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Stakeholders dig into recently released bid data 

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Stakeholders dig into recently released bid data 

January 22, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders are still digging through the Round 2021 data that CMS furnished late on Jan. 15 and trying to figure out what’s behind the sometimes drastic variance in payment amounts.  For example, the amount for an oxygen concentrator was $72.36 in Akron, Ohio, but $189 in Chicago. The amount for CPAP devices was $38 in Oxnard, Calif., but $110.80 in Las Vegas. (Click here for more examples.) “It’s difficult to say...

competitive bidding, payment amounts, pivotal bids, Round 2021


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Providers scramble to keep up 

January 22, 2021Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

YARMOUTH, Maine – Eighty-six percent of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they’re running low on oxygen concentrators, and 88% say they're having difficulty obtaining more.  “Hospitals are full and discharging (COVID-19) patients to complete their recovery with home oxygen therapy,” wrote one respondent. “We are struggling to keep up with the supply and demand due to long delays in shipping of ordered products.”  The...

coronavirus outbreak, HME NewsPoll, inventory, oxygen concentrators


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In brief: Initial appointments, guilty pleas, online showroom 

January 22, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - Liz Richter has been named acting administrator of CMS and Norris Cochran has been named acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Richter is an agency veteran who has worked at CMS since 1990, most recently as deputy center director for the Center for Medicare. She began in the Bureau of Policy Development working on inpatient hospital payment policy. She subsequently worked on a variety of Medicare payment issues. She has also served as director of the...

CMS administrator, medicare fraud, RehabPulse


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Biden names acting CMS administrator, HHS secretary 

January 21, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON - Liz Richter has been named acting administrator of CMS and Norris Cochran has been named acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Richter is an agency veteran who has worked at CMS since 1990, most recently as deputy center director for the Center for Medicare. She began in the Bureau of Policy Development working on inpatient hospital payment policy. She subsequently worked on a variety of Medicare payment issues. She has...

CMS, HHS, Liz Richter, Norris Cochran, President Biden


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OIG, CMS disagree on usefulness of certain CERT data 

January 20, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS and its contractors did not use CERT data to identify providers with higher error rates, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General.  Using CERT data, the OIG identified 100 “error-prone” providers from 2014 through 2017. Of the $5.8 million reviewed by CERT, $3.5 million was incorrect, an improper payment rate of 60.7%. During the same period, Medicare made $19.1 billion in fee-for-service payments to those same providers.  These...

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CMS shares bid pricing for Round 2021

January 15, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – CMS tonight released a “pivotal bid report” for Round 2021, in response to requests to share additional information on its latest round of the competitive bidding program. In the Las Vegas competitive bid area for example, the pivotal bid for CPAP devices, E601, was $110.80, a difference of 157.4% compared to the former CBA adjusted fee schedule amount. “CMS anticipates that this information will be helpful for stakeholders and other interested parties in...

competitive bidding, Round 2021


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In brief: Vent study, Itamar acquisition, PHE extension 

January 15, 2021HME News Staff

LAFAYETTE, La. – Viemed Healthcare has published a study that shows non-invasive ventilation at home improves survival and decreases health care utilization in Medicare beneficiaries with COPD with chronic respiratory failure.  “This study is the first of its kind published in the U.S. and represents a significant milestone in our mission of educating the medical community on the benefits of NIVH,” said Casey Hoyt, Viemed CEO. “The data supports...

Itamar, public health emergency, ventilator


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Sleep, oxygen patient volumes to improve in 2021, survey shows 

January 12, 2021HME News Staff

NEW YORK – Providers expect high-single digit growth in sleep patient volumes in the next year, according to Needham’s “1Q21 HME Oxygen and Sleep Survey.”  Respondents saw their sleep patient volume increase by only 0.8% in the last 12 months but expect it to grow by 7.6% over the next 12 months, the survey says. These rates are mixed from the prior survey results of 5.5% and 5%, respectively.  Overall, respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has...

home oxygen therapy, Oxygen, patient volumes, sleep therapy


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PHE extended through April

January 12, 2021HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the public health emergency for another three months. On Jan. 7, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced the extension of the PHE, which was set to expire Jan. 21. HHS extended the PHE, originally declared on Jan. 31, 2020, multiple times last year. There are several HME-related provisions tied to the PHE, including Medicare’s 75/25 blended reimbursement rates in non-rural, non-competitive bidding areas; and...

coronavirus outbreak, public health emergency


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The case for relief in former bid areas 

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The case for relief in former bid areas 

January 8, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

WASHINGTON – In recent comments to CMS’s DMEPOS proposed rule, AAHomecare introduced the idea of a 90/10 blended reimbursement rate in the former competitive bidding areas. Here’s what Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for the association, had to say about what stakeholders hope will be a “reasonable” ask – to base rates in those areas 90% on the current rates and 10% on the 2015 unadjusted fee schedule –...

aahomecare, HOme medical equipment, kim brummett


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