, which also saw $22.6 million in underpayments returned. One big issue for home medical equipment providers: Billing for DMEPOS when the beneficiary is in a covered inpatient stay. To read the newsletter: http://www.cms.gov/RAC/Downloads/FFSNewsletter.pdf The van Halem Group adds compliance services ATLANTA - HC...

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On the Editor's Desk

Too much of a bad thing?

April 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I got an e-mail from a reader recently who tactfully expressed her disdain for the amount of coverage we were giving to competitive bidding. She feels she gets enough of this news from AAHomecare, The VGM Group and other groups, and it doesn't reflect the concerns and daily struggles of the average HME provider out there. Hmmm. I'm not going to deny we write a lot of stories about the program, especially in our HME NewsWire that goes out each Monday. And in previous blogs and editorials, I've gone...

competitive bidding, On The Editor's Desk


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Vendors

Invacare posts 'solid' first quarter

April 27, 2011HME News Staff

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare this week reported net earnings of $7.45 million for the first quarter ended March 1, 2011, compared to $3.1 million for the same period last year. It reported net sales of $428.5 million vs. $402.2 million, a 6.5% increase. "Invacare is off to a solid start in 2011," stated President and CEO Gerald Blouch in a release. "Invacare is confident that the momentum from this quarter will continue to deliver positive results for its shareholders in 2011." Net earnings were positively...

Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Invacare, Invacare


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