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Archive: July 2011


On the Editor's Desk

A clue about consolidation?

July 29, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Each year, we publish a State of the Industry Report full of data that gives you a snapshot of the industry from year to year. (Go here to download last year's report.) Well, the data for this year's report is starting to trickle in, and just today I received data from CMS on the number of DMEPOS suppliers that bill Medicare in these five categories: less than $300,000 per year; $300,000 to $1 million; $1 million to $3 million; $3 million to $10 million; and more than $10 million. The number of providers...

consolidation, data, Medicare, Medicare, On The Editor's Desk


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Vendors

Net sales are up 8.3% at Invacare

July 28, 2011HME News Staff

ELYRIA, Ohio - Invacare put smiles on the faces of its investors last week. Invacare has reported net earnings of $10.7 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011, compared to a net loss of $600,000 for the same period last year. Earnings were positively impacted by a tax settlement in Germany that allowed the manufacturer to pocket about $5.1 million. Adjusted net earnings were $14.7 million vs. $12.7 million Net sales were $466.4 million for the second quarter this year compared to $430.8...

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News

Debt talks dampen efforts

July 28, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON  With lawmakers consumed by the looming debt-ceiling crisis, there wasn't a lot of movement last week on HME issues, including repealing competitive bidding. "It's like somebody threw a wet blanket on everybody here," said Walt Gorski, vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare. "Nothing is happening other than debt ceiling talks." At press time, both House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., were still trying to advance their respective...

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Vendors

Providers need to rip complexities out of their businesses

July 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

ELYRIA, Ohio - HME manufacturers and providers alike need to be strategic, not tactical, thinkers if they want to survive the next few years, says Invacare's Carl Will. Will, senior vice president, global commercial operations, offered up this example at Invacare Media Day last week to point out the difference: If I'm a provider, when I'm thinking tactically, the question is, how can I squeeze more out of an oxygen concentrator; when I'm thinking strategically, it's, why am I delivering at all? "Survival...

durable medical equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Home Medical Equipment, Invacare, Invacare


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Specialty Providers

AAHomecare: Create quality standards for negative pressure

July 28, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON - If CMS includes negative pressure wound therapy in future rounds of competitive bidding, the agency must create additional quality standards for the product category, AAHomecare told lawmakers last week. Standards would help to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive quality care and treatment, says Carol Laumer, who served on an AAHomecare task force that has developed guidelines for providing NPWT. "It does take something extra," said Laumer, executive director of Willmar, Minn.-based...

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Mobility

Stakeholders ramp up advocacy for standing wheelchairs

July 28, 2011Elizabeth Deprey

LEBANON, Tenn. - Determined industry stakeholders continue to work to convince Medicare that standing equipment is medically necessary for some patients. Stakeholders have long argued that standers and standing wheelchairs have medical benefits for patients. Currently, however, Medicare denies payment for the equipment, saying it's not medically necessary. "It's not reasonable to say, across the board, that it's not medically necessary," said Jennifer Finger, in-house counsel for Permobil, a Lebanon,...

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Vendors

Providers need to rip 'complexities out of their businesses'

July 28, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

ELYRIA, Ohio - HME manufacturers and providers alike need to be strategic, not tactical, thinkers if they want to survive the next few years, says Invacare's Carl Will. Will, senior vice president, global commercial operations, offered up this example at Invacare Media Day last week to point out the difference: If I'm a provider, when I'm thinking tactically, the question is, how can I squeeze more out of an oxygen concentrator; when I'm thinking strategically, it's, why am I delivering at all? "Survival...

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News

In brief: Officials testify on improper claims, MedPAC releases spending report

July 28, 2011HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The HME industry did not escape scrutiny when a House Subcommittee held a hearing last week on improper Medicare payments. Officials from the Office of Inspector General, CMS and the Government Accountability Office gave testimony on what contributed to the government paying out $47.9 billion in improper payments in 2010. "Some but not all improper payments are the result of fraud," Daniel R. Levinson, OIG's Inspector General told the subcommittee, in prepared remarks. Government officials...

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On the Editor's Desk

'We make life's experiences possible'

July 26, 2011Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Invacare's Lou Slangen has a question for you: How would you describe what HME manufacturers and providers do? If your answer is, "Well, they make and provide power wheelchairs and other home medical equipment," try again. "We need to get out of this box business and get to what we really do," said Slangen, senior vice president of corporate marketing and chief product officer, during day two of Invacare Media Day. "We make life's experiences possible." "We make life's experiences possible" is the...

Invacare Media Day, On The Editor's Desk


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Specialty Providers

Create quality standards for negative pressure, says AAHomecare

July 26, 2011Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON - If CMS includes negative pressure wound therapy in future rounds of competitive bidding, then the agency must create additional quality standards for the category, says AAHomecare. In a letter to lawmakers yesterday, AAHomecare asked members of Congress to press CMS to create the standards as an appendix to current DMEPOS standards, to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive quality care and treatment. The letter further urges lawmakers to support a July 18 Dear Colleague letter...

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