In brief: AAHomecare reaches out on Medicaid, LUCI launches

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Friday, June 19, 2020

WASHINGTON —AAHomecare is working to get equitable treatment for HME suppliers who have been denied Medicaid-based relief.

The Department of Health and Human Services has opened an application portal for CARES Act relief for Medicaid/CHIP-only providers who have directly billed those programs between Jan. 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020.

Suppliers have reported that they have been denied any Medicaid-related relief because they received small Medicare relief payments. Even companies who declined to accept first tranche payments that were automatically sent to suppliers are ineligible for any Medicaid-based relief. 
“We believe that this was an unintended consequence of rolling out the relief program so quickly. There was also a lack of clarity about suppliers eligibility and how each tranche of payments related to the others,” stated AAHomecare in a bulletin.

The association has reached out to the administration about the issue and will also work with members of Congress.

LUCI, mobility-focused tech company, launches

NASHVILLE – LUCI, a new mobility-focused technology company, has launched its premier product, LUCI. This hardware and software platform uses sensor-fusion technologies to allow a power wheelchair to “see” its environment. LUCI mounts onto a power wheelchair between the power base and the seat to help users avoid collisions and dangerous drop-offs while maintaining personalized driving control. Through cloud-based capabilities, LUCI can also monitor and alert users and caregivers of low battery, possible tipping scenarios, and other important updates regarding the chair and the user. Approximately 87% of wheelchair users have reported at least one fall in the past three years. “Wheelchair users were left behind when it comes to most innovative technology,” said Barry Dean, CEO and founder of LUCI, also a Grammy-nominated songwriter, whose daughter Katherine, 19,has cerebral palsy and has used a wheelchair her whole life. FMI: www.luci.com.

Sleep pioneer passes away

STANFORD, Calif. – Dr. William Dement, a pioneer in sleep medicine and founder of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, died June 17. Dement was an early proponent of in-home sleep diagnostics for obstructive sleep apnea, supporting a 2004 proposal that would pave the way for Medicare to modify its policies. Dr. Dement’s sleep career began at the University of Chicago, where helped discover REM and to describe the human sleep cycle and its different stages. In the 1970s, he established one of the world’s first sleep disorder clinics at Stanford University.

BOC seeks nominations

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC), is seeking nominations for the Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service. Now in its fourth year, the award recognizes outstanding individuals for their services to BOC. Nominees for the award must have a proven history of service and volunteerism with BOC, and might include—but are not limited to—certificants, vendors, consultants, business partners or former BOC board members. The award is named after James Newberry, who passed away in 2016. To review the award requirements and submit an online nomination, visit the Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service on BOC’s website. Deadline is Sept. 16.

Inovalon to provide DME solution for Cardinal Health

BOWIE, Md. – Inovalon has inked a five-year deal with Cardinal Health to provide its ScriptMed Cloud platform to Cardinal’s DME and medical supplies business. The platform’s connectivity, supplemental clinical data and process-specific analytics automate and streamline processes. “Cardinal Health is investing in the digital forefront of technologies to deliver high-quality care to our customers,” said Ryan Schorr, general manager of the direct-to-patient business at Cardinal Health. “Implementing the capabilities of ScriptMed Cloud will enable both meaningful operational efficiencies and a best-in-class experience for the patients we support.”

FDA approves FreeStyle Libre 2

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Abbott has received Food and Drug Administration clearance for its Freestyle Libre 2. The Libre 2 continuously transmits glucose data every minute, and users can set the system to send alarms for too-high or too-low readings. Previously, users had to scan the sensor to get a reading. The system, which is offered at the same price point as the previous version of the Freestyle Libre, will become available in the next several weeks. The FreeStyle Libre was approved for Medicare coverage as a continuous glucose monitoring system in 2018.

Short takes: American Mobility, Mon Health, Viemed

Raleigh, N.C.-based American Mobility has acquired Ameriglide Southport/Upward Mobility Solutions…Morgantown, W.Va.-based Mon Health Equipment and Supplies will merge with Fairview Home Medical…Viemed Healthcare will join the Russell 3000 Index, a capitalization-weighted stock market index…

People: Ginger Walls, Bill Fredericks

Permobil Americas has named Ginger Walls director of clinical sales and education. Walls has more than 30 years of experience as a physical therapist…Bill Fredericks of Allcare Medical Supply has agreed to take over as Massachusetts State Chair for HOMES. Fredericks has always been very active in the HME community and most recently has been serving as MA Vice Chair.