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Letters to the editor: Crisis averted but work not done

 - 
03/26/2012

CMS announced, in the fall of 2011, the launch of competitive bidding in 91 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and their intentions to bid manual wheelchairs and items deemed accessories.

A hypocrite and a telling comment

 - 
03/23/2012

We get emails all the time from HME providers and other stakeholders pointing stuff out. These emails often sit in my inbox for some time. They're interesting and noteworthy, but there's no way we can write stories about them all. So in an effort to clean out my inbox, I'm going to share a few of them with you here.

Audits: Part 3

 - 
03/23/2012

According to CMS, the Medical Review (MR) program is designed to promote a structured approach in the interpretation and implementation of Medicare policy. MR functions may include analyzing data; writing and reviewing local coverage determinations; reviewing claims and educating providers; comprehensive error rate testing; advance determination of Medicare coverage; probe reviews; supplier education; and medical review of claims not for benefit integrity purposes.

Garbage in, garbage out: Bill right from the get-go

 - 
03/23/2012

In any chain of events, the first link is generally the most important. If something goes wrong there, it can impact every other step in the process. This is particularly true with HME providers, which rely on intake coordinators to get a complicated billing process initiated properly. Starting off on the wrong foot wastes time and money, and opens the provider up to denials and, even worse, a potential audit.

Top 10 ways to grow top-line profitability

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02/24/2012

Competitive bidding is either a threat or an opportunity--it depends on whether you see the glass as half empty or half full, and how you prepare and respond to this inevitability. In light of competitive bidding and all of the news it has generated, here are 10 surefire ways you can grow your top-line profitably.

What is new data to lawmakers?

 - 
02/24/2012

It was only a few hours into my workday on a recent Monday when a home medical equipment provider emailed me about a story in our HME News Wire on Prof. Peter Cramton crunching an impressive amount of Medicare data and coming up with the following conclusions (See stories on pages 1 and 4):

CMS is listening. Are you part of the conversation?

 - 
02/24/2012

My main takeaway from the CMS's Health Care Innovations Summit on Jan. 26 is that CMS is definitely trying to dispel any notion that it might be a slow moving, bureaucratic agency. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMI) has $10 billion to invest in innovative ideas. The health reform law requires CMI to test payment and service delivery models to determine their effectiveness at controlling expenditures while delivering quality care to beneficiaries within the Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Moving beyond the traditional demonstration projects CMS has conducted for 40 years, the agency now has the authority to implement CMI projects of unlimited duration on a national basis if they reduce government spending and improve the quality of care. Marilyn Tavenner, the new acting administrator of CMS, and Dr. Rick Gilfillan, the head of CMI, made it clear that every project at CMI would be measured against CMS's three-part aim: better care and better health at lower costs through continuous improvement.

Letter to the editor: Users will tell you TENS works

 - 
01/22/2012

The most important element needed in your story is that CMS has never even tried to contact users at home ("Trouble for TENS?" HME News, November 2011). All they would have to do is look at their database and see who is currently receiving electrodes to use TENS and ask them--period. They would not need to have to review any articles. I guess that might not fit their study data and that would be too easy. The administration needs to get money out of Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act, which is destroying the economy.

Letter to the editor: Accreditation: WellPoint responds

 - 
01/22/2012

I read the following article in on your web site "Accreditation: Medicare's requirement not foolproof," HME News November 2011).  I was disappointed that WellPoint was not contacted for comment on this story.

Modification, not elimination

 - 
01/22/2012

It's never a good feeling when we send our January issue to the printers in mid-December and it has three stories about a new power mobility device demonstration, including a front-page story, and CMS decides on Dec. 29 to postpone said demo "until further notice."

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