HME News

MAR 2017

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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Mobility Briefs Representatives introduce separate benefit bill for complex rehab WASHINGTON – Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., have introduced a bill that would create a separate benefit for complex rehab technology. "This legislation would guarantee that patients have access to the high-quality products and services they need to lead a more independent life," said Crowley, chairman of the Democratic Cau- cus. "For those with disabilities and other medical conditions, these complex rehabili- tation technology products are necessities." Currently, Medicare classifies complex rehab products like specialized power wheelchairs and adaptive seating systems as DME, lim- iting access and choice for users. The bill, H.R. 750, would also help prevent fraud and abuse by requiring that a licensed physical or occupational therapist evaluate any patient seeking complex rehab products through Medicare. H.R. 1516, a previous bill to create a separate benefit for complex rehab, drew support from 172 co-sponsors. A similar bill in the Senate, S. 1013, drew support from 19 co-sponsors. CRT conference registration opens ARLINGTON, Va. – Registration is now open for this year's National CRT Leadership and Ad- vocacy Conference, slated for April 26–27 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. The confer- ence fee is $199. A key focus of the event is pushing legislation to permanently delay CMS's plan to apply competitive bidding-de- rived pricing to accessories for manual and power wheelchairs, and to create a separate benefit for complex rehab. CMS evaluates PMD demo WASHINGTON – CMS has contracted with Pro- vider Resources to conduct an evaluation of its power mobility device demonstration project. CMS has sent letters to physicians, asking them to schedule interviews with Pro- vider Resources to share their opinions and thoughts on the process. "Your feedback could have a direct impact on how PMDs and other services or supplies could be re- quested and/or processed in the future," the agency states in its letter to physicians. As part of the demo, which kicked off in 2012, providers must submit prior authorization re- quests for certain PMDs. PSP Homecare taps IPAs RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – PSP Homecare has obtained contracts with two Indepen- dent Practice Associations to provide prod- ucts to their insured patients. IPAs are busi- nesses organized and owned by a network of independent physicians for the purpose of reducing overhead and pursuing business ventures such as direct healthcare services contracts with employers. IPAs range in size from small three physician networks to larger organizations with hundreds of physicians. PSP Homecare believes it will obtain more contracts with IPAs as it ramps up its market- ing strategy and expands into new regions. ■ Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill to create a separate benefit for complex rehab. See brief below. 18 HM e new S / MARCH 2017 / www. HM enew S . C o M NCART event will be two days, instead of three . . . . . . . 18 Numotion hosts ATPs for annual conference . . . . . . . . . . 18 K0108 is out for titanium upgrades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Stakeholders still in the dark on prior auths . . . . . . . . . . . 19 NCART streamlines annual fly-in FIVE KEY BUSINESS IMPERATIVES billing 'We feel that with the constraints we're working under, a condensed version will be easier for folks' CMS limits K0108 for manuals f L y- I N s e e n e x t pa g e By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NCART and NRRTS are shaking up their annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., to accommodate com- plex rehab providers who are strapped for time and cash. The groups have slated the event for April 26-27—two days instead of the custom- ary three days—at the Hyatt By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor ORLANDO, f la. – The management at Numotion energized and engaged about 650 of its ATPs and branch managers at its annual conference at the Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Cen- ter in January. The three-day conference, Jan. 19-21, featured presentations on a variety of topics, but they all had one thing in common: a focus on the customer. "We're passionate about what we do, which is improv- ing the lives of people with disabilities," said Mike Swin- ford, CEO. "To show everyone why we do what we do, every presentation had a customer story embedded in it. It was an emotional meeting; every story was inspiring." Two speakers at the conference were Scott Chesney, a Numotion customer and a moti- vational speaker; and Travis Roy, a promising hockey player who was paralyzed from the neck down by a freak accident on the ice in his first By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor A b IG GOA l of Numo- tion's annual confer- ence is aligning its team of ATPs and branch managers to the company's "five key business imperatives," says CEO Mike Swinford. Here, Swinford gives an update on some of those imperatives. e ne R g I ze D A n D eng A ge D wo R kfo RC e Swinford says Numotion plans to launch new train- ing platforms this year to continually improve com- By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor WASHINGTON – CMS has taken away a Medicare beneficia- ry's "right to choose," now that providers aren't allowed to use K0108 for titanium or heavy duty upgrades for manual wheelchairs, indus- try stakeholders say. In a joint article on Dec. 15, the DME MACs state that the codes for manual wheel- chairs—K0001 through K0009—have always includ- ed the cost of these upgrades. "Suppliers billing for man- ual wheelchair bases must not include HCPCS code K0108 in addition to the base wheelchair code when a wheelchair is constructed of titanium or for a 'heavy duty package' reflecting titanium construction materials," they state. "Claim HCPCS code K0108 reflecting titanium construction or 'heavy duty package' comprised of tita- nium components are con- sidered as incorrect coding- unbundling." The DME MACs state this has been the case since the codes were developed in 1993. It has been common prac- tice among providers to use K0108—"wheelchair com- ponent or accessory, not otherwise specified"—for titanium and heavy duty upgrades on complex man- ual wheelchairs. b ecause the DME MACs have labeled R e g e n c y Crystal City. " We f e e l that with the c o n s t r a i n t s we're work- ing under, a c o n d e n s e d version will be easier for folks, and just as effective," said Don Clayback, execu- tive director of NCART. "We'll offer the same, if not better, coverage." NCART and NRRTS are still working on the details of the event, but Clayback says April 26 will feature optional education in the morning and mandatory preparation for the following day's Hill visits in the afternoon. Also slated for April 26 in the afternoon: an annual industry update from a panel of leading pro- viders and manufacturers. b y the event in April, Clay- back says NCART and NRRTS expect to have bills intro- duced to permanently delay CMS's plan to apply competi- tive bidding-derived pricing to accessories for manual and power wheelchairs, and Numotion rallies around its wheelchair customers "It was an emotional meeting; every story was inspiring." pany culture and leadership development. "We've really started to see our culture shift around more compassionate and car- ing service, while still driving accountability and positive results," he said. Cu ST o M e R loy A l T y A n D S olu TI on S Swinford says Numotion is working on "some game- c h a n g i n g i n i t i a t i v e s " t o improve the company's ser- vice and repair business— everything from standardized phone trees across branches to better diagnose and tri- age issues, to agreements with payers that eliminate or reduce documentation requirements under a cer- tain dollar threshold. "We're looking at any way we can be more progres- sive," he said. Innov ATI on Swinford says Numotion plans to ramp up the num- ber of exclusive distributor agreements with technol- ogy vendors. The company nailed such an agreement for SoftWheels in-wheel suspension technology last numotion ceo mike swinford addresses 650 ATPs and branch managers at the company's annual conference (top) . Permobil and other manufacturers also attended (bottom) . Don Clayback K 0 1 0 8 s e e n e x t pa g e N U M O T I O N s e e n e x t pa g e f I V E k e y s s e e n e x t pa g e

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