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In brief: Sequester cuts, CPI-U adjustment, 3B’s authorization 

In brief: Sequester cuts, CPI-U adjustment, 3B’s authorization 

WASHINGTON – Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and David McKinley, R-West Va., have introduced legislation to prevent Medicare reimbursement cuts to health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, AAHomecare reports. H.R. 8840, the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act, would continue to pause the 2% Medicare sequester cuts through the public health emergency. “Suspending the 2% Medicare sequester cut has been especially helpful to the home medical equipment community, given significant rate reductions our industry has faced over the past decade,” AAHomecare stated in a bulletin. In March, Congress halted the 2% cuts through Dec. 31, 2020. Earlier this year, AAHomecare joined a coalition of 34 major medical groups calling on Congress to extend this relief. The association is urging HME providers and other stakeholders to contact their legislators and ask them to support H.R. 8840. 

CPI-U adjustment ‘not connected to reality,’ AAH says 

WASHINGTON – CMS has announced a 0.6% CPI-U adjustment to the 2021 DMEPOS fee schedule for products previously subject to competitive bidding provided in bid areas, AAHomecare reports. The adjustment for suppliers in rural and other non-bid areas in expected to be even less, the association says. “A less-than-1% price increase for 2021 is another example of a Medicare reimbursement methodology for HME that is not connected to the economic reality suppliers face,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president & CEO. AAHomecare warned: “A reimbursement structure that isn’t connected to the cost and operational environment that our supplies face is ultimately going to force highly capable and experience companies to stop serving Medicare beneficiaries. That would be a disaster for patients, caregivers and other health care professionals, as well as for Medicare budgets.” 

Numotion snags LUCI distribution agreement 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - A new national distribution agreement makes Numotion the first U.S. partner for LUCI’s smart technology for power wheelchairs, the companies say. “LUCI is the most interesting, truly innovative CRT product to come to market for some time,” said Mike Swinford, CEO of Numotion. “This groundbreaking technology opens doors to independence for wheelchair users and parents/caregivers who have safety concerns regarding power mobility.” LUCI officially launched in July after three years of development. Its technology uses a patented sensor-fusion safety system to combine data from cameras, ultrasonics and radar into a single, 360-degree view of the world. Through the agreement, Numotion’s team of more than 500 ATPs will have access to LUCI educational materials, resources and expertise to help equip eligible users with the product.  

3B Medical’s Lumin receives authorization 

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – 3B Medical announced on Dec. 3 that it has received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for health care workers to use its Lumin to sanitize and reuse N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company designed the Lumin to use ultraviolet light to sanitize CPAP accessories, but it’s a multi-use sanitizer. “Being able to reuse an N95 mask quickly and effortlessly is a game changer for allowing health care workers to remain safe,” said Alex Lucio, CEO of 3B Medical. “Lumin is fast and easy to use, and we are glad the device could be repurposed to meet that need in this crisis.” The authorization follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recognition of ultraviolet light as a potential means of decontaminating N95 respirators, if the proper wavelength and irradiance dose is used. Ultraviolet light was reportedly first used to decontaminate N95 respirators during the pandemic by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  

VGM publishes playbook on data 

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM & Associates has released the final installment of its 2020 playbook series: “Turn Data into Revenue.” This playbook focuses on how to analyze data about your business and how to transform that analysis into action. Topics include increasing your response rate by implementing relevant marketing through personalized direct mail and variable data; implementing, optimizing and maintaining a customer relationship management system to improve efficiencies and drive key performance indicators; and leveraging visualization and tools to help interpret data and make decisions. “We’ve all heard that data is key to helping our business and the entire industry succeed,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “But what are the best practices for analyzing data and even further, what exactly can you do with it to make better business decisions? These questions are why our experts at VGM & Associates have come together to provide our final playbook of 2020.” VGM members can download their copy at, or by logging into the members portal and downloading it from the playbook tab. 

Quantum Rehab launches commercial 

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab began airing a new commercial for its Stretto wheelchair base nationwide on Dec. 7. The company developed the commercial after learning from a focus group that consumers want more information about their options before meeting with their therapists and ATPs. The star of the commercial is 20-year-old Bryson Foster, a brand ambassador for Quantum, who describes what the Stretto can do and how it has given him more freedom. “When it comes to power chairs, I know what I want because I have been driving one my entire life,” he explains in the commercial.The Stretto, launched earlier this year, allows for all power positioning functions in a much narrower footprint than most Group 3 wheelchairs. 

Joint Active Systems, New England Orthotics & Prosthetics agree to pay $1.59M 

BOSTON – Joint Active Systems, a national DME provider, has agreed to pay $1.5 million and New England Orthotics & Prosthetics has agreed to pay $90,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by improperly charging the government for custom-fabricated orthotics.  The government contends that JAS recruited NEOPS to improperly bill state Medicaid programs for JAS devices when JAS did not have participation agreements with those programs. Under the arrangement, NEOPS billed those programs for JAS devices as custom-fabricated orthotics when the devices were neither orthotics nor custom-fabricated, and when custom-fabricated devices were not medically necessary. NEOPS claimed to the Medicaid programs that it treated the patients receiving the JAS devices when, in fact, JAS-affiliated sales reps who lacked the training and certifications necessary under certain state regulations measured, fitted and delivered the devices. After submitting false claims, NEOPS received reimbursement from the Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island Medicaid programs, and remitted a portion back to JAS. The government also contends that JAS billed the Medicare program for custom-fabricated orthotics that did not qualify as orthotics; and JAS overcharged the Department of Veterans Affairs for its devices. 

Short takes: Power seat elevation, Ability Members Group 

CMS has officially “accepted as complete” the ITEM Coalition’s request for reconsideration of the national coverage determination for mobility assistive equipment to include power seat elevation and standing systems, according to NCART. The agency must now make a benefit category determination for these technologies and designate them as DME, before moving forward with the development of coding, fee schedules and local coverage determinations...Toronto, Ontario-based Ability Members Group has expanded into Quebec with the addition of Maison Andre Viger to its membership. Maison Andre Viger has three locations in Montreal and one in Quebec City, bringing Ability Members Group’s up to 74 locations across Canada, pushing it closer to its goal of 100-plus locations. 


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