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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Rx and Specialty Providers Briefs Bain Capital makes bolt-on acquisition ATLANTA – Bain Capital Private Equity plans to buy PSA Healthcare, combining it with another recent purchase, Epic Health Ser- vices. Per the agreement, the current equity holders of PSA Healthcare, including its se- nior management team and J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, its current majority owner, have agreed to roll over their current owner- ship interests into the newly formed affiliate. Essentially Women sets fall conference WATERLOO, Iowa – Essentially Women has scheduled its annual education conference and trade show for Sept. 16-18 in Minne- apolis. The three-day "Focus" conference will provide members with continuing edu- cation and training, resources to improve operational efficiencies, and network- ing opportunities. Registration will open in March. The VGM Group bought EW, a member services organization with more than 600 members in 1,000 locations, in late 2015. It has moved the annual confer- ence from the spring to the fall. BOC elects new members OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The BOC board has elected its 2017 executive committee. Bradley Watson, president of Clarksville Limb + Brace + Rehab in Bowling Green, Ky., chairman; Rod Borkowski, president of Health Essentials in Calif., vice-chairman; Wayne Rosen, owner of W.R. Rosen, Inc., in South Florida, secretary; Shane Ryley, area clinic manager at Hanger Orthopedic Group in Torrance, Calif., treasurer; and Jeffrey Hedges, president of R.J. Hedges & Associates in New Florence, Pa., mem- ber-at-large. James Hewlett continues to serve as immediate past chairman. Wellness bill introduced WASHINGTON – A companion bill, H.R. 592, has been introduced in the House of Rep- resentatives that seeks Medicare payment for services such as wellness screenings, immunizations and diabetes management. A Senate version of the bill was introduced Jan. 12 with 27 co-sponsors. Both bills have been endorsed by the pharmacy community, including the National Com- munity Pharmacists Association. Arch Comfort finds new home in pharmacy WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Arch Comfort, which specializes in therapeutic and correc- tive footwear, has moved inside Harrold's Pharmacy, according to the local news- paper, The Times-Leader. The owners of Arch Comfort, both certified pedorthists, said the new location will give the com- pany more visibility and allow it to accept more kinds of insurances, the newspaper reported. Arch Comfort provides person- alized fittings for braces and orthotics, a shoe lab for in-house modifications, a se- lection of name brand orthopedic footwear and other therapeutic products. WWW .hm E n EW s. CO m / m A r C h 2017 / hm E n EW s 21 CGMs get green light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Infusion stakeholders press for gap fix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 AASM launches SleepTM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 CMS outlines O&P qualifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 ■ Infusion providers like Gregory LoPresti are trying to work with patients on a "case-by-case" basis. See story this page. By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor O ne of the leading providers of home infusion therapy has stopped taking new Medicare patients and others are likely to follow suit if a "payment gap" is not closed. "We are not able to take these patients that are directly impacted on our service and provide them the level of care that we deliver for the level of reimbursement that we make," said Paul Mastrapa, C eo of By Theresa Flaher T y, Managing e ditor WASHINGTON – Home infusion stakeholders want a fast fix for a payment gap that will limit patient access to therapy. The n ational Home Infusion Association spearheaded a Jan. 26 letter, with more than 170 signatures, urging lawmak- ers to take "quick action" to address the payment gap. "We can't waste any time," said Ken van Pool, vice presi- dent of legislative affairs for the n HIA. "Without a fix in the near-term, it just spirals out of control over time." WASHINGTON – CMS published a sweep- ing proposed rule in the f ederal Regis- ter on Jan. 12 outlining the qualifications needed for practitioners and suppliers to furnish and fabricate prosthetics and cus- tom-fabricated orthotics, and the accredita- tion requirements needed to bill for them. The proposed rule also outlines the time- frame by which qualified practitioners and suppliers must meet applicable licensure, certification and accreditation require- ments. Additionally, it outlines the require- ments that an organization must meet to accredit qualified suppliers to bill for pros- thetics and custom-fabricated orthotics. The American o rthotics and Prosthet- ics Association has begun digging into the proposed rule, but says at first glance it's a move in the right direction. "The provisions appear to be in line with what A o PA has supported with the Medi- care o &P Improvements Act in defining qualified providers as those accredited with ABC or B o C and that only qualified pro- viders can submit claims for prosthetics or custom-fabricated orthotics," the associa- tion said in a bulletin. hme By T. Flaher T y, Managing e ditor CHICAGO – e nsuring compliance with sleep therapy can be time consuming and expensive for HM e providers and patients alike. A new telemedicine plat- form from the American Acad- emy of Sleep Medicine aims to make things easier. The group recently made AASM SleepTM, a proprietary web-based video platform, available to DM e providers. It was already available to physi- cians and sleep labs. "It occurred to us a fair num- ber of the questions and con- cerns that come up could be addressed over a telemedicine platform," said Jerry Barrett, executive director of AASM. "The patient's ability to get to the DM e company, the DM e company's need to hire RTs— these things can be handled (using telemedicine). It will help patients stay on their ther- apy and we will all see better adherence." The platform, which is avail- able for a $250 setup fee and $500 annual fee, allows for appointment scheduling, file sharing and messaging. If communicating with patients via the web seems daunting, think again. "It was designed with ease of use in mind," said Steve Van Hout, assistant executive direc- tor for AASM and the chief architect of AASM SleepTM. "There are no new programs that need to be learned—just go into your browser and log on." Fix infusion payment gap Providers take patients on 'case by case' basis As of Jan. 1, per a provi- sion in the 21st Century Cures Act, Medicare pays for Part B infusion drugs under an aver- age sales price model, a move that reduces payments so d r a s t i c a l l y that, essential- ly, they no lon- ger cover ser- vices. Another provision in the act provides payments for these services, but not until 2021. Signers to the n HIA's letter ranged from providers and patient advocacy groups to prestigious h e a l t h c a re s y s t e m s , including the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and n orthwestern, said van Pool. "I think this is send- ing a clear statement that this is a wide-rang- ing problem that's been CMS outlines proposed qualifications for O&P AASM adds video communication to HME toolbox But it's the platform's video communication, specifically, that's key to patient compliance, AASM says. " o ne of the core issues is trying to explain a visual con- cept over the phone," said Tom Duffy, direc- tor of tele- health opera- tions. "If you are having an issue with your mask, you could spend sev- eral minutes trying to explain it (over the phone), whereas if you hopped on a video encounter, the DM e could see what the issue is and rectify it very quickly." f or providers seeking to bal- ance high-touch services with an increasing need for efficien- cy, AASM SleepTM makes it easier to cut costs, even as they see more patients, AASM says. "You can have an RT working out of their home on weekends or in the evenings when people are more available," Barrett said. "The opportunities are limited only to someone's imagination, as to how they can run their business a little better." While telemedicine is still in its early stages, AASM expects it to be a huge driver in reducing healthcare costs going forward, especially in areas where people don't have easy access to care. "The only way to effectively reach these areas is through technology used on the diag- nostics side, as well as on the therapeutic side, to get people care that they just don't have available to them right now," Barrett said. hme 'The opportunities are limited only to someone's imagination' it's rally time keep my infusion care at home shares impact on patients . I N f u S I O N g a p s e e pa g e 2 2 PAT I E N T S s e e pa g e 2 2 Paul Mastrapa Jerry Barrett

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