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In brief: AAH survey, CR modifier, Option Care network 

In brief: AAH survey, CR modifier, Option Care network 

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare’s strategic priorities survey is live.   

The brief survey seeks input from all areas of the home medical equipment sector, including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, service providers and association executives. It will remain open through May 12.  

“Just as our health care system is changing, AAHomecare must evolve to support its wide range of stakeholders,” said Josh Marx, CEO of Medical Service Company and chairman of the association’s Strategic Planning Committee. “I’m excited for the work the committee is focusing on, culminating with our in-person session in July.”  

Data from the survey will help guide AAHomecare in setting industry and association priorities for the next two to three years.  

“The HME sector has tremendous potential to expand its role in the health care continuum by allowing seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible and providing more cost-effective modes of care across all patient cohorts,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president & CEO. “Our strategic planning process will help us better realize that vision, to the benefit of HME companies and the patients and caregivers we support.”  

Click here to take the anonymous survey.  

CMS OKs continued use of CR modifier 

WASHINGTON – The DME MACs have published new directions that state for claims impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, HME providers can continue to use the CR modifier and COVID-19 narrative for ongoing rental and supplies/accessories after the public health emergency ends on May 11, AAHomecare reports. 

The instructions rescind the announcement in an MLN Connects in March that directed providers to stop using the CR modifier after the end of the PHE. 

“To address concerns for continued claims payment of DMEPOS items provided during the PHE and to identify claims for supplies and accessories associated with DMEPOS items initially dispensed, rendered or otherwise impacted by the PHE, the DME MACs are instructing suppliers to continue the use of the CR modifier (Catastrophe/disaster related) and COVID-19 narrative,” the instructions state. “The CR Modifier and COVID-19 narrative can continue to be used for any DMEPOS item (ongoing rentals) and related supplies/accessories where the base item was initially dispensed, rendered or otherwise impacted by the PHE (dates of service on March 1, 2020, through May 11, 2023) and specifically excluded from enforcement of the clinical indications of coverage referenced in Interim Final Rules CMS-1744-IFC and CMS-5531-IFC. The use of the CR modifier and COVID-19 narrative is intended to allow the DME MACs to implement new system editing for PHE-dispensed DMEPOS items and provide the ability to identify these claims for future review, if indicated.” 

AAHomecare said the new instructions follow numerous communications between the association and the DME MAC Advisory Councils. 

Find the full instructions here.  

AAH expands payer relations team 

ARLINGTON, Va. – AAHomecare has added Alexis Ward as senior director of payer relations effective June 19 to bolster its advocacy capabilities in critical areas. Ward’s background in working with Medicaid authorities, managed care organizations (MCOs) and insurance companies will allow the association to broaden its work toward sustainable reimbursement and robust network access for HME providers among the increasingly important non-Medicare payers, the association says. “We’re thrilled to bring such an accomplished HME advocacy professional onto the AAHomecare team,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president and CEO. “Alexis earned her reputation as a highly effective and well-respected advocate through her work with two major companies in the HME sector and as a leader on our board of directors, Complex Rehab and Mobility Council (CRMC) and Regulatory Council.” Ward currently serves as vice president of payer relations for National Seating & Mobility. In addition to her involvement with AAHomecare, Ward is an NCART Executive Committee member and a board member of the Florida Alliance of Homecare Services and the Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers. She is also a former president of the Texas Rehab Providers’ Council. She currently resides in San Antonio, Texas. 

Next Day Access debuts in Dallas 

CELINA, Texas – Next Day Access has opened a new franchise location in Dallas-Celina co-owned by husband-and-wife Brien and Lesli Caldwell. Brien has a marketing degree and has 30 years of marketing experience across various industries, including airline, hospital and casino. Lesli has a psychology degree and recently retired from a 25-year career with Geico. “With this opportunity, we are most excited about having the chance to positively impact a person’s and even their family’s life,” said Brien, who will serve as vice president of Next Day Access Dallas-Celina. The new franchise will provide a wide range of accessibility and mobility solutions for residential and commercial customers. Its product line includes wheelchair ramps, in-home lifts, bathroom safety solutions, pool lifts, scooters and more. Next Day Access opened new franchise locations in Oak Brook, Ill., and Hamilton, Ontario, in March.   

VillageMD, COPD Foundation partner to raise awareness 

CHICAGO and MIAMI – Walgreens-backed VillageMD and the COPD Foundation have announced a partnership to better identify and treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Village Medical Practices. The partners aim to raise awareness through education and outreach campaigns to patients, help identify those with undiagnosed COPD and increase access to pulmonary rehabilitation, according to a press release. “Patients who are living with COPD struggle with ongoing discomfort, breathlessness and chronic coughs – and we have ways to help improve quality of life,” said Clive Fields, M.D., co-founder of VillageMD. “Through this partnership with the COPD Foundation, we will help our patients and at-risk populations manage or even prevent COPD through trusting patient-provider relationships, comprehensive care teams and expanded access to rehabilitation resources.” In the U.S., there are an estimated 15 million America adults with undiagnosed COPD, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. VillageMD received an additional $5.2 billion investment from Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021 to accelerate the opening of at least 400 Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices in more than 30 U.S. markets by 2025 and 1,000 by 2027. 

Repair Authority, Compass Health partner on repairs 

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Repair Authority has been selected by Compass Health Brands as its preferred repair partner for the truAIRE-5 stationary oxygen concentrator. This latest partnership brings the number of factory authorized warranty service center contracts that Repair Authority holds to nine, the most of any other repair company, it says. “We are honored to have been selected by Compass Health Brands as their preferred repair partner,” said Jess Keirn, CEO of Repair Authority. “We look forward to providing repair services to the HME dealers nationwide who are adding the truAIRE-5 to their fleets.” Per the partnership, Repair Authority will provider warranty repairs on the tru-AIRE-5 for HME dealers nationwide out of its three U.S. service centers. Repair Authority also has repair partnerships with Philips Respironics, Drive DeVilbiss, Invacare (now ReactHealth), ResMed, CAIRE, Rhythm Healthcare, Direct Supply and O2 Concepts. In addition to oxygen concentrators, the company repairs POCs, CPAP and BiPAP devices, ventilators, transfill systems and other home respiratory equipment at its 53,000-square-foot headquarters and service centers in Fort Worth, Texas, and Manchester, Tenn. 

Option Care forms home infusion network 

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. - Option Care Health has formed a nationwide home infusion nursing network and clinical platform called Naven Health that employs more than 1,500 nurses across the country with the ability to provide care in all 50 states. Option Care formed Naven Health as a wholly owned subsidiary through the acquisitions of Infinity Infusion Nursing in October 2021 and Specialty Pharmacy Nursing Network in April 2022. “Nurses are at the center of who we are at Naven Health,” said Chris Grashoff, senior vice president of new business ventures and head of Naven Health. “Our commitment is to deliver an exceptional infusion experience through our highly skilled nurses providing care nationwide. We will continue to invest in technology, training and capabilities and serve as a trusted resource for our customers, partners and patients.” Naven Health operates as an independent business unit and serves a broad array of infusion providers as a separate enterprise within Option Care Health. Amy Wright, RN, and Rebekah Kroner, founders of Infinity, and Tim Kingas, head of nursing operations for SPNN, serve on the leadership team of Naven Health. 


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