In brief: Stakeholders launch bid website, Simply Home sues HHS

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Friday, April 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – A group of HME industry stakeholders has officially launched dmecbpeducation.com, a website for providers to learn about the changes in Round 2021 of competitive bidding and to prepare their bids.

“Informed bidding will help sustain DME businesses, ensuring that patients’ access to life-changing medical equipment remains steady, stable and secure,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare.

Stakeholders had already loaded the website with bid calculators that allow providers to see how CMS’s new lead-item bidding methodology will impact rates for other related items in 16 product categories.

Now those calculators have been updated to use 2019 rates specific to each state, making comparisons even more precise. They also highlight in orange the most utilized codes for related items in each category.

Additionally, the calculators now include four columns for entering costs associated with each item, as well as a column that shows the net profits/losses.

The group collaborating on the website is comprised of AAHomecare, the Council for Respiratory Care, VGM & Associates and the Healthcare Nutrition Council.

Simply Home sues HHS over overpayments
CHICAGO – Simply Home Health Care, a home health agency based here, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Department of Health And Human Services and AdvanceMed, a UPIC, for continued suspension of payments from the Medicare program, according to healthcare attorney Elizabeth Hogue. Payments to Simply Home were originally suspended because of overpayments, but the agency was later told by AdvanceMed that payments were suspended because of suspected fraud. While the suspension of payments from Medicare was, ultimately, reversed, AdvanceMed claimed Simply Home owed Medicare $5.4 million, an amount that was later reduced to $4.8 million. Based on the alleged overpayments, Simply Home was forced to go out of business in 2017. Simply Home argues in its case that AdvanceMed didn’t correctly apply federal statutes and regulations, and that it had incentives to claim overpayments to win additional contracts from CMS. “The case is another chapter in the continuing saga of providers vs. UPICs and ZPICs,” Hogue wrote in a bulletin.

PurWell nabs top award at Medtrade Spring
LAS VEGAS – PurWell CBD won gold in the New Product Pavilion Providers’ Choice Awards at Medtrade Spring for its proprietary line of organic, all natural hemp oil products that generate general health and wellness. Western Medical won silver for its Rip n Go Premium Linen Systems, and Cozee won bronze for its battery powered heating blanket. The winners were determined by attendee votes submitted in the New Product Pavilion. “All three of these products demonstrate the spirit of innovation that we love to see at Medtrade Spring,” said Sarah Varner, senior director of marketing. “That spirit will also be strong at Medtrade.” The awards are sponsored by HomeCare Magazine.

Mike Osborn named Simon Margolis Fellow
PITTSBURGH – Mike Osborn, the co-owner of Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment in Ozark, Mo., and treasurer for NRRTS’s executive committee, was named the recipient of the Simon Margolis Fellow Award at the International Seating Symposium in March. The award recognizes NRRTS members who have made long-standing and significant contributions to the organization, the complex rehab profession, and the seating and wheeled mobility community as a whole. Osborn joins fellows Michelle Gunn, Gerry Dickerson and John Zona. “Mike is the example of who we all strive to be,” Gunn said. “Knowledgeable, ethical, compassionate and caring for his clients and our industry. “There is one question that we all ask and answer in our heads: Would you let this person provide your own chair should you ever need one? Absolutely. I believe Simon would be thrilled to see Mike Osborn receive this award in his name.” Osborn helped form Alliance Rehab in 2006. Today it has four offices and a warehouse serving Missouri, northern Arkansas and western Illinois.

Financial Benchmarking Survey is live
WATERLOO, Iowa, and YARMOUTH, Maine – VGM Group and HME News have opened the HME Financial Benchmarking Survey. They’re partnering on the survey, which tracks data on everything from days sales outstanding to revenue per full-time employee, for the second year. “This continued partnership makes it convenient for HME providers to have one source to submit their business information,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “We highly encourage all HME providers to participate in this important survey. The quality is dependent on participation.” The survey will be open through July 17. All providers who complete a survey will receive the results for free. The results will also be shared and analyzed by VGM’s Mark Higley at the HME News Business Summit, Sept. 22-24 in Cleveland.

Trace Medical, SunMED partner
WHITMORE LAKE, Mich. – Trace Medical and SunMED Medical Solutions have executed an exclusive long-term Network Administration Agreement to provide vent rentals to SunMED’s Managed Care Organization Network, workers compensation and Medicaid customer base of more than 500 providers. “The partnership allows Trace to provide significant opportunity to our current customer base, while further distinguishing us from our competitors,” said Elliot Campbell, senior vice president of Trace Medical. “We are thrilled to partner with (SunMED) to offer an additional revenue stream to our expanding customer base.” Founded in 2002, SunMED is a provider of advanced in-home medical equipment for patients of all ages and conditions.

BOC modernizes website
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Board of Certification/Accreditation has launched a new and improved website with a modern design at www.bocusa.org. The mobile-friendly website features easier navigation and streamlined content, as well as videos, including video guides to address common questions. “Making ongoing enhancements to maximize the effectiveness of our website helps create continued positive customer interactions,” said Claudia Zacharias, president and CEO. Familiar resources like “MyBOC” and continuing education information are also easy to find on the website. BOC, founded in 1984, offers credentials in orthotics and prosthetics, and DME.

Permobil, Lowe’s donate wheelchair
SUMTER, S.C. – The Permobil Foundation and Lowe’s surprised Jeff, the head cashier at the Lowe’s in Sumter, S.C., with a new Permobil wheelchair on April 16, his birthday. The Permobil M3 features a seat elevator, giving him more independence and ensuring more functionality with customers and associates. “Having a seat elevator will help me be able to reach the cash register and allow me to talk with customers at eye level,” he wrote in an application to the foundation for a seat elevator, following a denial from his insurance. “It will also help me with transfers at home.” The foundation granted his request and partnered with Lowe’s to assist with additional coverage.