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Archive: March 2012


On the Editor's Desk

All pep, no whine

March 30, 2012Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I'll admit that it kind of irked me when one of our readers posted a comment to our website that called HME News "Medicare Whine Central." The reason for that lovely moniker: The plethora of stories we write on competitive bidding. The reader's right, of course. While I'm not going to defend our coverage of competitive bidding , as I feel like I've done that many, many times before, I do think it's worth repeating that HME News is often a mere reflection of the prevalent mood of HME providers at...

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News

Round 2: Last minute double-checking and second-guessing

March 30, 2012HME News Staff

BALTIMORE - The bid window for Round 2 officially closed on Friday night, and industry sources say, for the most part, the system worked smoothly. "Considering the number of people that are bidding, I have personally heard of very few issues," said Wayne Stanfield, president and CEO of NAIMES. "From a technical standpoint, the system is working very well." That's a good thing, because at this point in the game, no issue is minor, said Walt Gorski, vice president of government relations for AAHomecare,...

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Mobility

Template for power wheelchairs holds promise

March 30, 2012Elizabeth Deprey

WASHINGTON - CMS's decision to develop a template to help physicians with documentation for power wheelchairs has been a long time coming, industry stakeholders say. To say that providers, ever since CMS changed the documentation requirements for power wheelchairs in 2006, have struggled to get adequate documentation from physicians is a severe understatement, they say. "I think it's a big step in the right direction," said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products....

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Vendors

Device tax: HME manufacturers strategize

March 30, 2012Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON - Will HME manufacturers spread the pain of a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices? A new report from Emergo Group predicts that a good number of them could. It surveyed 284 CEOs, presidents and managing directors at medical device companies and found that 52% of them plan to pass along some or all of the increased costs associated with the tax, which is scheduled to go into effect January 2013, to their customers. HME News in March asked four HME manufacturers about their plans for tackling...

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Vendors

CMS: One step closer to dropping certain TENS coverage

March 30, 2012Liz Beaulieu, Editor

BALTIMORE - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic lower back pain now has two strikes against it. Strike 2: CMS in March issued a proposed NCD that essentially eliminates Medicare coverage for TENS for chronic lower back pain unless the patients using the devices are enrolled in an approved prospective clinical study, something called "coverage with evidence development." It will accept comments on the proposed NCD until April 12. "Obviously, we're disappointed, but we're...

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Medtrade West

Medtrade Spring preview: Take a leadership position on re-admissions

March 30, 2012Jennifer Keirn

LAS VEGAS - Starting in 2015, hospital systems will face tough new regulations designed to reduce re-admissions of COPD patients, and HME providers can be highly influential in achieving that goal, says Thomas Williams. So why not approach referral sources now and take a leadership position in a re-admission solution? Williams is a sales and marketing consultant who's worked in both HME and hospital management, and who will speak at Medtrade Spring. Here's a preview. HME News: How do you suggest...

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News

In brief: ACA decision affects HME, Merits comments on FDA investigation

March 30, 2012HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could have significant repercussions for the HME industry, according to AAHomecare. After three days of oral arguments, the association noted in a bulletin last week that there are numerous HME-related provisions in the ACA, and if the Supreme Court rules that the entire act is unconstitutional, those provisions would be eliminated. The Supreme Court has two other options: It could rule the act...

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News

HME's future tied to Affordable Care Act's fate

March 29, 2012HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act could have significant repercussions for the HME industry, according to AAHomecare. After three days of oral arguments, the association noted in a bulletin on Thursday that there are numerous HME-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and if the Supreme Court rules that the act is unconstitutional, those provisions would be eliminated. The Supreme Court has two other options: It could rule...

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On the Editor's Desk

A Jet Blue flight to Vegas, then lights, camera, action

March 28, 2012Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Like many of you, I'm heading to Las Vegas in less than two weeks for Medtrade Spring. I have reservations about this, but it has nothing to do with the show, which I know will be great! My reservations are heretofore: 1.) I'm flying Jet Blue, which was more appealing before this happened. Mind you, you're reading the words of a person who: shows up at the airport at least two hours early (with no exceptions, even when departing from PWM, you know, Portland, Maine); who, upon sitting in her seat,...

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Providers

Provider makes big donation

March 28, 2012Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

CINCINNATI - Matt Schuh had never had surgery in his life, but when he finally went under the knife, it was a doozy. The 43-year old marketing rep for Cincinnati-based Pro2 Respiratory Services donated a kidney to a childhood friend, Scott Crawford, with kidney disease. "He calls and tells me his kidneys aren't good and there's a good chance he will need a transplant," said Schuh, who in March marked the one-year anniversary of the transplant. "I knew right then that I was the one that was supposed...

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