In brief: CMS launches ‘What’s Covered’ app, RAC targets pneumatic compression

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Friday, February 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – CMS has launched a new app that allows beneficiaries to see whether Medicare covers a specific medical item or service.

The “What’s Covered” app allows beneficiaries to more easily get accurate, consistent Original Medicare coverage information in the doctor’s office, the hospital or anywhere else they use their mobile devices.

“The new app is the next in a suite of products designed to give consumers more access and control over their Medicare information,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

CMS’s eMedicare initiative, launched last year, also includes online decision support to help beneficiaries better understand and evaluate their coverage options and costs between Medicare and Medicare Advantage; an online service that lets beneficiaries quickly see how different coverage choices will affect their estimated out-of-pocket costs; price transparency tools that let beneficiaries compare the national average costs of certain procedures between settings, such as hospital outpatient department vs. ambulatory surgical center; a webchat option in the Medicare Plan Finder; and surveys across Medicare.gov so beneficiaries can share what they want.

The “What’s Covered” app is available for free in both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

New legislation would repeal preferred provider program

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A bill that would repeal Minnesota Medicaid’s preferred provider program for incontinence supplies was introduced Jan. 24 in the state senate. SF 491 is similar to a bill that was passed as part of an omnibus bill in 2018 but that was ultimately vetoed by the governor. In August 2018, MAMES obtained a temporary restraining order to delay the state’s plans to create a preferred provider program that would award a single contract to provide the supplies. Also at issue: the reimbursement was calculated at 20% above acquisition cost. A companion bill is expected soon in the state House of Representatives.

RAC targets pneumatic compression devices

ATLANTA – Performant Recovery, the national DMEPOS RAC, added pneumatic compression devices to its approved issues list on Jan. 23, the van Halem Group reports. Performant will perform complex reviews to determine if the pneumatic compression device is reasonable and necessary for the patient’s condition based on the documentation in the medical record. Claims that do not meet the indications of coverage and/or medical necessity will be denied. The audit will cover E0651 and E0652 for claims having a “claim paid date” that is more than three years prior to the additional development request (ADR) date and prior to Dec. 1, 2015.

One Drop eases self-management

NEW YORK – One Drop has launched Personal Diabetes Assistant, a new approach, it says, to supporting people with diabetes in their day-to-day self-management. One Drop iOS users select their recurring health management tasks, such as blood glucose checks, medication doses, meals, physical activity and blood pressure measurements, and One Drop delivers a personalized daily schedule based on their unique needs. The company has also announced integration with Health Records on iPhone, allowing One Drop iOS users to seamlessly share their electronic health records with their personal coaches through the One Drop platform. Together, these new additions represent important steps toward alleviating the burden of living with diabetes, and facilitating the seamless exchange of health data between patients, care teams and healthcare institutions, One Drop says.

Quantum launches online community for iLevel users

DURYEA, Pa. – Quantum Rehab has launched lifeatilevel.com, a consumer-focused website for people who use iLevel wheelchairs or who want to learn more about them. The site features videos, blogs and photos, and consumers are invited to submit their personal stories about how iLevel has improved their lives. "We wanted to create a dedicated website for consumers,” said Megan Kutch, Director of Quantum Marketing. It’s not a typical website you’d expect for a product, but a place where we will share the stories of those who use life-changing iLevel technology.” In October, the iLevel passed the 20,000 mark of wheelchair users who have adopted the technology, a power adjustable seat height system.

Rowheels to make TV pitch

MADISON, Wis. – Rowheels, a developer of manual mobility technology, has been chosen to appear on “Project Pitch It,” a local TV show in which entrepreneurs pitch their startup companies “Shark Tank”-style and compete for weekly awards valued at a total of $30,000, according to a press release. Rowheels has *developed a patented technology that allows wheelchair users to pull rather than push when they want to move forward, preventing repetitive stress injuries of the shoulder. "Rowheels is thrilled to be appearing on ‘Project Pitch It’ season 3,” said Chief Executive Gaurav Mishra. “All the companies selected to appear are outstanding, and we are honored to have been chosen." The episode airs Feb. 9 at 6:30 pm on WISN-TV Channel 12. http://www.hmenews.com/article/rowheels-pulls-not-pushes

Triple W wins another CES honor

SAN DIEGO – Triple W has received the iPhone Life Best of CES 2019 Award for DFree, a wearable device for urinary incontinence. DFree uses ultrasound technology to monitor bladder fullness and notifies the user on their smart phone or tablet when it’s time to go to the bathroom. “We’re honored to be selected by iPhone Life as an innovative and useful solution for people who have a loss of bladder control or are caregivers for a loved one facing a challenge,” said Atsushi Nakanishi, president and CEO in a press release.The company also won a “Best of CES Award” for the Digital Health and Fitness Category at International CES 2019; and earned second place in the HME Retail product Awards at Medtrade in October.

Solera Health adds health department to roster

PHOENIX – Solera Health has added the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in Olathe, Kan., to its network of diabetes providers. Solera’s network is comprised of companies recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their diabetes prevention program (DPP).

Johnson County's DPP emphasizes that even small changes in diet and exercise can lead to significant lifestyle changes and prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. "It's an honor to work with a program like Johnson County's that understands how adults learn best, which is crucial in instilling healthy habits that will help prevent diabetes," said Brenda Schmidt, Solera CEO in a press release.

Crest Healthcare to offer LifeGlider

DASSEL, Minn. – Crest Healthcare Supply and Core Mobility Solutions have partnered to make the LifeGlider mobility device more widely available. The LifeGlider allows independent, upright, hands-free mobility while reducing the risk of falls, and can be used in a therapeutic setting or as a personal assistive device, according to a press release. Crest Healthcare Supply is a provider of products and technical services that enhance the care environment. Core Mobility Solutions is a privately held medical device company. The LifeGlider is its first product.

DME-IQ allows physicians to bring DME programs in-house

MIRAMAR, Fla. – NuGenerex Distribution Solutions 2, a wholly owned subsidiary of Generex Biotechnology Corp., has launched DME-IQ, a service for physicians who distribute DME from their offices. DME-IQ focuses on several key areas, including negotiating on behalf of the physicians with key vendors to decrease the cost of goods, increasing insurance collections by providing oversight of coding during the billing process, providing the necessary personnel to manage the appeals processes, and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations. NuGenerex has announced its first client for DME-IQ: The Orthopaedic Center in Tulsa, Okla., which has received a proprietary, tablet-based software package that verifies patient benefits and eligibility. It also manages DME inventory; collects patient copays and deductibles; and links patient information with DME and necessary patient forms all in one platform. “Previously, we had little control over our DME program, which was managed by an outside firm that rented space in our facility,” said Justin Clary, practice administrator of The Orthopaedic Center. “We are engaging DME-IQ to provide the management services that will enable TOC to bring the DME programs in-house, and allow us to expand our inventory and services offerings with new products that meet the needs of our patients and lower our cost of goods.”

People news: Compass Health, Vertess

Ted Metcalf has joined Compass Health Brands as Western Regional Director. He will manage the sales teams in 13 states. Most recently, Metcalf served as the director of rehab, O&P and HME retail for The MED Group/MHA. He has also worked for Numotion and Pride Mobility…Dave Turgeon has joined M&A advisory firm Vertess as a managing director. Turgeon, a seasoned professional in the behavioral healthcare and I/DD space, has played a central role in the acquisition of hundreds of companies and the investment of billions of dollars.