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On the Editor's Desk


On the Editor's Desk

A fine line 

May 18, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Am I the only one getting CPAP shortage vibes from the baby formula shortage?  I’m not going to lie. The formula shortage wasn’t fully on my radar until recently. With a seven-year-old, my days of buying formula are long over. But seven years ago, it would have been a different story, as my daughter was 100% formula fed. (My breastfeeding story, by the way, is not uncommon. Difficulty with latching. Supply issues with pumping. There is no shame here.)  I can’t imagine...

Consolidation, CPAP recall, CPAP shortage


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Silos, recall and more

April 19, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The most read stories of the first quarter of 2022 point to a lot of changes in the HME industry right now.  Our No. 1 most read story, “Owens & Minor buys Apria, reaches deeper into home care,” points to an accelerating trend in the larger health care industry where vertical silos are disintegrating. Here, we see a global distributor and logistics company buy an HME provider (this follows its previous acquisition of Byram Healthcare). These kinds of deals have happened before,...

CPAP recall, health care silos, Oxygen NCD


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To be continued ...

March 17, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

When we included a Q&A with Josh Britten in our HME Newswire in February, I wasn’t surprised it resonated with readers. Britten, CEO of BritKare Home Medical, shared his battle to get back nearly $650,000 in denied Medicare claims – a battle that took him six years and more than $100,000 in legal and consultant fees. One provider responded to the story on Twitter by writing: “When you incentivize claims denial as a means of revenue generation you will find reasons to deny...

Administrative Law Judge, Josh Britten, Medicare appeals, Wayne van Halem


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What's the Advantage?

February 16, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

When I think about hot topics in health care these days, the escalating adoption of Medicare Advantage is at the top of the list. Enrollment in MA plans has more than doubled in the last 10 years to about 24 million in 2020, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 42% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in MA plans in 2021, KFF says.   Seema Verma, the former CMS Administrator, told HME News in October that, “We should see greater adoption in Medicare Advantage plans,...

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Think about it

January 12, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Well, 2022 is certainly starting off with a bang. The first rumblings that big things are going to happen this year was an announcement on Jan. 6 by Stryker that it plans to acquire Vocera Communications. This does not have a direct impact on the HME industry, per se, but it does speak to large players in mostly the acute care space getting more serious about extending their reach beyond hospitals. Stryker said Vocera brings a portfolio of products to address “the increasing need for...

Apria, Baxter International, Cardinal Health, Medically Home, Owens & Minor, Stryker, Vocera


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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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It’s been a year

October 7, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

It’s always around this time of year – it’s early October as I write this – that I start itching to find out what have been the most read stories of the year on the HME News website.  For normal people, fall signifies all things pumpkin – pumpkin bread, yes; Pumpkinhead beer, no, if you’re asking – but not for me.  What have you all been reading? When the year is three-quarters through, that’s what I want to know.  Before I even...

Most read stories, Philips Recall


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Take your shot

July 12, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

These were some of the reactions of industry stakeholders to the news of CMS’s proposed national coverage determination for home oxygen therapy: “Groundbreaking.” “We haven’t seen something this major happen in a long time.” “This obliterates everything that we’ve held to be immovable ground for oxygen coverage.”  If you’re like me, when you first saw the news on that Friday before a long holiday weekend (classic CMS move,...

CMS, Home oxygen therapy, Medicare, National coverage determination


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Change agents

June 16, 2021Liz Beaulieu, Editor

During an intro call in June, two speakers for this year’s HME News Business Summit said they preferred to have our prep call as close as possible to the event because the rate of change in health care right now is so fast. They said, there are things that will happen in the next few months that we can’t talk about now but that we’ll want to talk about at the event. So, we scheduled another call for early September. When I look at the education program for this year’s Summit,...

HME News Business Summit, Hospital at home, Pandemic


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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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