In brief: CMS downplays vent concerns, NSM and BraunAbility partner on education

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Friday, October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON – CMS says it has safeguards in place to protect beneficiary access to non-invasive ventilators during Round 2021 of competitive bidding.

The statement is in response to the 180 members of the House of Representatives who signed a letter asking the agency to drop non-invasive vents from the program.

“The response fails to address the central tenets of the House sign-on letter, including the idea that ‘adequacy of Medicare payment for critical services like home ventilation care is paramount’ and that CMS has not previously included items requiring frequent and substantial servicing in the bid program,” AAHomecare stated in a bulletin to members.

Other safeguards cited by CMS: making sure suppliers meet quality standards and requiring them to provide service 24 hours a day.

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., who spearheaded the sign-on letter in the House, again made the case for keeping non-invasive vents out of the bid program during a hearing on healthcare policy by the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Oct. 23.

“I support the goal of ensuring financial responsibility in health care but I’m not convinced this method is appropriate in every situation,” he said. “Until we know that access to a critical piece of medical equipment won’t be compromised, I don’t think we should be making monumental changes to the acquisition process.”

Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also spearheaded a similar letter in the Senate with 38 signatures.

CMS announced in March that non-invasive vents were one of the 16 product categories included in Round 2021. The bid window for this most recent round of the program closed Sept. 18.

Majority of consumers are comfortable with digital health, survey finds

SAN DIEGO – Fifty six percent of 3,000 Americans sampled say they currently monitor their health with at least one digital data collection tool, according to a new survey from ResMed and Edelman Intelligence.

Other results from the survey: 60% say they attempt to diagnose themselves using the Internet, more than half say technology has improved their relationship with their primary care provider; and 68% say they want technology to play a larger role in sharing real-time medical information with their physician.

“These survey findings highlight the need to keep educating the public on the benefits of remote monitoring and other digital tools, as well as the viability of out-of-hospital care, as technology allows patients and physicians to more efficiently collaborate on improving health outcomes as a team,” said Carlos Nunez, ResMed’s chief medical officer.

ResMed has more than 10 million cloud-connected sleep apnea and respiratory care devices in patient homes.

Pride Mobility hosts mentoring day

DURYEA, Pa. – Pride Mobility Products and Quantum Rehab hosted about 20 Luzerne Intermediate Unit students at their Duryea, Pa., facility, as part of their 10th Annual Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 10. Students had the opportunity to meet with career professionals at the companies to learn the typical responsibilities and the necessary knowledge and skills needed for specific jobs, including in research and development, sales, technical service and production. “We look forward to this day every year because we want to teach young people about business,” said Scott Meuser, chairman and CEO of Pride Mobility. “Just like in sports, there are different positions available here.” Students also toured the production area and a state-of-the-art test lab.

NSM, BraunAbility partner on education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility and BraunAbility have partnered to install the first BraunAbility developed kiosk in NSM’s Houston branch. The kiosk is meant to educate NSM clients about accessible vehicle options and provide them with the opportunity to connect with their local BraunAbility dealership for a thorough mobility consultation. “Both NSM and BraunAbility are committed to empowering the lives of individuals with physical disabilities through mobility solutions,” said Staci Kroon, BraunAbility CEO. “This collaborative partnership allows us to educate more individuals about the automotive mobility options available to further their independence.” Also part of the partnership: in-branch employee training to familiarize NSM employees with BraunAbility’s automotive mobility solutions.

Exhibitors nab awards at Medtrade

ATLANTA – The Havanue Bag from Havanue took home Gold in the New Product Pavilion Providers’ Choice Awards at Medtrade on Oct. 23. The AirFit N30 CPAP Mask from ResMed took silver, and the 1100 Friction Drive Straight Stairlift from Handicare took bronze. The awards, based on attendee votes, are sponsored by HomeCare Magazine. For the first time, Medtrade and VGM also hosted Retail Product Awards. PurWell and its CBD products took Best in Show; and Strongback Mobility and its STRONGBACK24 with flip-back armrests and CAIRE and its FreeStyle Comfort POC received honorable mentions. These awards were also based on attendee votes.

NMEDA: Check list for wheelchair accessible vehicles

TAMPA, Fla. – The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association has launched an online resource designed to help people with disabilities and their caregivers make informed choices when shopping for wheelchair accessible vehicles. The resource, found at www.nmeda.org/SafetyReviewedVehicles, is a listing of vehicle conversions that have been reviewed for compliance to applicable Motor Vehicle Federal Safety Standards by NMEDA’s Compliance Review Program engineers. “NMEDA is delighted to be able to offer a free, easy-to-use resource for helping folks make informed choices about the conversions they are considering,” said Danny Langfield, CEO. The listing and NMEDA’s review process are critical, Langfield says, because the wheelchair vehicle conversion industry is effectively self-certifying—while companies must certify to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that their conversions are compliant, they don’t have to submit proof. 

Universal Software holds user conference

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Universal Software Solutions held its users conference at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, Mich., Sept. 9-11, giving its provider customers that use HDMS and StowPoint the opportunity to learn and network. The company estimates about 14% of its customers attended the event, which featured 18 one-hour sessions on topics ranging from the customer acquisition process to the business cycle to paid claim; and two keynote speakers, Ty Bello and Dr. Stephen Shaya. At the event, Southfield, Mich.-based Hart Medical Equipment received the Client Innovator of the Year award.