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Tag: COVID-19 Pandemic


News

OIG: ‘Telehealth was critical during pandemic’ 

March 21, 2022HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – More than two in five Medicare beneficiaries, or 28 million, used telehealth during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General.  In total, beneficiaries used 88 times more telehealth services during the first year of the pandemic than they used in the prior year, the OIG found.  “Telehealth was critical for providing services to Medicare beneficiaries during the first year of the pandemic,”...

COVID-19 Pandemic, OIG, Telehealth


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Dan Starck

Providers

Apria CEO: ‘2021 was a banner year’ 

February 28, 2022HME News Staff

INDIANAPOLIS – Apria Healthcare has reported net revenue of $296.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, up 0.9% compared to the same period in 2020. Net income was $17 million vs. $25.9 million, down 34.5%.  The company reported net revenue of $1.15 billion for the full year 2021, up 3.3% compared to full year 2020. Net income was $64.9 million vs. $46.1 million, up 40.6%.  “We reported solid fourth quarter financial results and 2021 was a good year for Apria,”...

Apria Healthcare, COVID-19 Pandemic, Financial Results, Philips Recall


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Providers struggle with staffing shortages due to COVID-19

News

Providers struggle with staffing shortages due to COVID-19

January 21, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

YARMOUTH, Maine – HME companies are struggling to maintain business as usual amid the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 42% of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll saying 6% to 10% of their staff is in quarantine.  Another 23% say 11% to 20% of their staff is in quarantine.  “Staffing is precarious already, that an absence is devastating to workflow,” wrote one respondent. “We can only care for customers; billing is waiting. Our staff is also very...

COVID-19 Pandemic, Home Medical Equipment, Labor shortage


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On the Editor's Desk

Tug of war on utilization

December 22, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

I got a reminder recently that I’ve been meaning to log into the HME Databank to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on utilization for respiratory equipment, particularly ventilators and oxygen concentrators.  The Databank, if you’re not familiar, is a database of Medicare data on some of the most popular DMEPOS codes. It includes total Medicare spend by code for all the codes included in the competitive bidding program and more. The most recent year for which it has data:...

COVID-19 Pandemic, Medicare utilization, Oxygen Concentrators


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CMR: ‘You ensure no one is left behind’

Editorial

CMR: ‘You ensure no one is left behind’

October 29, 2021Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Editor’s note: The following is a message that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave to the attendees of the Virtual AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference on Sept. 29.  I’d like to start by saying thank you to everyone here for your tremendous work during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more than a year now, you’ve joined doctors and nurse across the country working around the clock to care for the sick and save lives. Many of you have been going to work each day putting your...

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, COVID-19 Pandemic, Home Medical Equipment


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Also Noted

HHS extends PHE

October 18, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for another 90 days from Oct. 18. There are a number of HME-related provisions tied to the PHE, including Medicare’s 75/25 blended rates for non-rural, non-competitive bidding areas, and telehealth and other policy waivers. Becerra will next consider an extension in January 2022.  

COVID-19 Pandemic, Public Health Emergency


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News

Administration expands vaccination requirements for health care settings

September 13, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The Biden-Harris administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities, including HME providers, to protect both them and patients from the virus and its more contagious Delta variant, CMS announced on Sept. 9.  CMS, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says emergency regulations requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include hospitals, dialysis...

COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19 Vaccine, mandate, Requirement


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Starck reflects on pandemic

Providers

Starck reflects on pandemic

August 31, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in early 2020, Apria, like most other companies, had no idea what to expect, says CEO Dan Starck.  “It’s been an interesting 17 months,” he said. “We’re still observing all things related to good practice, PPE, contactless delivery. We’re contemplating bringing people back at some point, but that’s the exception right now.”  Starck spoke with HME News recently, reflecting on lessons learned...

Apria Healthcare, COVID-19 Pandemic, Dan Starck, Home Medical Equipment


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News

PHE extended through October

July 20, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – Xavier Becerra, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, on Monday extended the public health emergency from July 20 for another 90 days.  There are several HME-related provisions tied to the PHE, including:  Medicare’s 75/25 blended reimbursement rates for non-rural, non-competitive bidding areas  Waivers of the coverage criteria and face-to-face requirements for respiratory therapy  Reimbursement for telehealth services...

COVID-19 Pandemic, Public Health Emergency


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On the Editor's Desk

Sheer will and goodwill

May 11, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Being the recipient of Google Alerts for “oxygen concentrator” is a scary and sad place to be right now.  I have these alerts set up for a number of key terms in the HME industry – think “sleep therapy” and “home infusion” and “AdaptHealth” and “Invacare.” They’re delivered to my email inbox every afternoon.  Recent alerts for “oxygen concentrator” have been almost exclusively related to...

Coronavirus, Council for Quality Respiratory Care, COVID-19 Pandemic, CQRC, Home oxygen therapy, Oxygen Concentrator, Reimbursement relief


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