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On the Editor's Desk

by: Liz Beaulieu - Friday, June 19, 2009

So I talked to rehab provider Bruce Bayes over at Custom Mobility in Largo, Fla., earlier this week. He told me that Sailability Greater Tampa Bay, which provides affordable and accessible sailing activities and education to children and adults of all ages and abilities, had a special guest in May: Sam Schmidt, the former Indy Racing League driver who became a quadriplegic after an accident during a practice run in 2000. Schmidt has since formed the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Check out these photos of Schmidt as he sails with Gary Soodak, the lead service technician for Custom Mobility, in a customized seat fabricated by the provider.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Thursday, June 18, 2009

NRRTS announced this week that it has tentatively scheduled its annual Continuing Education and Legislative Advocacy (CELA) conference for April 28-30 in the Washington, D.C., area.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rehab providers in Georgia report that the state Medicaid program wants to adjust its allowable to 80% of Medicare's allowable. Earlier this month, the state's board of community health delayed the change so it could further research the potential impact on consumers. But the board has another meeting in early July, and "it has been strongly implied that they plan to move forward as originally planned," one source said.

Don't most Medicaid programs set their allowables by taking a certain percentage off  Medicare's allowable?

Providers in other states: What does Medicaid pay you?

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I just received this release in my inbox:

The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) has announced that Donald E. Clayback will be assuming the Executive Director position of the organization effective July 15, 2009.

Here's why:

Given the challenges facing the complex rehab providers and manufacturers, NCART is increasing its resources in order to provide greater representation and assistance to the industry.

Check our Web site later today and the HME NewsWire on Monday for more details.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Noridian Administrative Services, the DME MAC for Jurisdiction C, published a bulletin June 11 that states it will conduct a "widespread probe" of claims for standard power wheelchairs (K0823). "Widespread reviews are used to determine the extent of potential problem areas across multiple suppliers," Noridian stated. Any provider billing Jurisdiction C for K0823s is subject to review. Be on the lookout for additional documentation request (ADR) letters. Noridian has had its eye on K0823s for a while.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Boston Herald published a story last week about an annual fishing derby for handicapped people and senior citizens. The event is the brainchild of mail carrier Bob Bearor, who has on his 20-acre compound in Chittenden a wheelchair-accessible pond complete with safety rails. The pond is insured for year-round fishing by people in wheelchairs. More than 250 were expected to attend the event.

The Courier News published a story today about a fundraiser for Jay Cramer, who broke his neck rock climbing. At the time, Cramer was in the running to be a contestant on Survivor. Cramer, now an aspiring comic and motivational speaker, will perform at the fundraiser among others. Money raised will help him purchase a handicapped-accessible van.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Saturday, June 6, 2009

If you're in the market for rehab-related education, you have a few options the week of June 15th.

NRRTS hosts a "Legislative Update Webinar" on June 17 from 5 to 6:30 EST.

Then on June 18, AAHomecare hosts a Webinar and workshop, "Medicare Mobility Policy Intent vs. Industry Response and Implementation." Speakers include Dr. Paul Hughes, the medical director for Jurisdiction A, and Mark Schmeler of the University of Pittsburgh.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Scooter Store has been generating a lot of news lately:

  • It announced this week that its founder and president, Doug Harrison, has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award in the other/healthcare category for Austin, Texas. The award recognizes “outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic, growing businesses,” according to a release. Harrison and other regional winners are now eligible for consideration for the national award.
  • It announced in May that it has expanded its Orlando store across from Florida Hospital Orlando.
  • It also announced in May that it celebrated National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week May 4-8. “The words ‘compliance and ethics’ may have different meanings to different people; but to The Scooter Store they mean we know the right thing to do, and we do everything we can to follow through on it,” stated Harrison in a release.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The NRRTS listserv celebrates its 10th anniversary today. Through the listserv, NRRTS members and Friends of NRRTS (FONs) have shared some 16,634 messages. If you're a NRRTS member and you're not registered for the listserv, you should be. It's a treasure trove of information, not to mention a great way to bounce things off your colleagues.

NRRTS members and FONs can register for the listserv by sending an e-mail to NRRTS-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Liz Beaulieu

by: Liz Beaulieu - Friday, May 29, 2009

A new group, the Committee to Save Independent HME Suppliers (CSI:HME), released the results of a survey yesterday that ranks the top concerns of providers. Restoring payments to complex rehab came in 3rd, ahead of reforming the home oxygen therapy benefit (4th). I'd be lying if I didn't say that surprised me. (For the record: Eliminating national competitive bidding came in 1st and repealing the 36-month oxygen cap came in 2nd.)

Here's a nice story about a consumer who's making beach power wheelchairs out of used parts and renting them for $40 per day.

Here's a letter to the editor that was published in The Post-Journal in Jamestown, N.Y., that calls for requiring reflectors or some other form of lighting for wheelchairs after its writer almost hit a person in a wheelchair at night.

What's up with these Miracle on Wheels ads veiled as news stories?

Liz Beaulieu

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