In brief: CMS to allow use of IFR rates, ActivStyle boosts biz

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Friday, June 15, 2018

WASHINGTON – CMS has agreed that states can process claims using the higher fee schedule amounts for claims in rural areas from June 1-Dec. 16, 2018, according to a bulletin from AAHomecare. Previously, the agency had said that any fee schedule adjustments would not impact 21st Century Cures Act reconciliation as they would be using the Jan. 1, 2018 rates. The agency also agreed that states that are not simply basing their rates on Medicare rates can present their utilization for reconciliation on area- of-service and for dates from Jan. 1 through May 31, 2018, and for June 1 through Dec. 31, 2018. CMS will then use the higher rates for the rural areas in the reconciliation process. “I am happy we were able to influence CMS to utilize the rates that offered relief to many rural areas," said Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations for AAHomecare.

CMS changes course on CGM policy

WASHINGTON – CMS will allow Medicare beneficiaries to use smart phone technology with their continuous glucose monitors, it announced.

The announcement reverses guidance issued in March 2017 in which the agency said beneficiaries could not use a non-DME device, such as a smart phone or tablet as the display device—in conflict with how many use their CGMs.

“CMS heard from numerous stakeholders who shared their concerns that Medicare’s CG coverage policy limited their use of CGMs in conjunction with their smartphones, preventing the from sharing data with family members, physicians and caregivers,” the agency stated in a bulletin.

CMS in January 2017 approved certain CGMs as durable medical equipment if they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in place of a blood glucose monitor when making treatment decisions.

The DME MAC contractors will issue a revised policy article in the near future, at which tie the change will be effective.

Currently, only the Dexcom G5 and the Freestyle Libre are approved.

CMS overpaid for CPAP supplies, says OIG

WASHINGTON – Most Medicare claims for CPAP supplies did not comply with Medicare requirements, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. Out of 110 sample claims that Medicare paid in 2014 and 2015, 24 complied with Medicare requirements while 86 claims with payments totaling $13,414 did not. The OIG estimates CMS made overpayments of almost $631.2 million as a result. CMS’s oversight is insufficient to ensures Medicare suppliers meet requirements. Without period claim reviews, contractors were unable to identify suppliers that consistently billed claims that did not meet requirements. The OIG recommends that CMS recover the portion of the overpayments of $13,414 associated with the 86 sample claims that are within the four-year reopening period; and work more closely with the four Medicare contractors. CMS concurred.

ActivStyle boosts catheter biz

MINNEAPOLIS – ActivStyle has launched Catheter Express, a new catheter and urology brand within the ActivStyle portfolio, a move that will the provider to grow its catheter division, according to a press release. ActveStyle is primarily known as a direct-to-consumer provider of incontinence supplies. "Customers have a lot of choices for catheters and related urology supplies, but ActivStyle's years of experience in medical supplies, customer information systems, and distribution platform help set us apart from the competition,” said Gayle Devin, CEO. “We are uniquely positioned to provide superior, compassionate, and reliable service to the catheter customer.”

Brightree offers new integrated solution

ATLANTA – Brightree has launched eReferral Integration with athenahealth network, a provider of network-enabled services for hospitals and ambulatory clients. Now, any office can refer patients to HME providers the same way they refer to other healthcare settings. “With this new innovative solution, HME providers are integrated into the digital referral process that has been in place for other health providers for years,” said Nick Knowlton, Brightree vice president of business development. “By digitizing the process, we are greatly improving efficiencies for both physicians and HME providers while helping to improve the overall patient experience. We’re excited to bring this level of interoperability to the HME market and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the delivery of healthcare.”

NSM signs deal with Fallon Health

NASHVILLE – National Seating & Mobility has finalized an agreement with Worcester, Mass.-based Fallon Health to provide complex rehab solutions to its customers, it announced in a press release. NSM has branches in Franklin, Natick, Woburn and Chicopee, Mass. Fallon Health has 270,000 members. “We are committed to continue to reach more individuals in need of mobility solutions,” said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO. “As an approved Fallon Health CRT provider, we look forward to providing customized products and services to members who need them.” The provider has inked several other provider agreements, including in May, with MedCost, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based benefit solutions company.

SleepScore labs launches app

CARLSBAD, Calif. – SleepScore Labs has released the SleepScore mobile app, a free app that can turn any smartphone into a standalone sleep tracker. The SleepScore app accesses a smartphone’s microphones and speakers to detect users’ sleep patterns. Each morning users receive a score of how they slept with a breakdown of what affected their sleep. The app also features a seven-day sleep history, goal setting, a smart alarm that can be set to wake the user at the ideal moment in their sleep cycle and personalized product recommendations. “Sleep affects all facets of people’s health, and yet there has been no easy way to accurately measure or track it everywhere we sleep—until now,” said Colin Lawlor, CEO of SleepScore Labs. “We’ve been developing this technology longer than the iPhone has existed. We’re excited that for the first time, virtually everyone can get a truer picture of their sleep health for free and make smarter decisions about how to get a more restful night’s sleep.” SleepScore Labs is a joint venture between ResMed, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Pegasus Capital Advisors.

Bonafide taps Zendesk for better solution

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Bonafide Management Systems has completely integrated with Zendesk’s customer service cloud solution, it announced June 14. The integration will allow Bonafide to offers its customers fast response times and exemplary customer support, according to a press release. The solution also features extensive reporting capabilities and an integrated knowledge base. Bonafide’s “significant” customer growth in the past two years made the change necessary, said Wayne Bailey, director of customer service at Bonafide. “We needed a better solution, fast. Zendesk met all of our needs, and we were able to train our agents quickly.”

Rely Medical launches rewards program

MINNEAPOLIS – Rely Medical Supply has launched a new customer loyalty program. Customers are automatically enrolled when they create an account at www.relymedical.com. Customers earn one point for each dollar they spend; every 20 points earned is equal to $1 that can be used toward purchases in the store. "Online marketplaces are very competitive, and it is extremely costly to acquire new customers, that's why we want to reward our loyal customers at Rely Medical Supply,” said Devon Dougherty, marketing director. “Rewarding them for their loyalty and purchases is one small thing we can do to help increase their satisfaction with our shop and keep them coming back.”

Pride gets 10K ‘likes’

EXETER, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products’ Facebook page has reached 10,000 followers, the company announced today. The page focuses on both products, like launches, overviews and product news, and lifestyle, with posts featuring users living active lives. “Delivering a complete product experience online is important,” said Rhonda Perko, senior director of marketing. “We want consumers to know about the products, but we also want them inspired by stories of how actual consumers are living active lives with the products.” Approximately 80% of seniors and baby boomers are on the Internet.

HOMES honors VGM

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group has received the 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Home Medical Equipment and Services Association of New England (HOMES). The award recognizes a person, company or associate member who promotes the interest of the HME industry. “The members of HOMES share the same passion for the HME industry that VGM has, and our collective knowledge and expertise allow us to work together to support common goals and interests, which allows them to do what they do best…service their patients,” said Margo Colarossi, regional account manager for VGM in a press release. The award was presented in May at the HOMES annual meeting in Portsmouth, N.H.