In brief: NST makes buy, contractor targets triple dippers
CONCORD, N.H. – National Sleep Therapy (NST) has acquired Rest Ensured Medical (REM), kicking off a “growth phase” for the four-year-old company. NST believes that changing regulations and decreasing reimbursements have created significant opportunity for “innovative healthcare companies,” the company stated in a press release. “National Sleep Therapy is perfectly positioned to expand on its success and raise the quality of sleep therapy service in this country by acquiring niche sleep companies that can fit our unique model,” stated Eric Cohen, president and co-found of National Sleep Therapy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Contractor reaches out to triple dippers
WASHINGTON – National Government Services, the Jurisdiction B DME MAC, will send letters to beneficiaries that are receiving their diabetes supplies from three or more suppliers, it announced in a message last week. The letters will inform beneficiaries of Medicare coverage criteria and instruct them on receiving supplies from only one supplier at a time. NGS has identified an increase in the number of beneficiaries receiving suppliers from multiple suppliers. View the letter:
Wanted: PMD data from demo states
WASHINGTON – Now that the new PMD demo is up and running in seven states, AAHomecare has launched a data collection project to monitor its progress. The association asked providers in a bulletin on Sept. 4 to send prior authorization denials and affirmative letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. “The association will continue to scrutinize (the demo) closely and will send further suggestions to CMS as data are collected,” it stated.
Invacare recalls shower chairs
ELYRIA, Ohio – Invacare has initiated a product recall for its I-Fit Shower Chair. The recall applies to shower chairs with model numbers 9780, 9781 and 9781-1 distributed between Jan. 1, 2011, and Jan. 18, 2012. “There is a possibility that chair seats may break through the middle, potentially causing the chair to collapse,” the company stated on its website. Invacare recommends that consumers with affected shower chairs to discontinue use and to contact their HME provider. FMI: 888-496-5041.
AAH to CMS: Limit products under face-to-face
WASHINGTON – AAHomecare on Sept. 4 asked CMS to limit the scope of HME products that require a physician to have a face-to-face encounter with a beneficiary for an HME provider to get paid. Under a proposed rule, a physician must conduct a face-to-face encounter with a beneficiary no more than 90 days before or 30 days after a written order for an expanded number of products, including oxygen equipment, wheelchair accessories and hospital beds. In submitted comments, AAHomecare stated that the rule would delay beneficiary access to medically necessary medical equipment, delay hospital discharges and increase the administrative burden for physicians and HME providers.
Medtrade targets executives, closes early bird rate
ATLANTA – Show officials have fine-tuned their educational offerings for Medtrade to include The HME Executive Alliance conference on Oct. 15. The invitation-only, all-day event targets HME executives and features two sessions and several networking opportunities. FMI on the alliance: http://www.medtrade.com/alliance/. Also, the early bird rate for Medtrade, Oct. 16-18 at the Georgia World Congress Center, ends Sept. 10. Expo tickets purchased on or before Sept. 10 are $25 each and conference tickets are $99 each.
Untreated OSA increases death in elderly
YARMOUTH, Maine – Untreated, severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can increase the risk of death in elderly patients, according to a new study conducted by researchers at La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain, and published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In a study of 939 patients age 65 or older, patients with an AHI of less than 15 acted as controls and CPAP use of four or more hours daily was considered good compliance. Median follow-up was 69 months. Compared with the control group, patients with untreated OSA had higher rates of cardiovascular death.
CGS offers demo call
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – CGS, the Jurisdiction C DME MAC, will offer an Ask the Contractor Teleconference on the seven-state power mobility device demonstration project Sept. 18. The contractor will review information about the demonstration and basic coverage information. More details about the call are available at www.cgsmedicare.com.
Short takes: Inogen, Active Healthcare
One of Inogen’s backers, Avalon Ventures, has closed $201.6 million in commitments for a $250 million fund, it announced last week…Active Healthcare/IntegraSleep announced last week that it has been named as one of Business Leader magazine's Top 300 Small Businesses of the Southeast. The provider ranked No. 4 on the Triangle and No. 28 in the Southeast.