HME News

DEC 2018

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 It's go-time for complex rehab accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Will 2019 be the year of separate benefit? . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Q&A: Woman of the Year Georgie Blackburn . . . . . . . . . . 15 Numotion adds Safety Sleeper to lineup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 ■ Miller's came in second place in this year's HME Excellence Awards. See story below. BRIEFS Rehab Medical buys Family Medical Supply INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Rehab Medical has ac- quired Family Medical Supply in Oklahoma, expanding the complex rehab provider's footprint to 14 states. Family Medical Supply has been in business for more than 30 years and operates two locations in Oklahoma City and Kingston. "Rehab Medical is excited to expand into the state of Oklahoma," said Kevin Gearheart, president. "Family Medi- cal Supply is a well-respected business that shares a number of our values, with a strong emphasis on improving the lives of those we serve." Twenty-one employees at Family Medical Supply, including two ATPs, will join Rehab Medical's team. Rehab Medical oper- ates in 22 major metropolitan markets. Earlier this year, the Indianapolis Business Journal named the provider one of the city's Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies. Numotion acquires Medsource's rehab division BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Numotion has acquired the complex rehab technology division of Medsource, extending its reach and capa- bilities in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. Medsource, which has been in business since 1989, provides custom mobility prod- ucts to thousands of consumers across the region, according to a press release. "Med- source has a unique model that has been highly successful," said Mike Swinford, CEO of Numotion. "We are excited to learn from this team and look forward to applying their knowledge to positively impact and serve many more customers in the region." Sixty- six Medsource employees will join Numotion. NSM expands in NYC area NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobil- ity has acquired Rehabco in Bronx, N.Y. Five ATPs will transition to NSM and the location will also serve as a centralized service and repair center, according to a press release. "Rehabco has been a respected provider of rehab services in the community for more than 40 years," said Bill Mixon, NSM CEO in a press release. "We are proud to welcome this experienced group to NSM." NSM also has branches in the metro New York area in Garden City, Plainview and Fairfield, N.J.; and branches in Albany and Buffalo, N.Y. FODAC forms charity TUCKER, Ga. – Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a nonprofit organization providing DME and services to those living with disabilities, has joined forces with Dy- narex, a provider of disposable and durable medical supplies, to form a new charitable program. Orangeburg, N.Y.-based Dynarex established the program in conjunction with the launch of its Durable Medical Products line. As part of the program, Dynarex will donate 100 wheelchairs to FODAC and will donate a portion of the proceeds from every DME purchase. FODAC will be responsible for managing the warehousing and distribu- tion of the donated Dynarex products to dif- ferent groups. WWW.HMENEWS.COM / DECEMBER 2018 / HME NEWS 15 Stakeholders plan big push for separate benefit for complex rehab Blackburn: Noticed, recognized HME EXCELLENCE AWARDS NRRTS TWEAKS REQUIREMENTS B L A C K B U R N S E E PA G E 1 6 Woman of the Year M I L L E R ' S E X C E L S S E E PA G E 1 6 BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor H ME WOMAN of the Year Georgie Black- burn says serendip- ity had a lot to do with her 40-year rise at Blackburn's, but anyone who knows her knows it has more to do with her ambition and compassion. Sure, it may have been ser- endipity at first, in the form of a phone call from a friend of a secretary who worked at the company at the time, in 1978. "They wanted me to help them for three weeks while she recovered from sur- gery," said Blackburn, who, with her kids in elementary school, was readying herself to return to school to get a nursing degree. But once there, Blackburn BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WASHINGTON – If all goes according to plan, 2019 will be the year of the separate benefit category for complex rehab technology. The push for a separate ben- efit has been sidelined for years by the more pressing need to restore reimbursement for accessories for complex power and manual wheelchairs. But with their eyes set on Congress stopping CMS from applying competitive bidding-related cuts BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WASHINGTON – An amnesty program that allowed new NRRTS regis- trants to immediately apply for their CRTS designation was so successful that it has become a permanent change. Previously, NRRTS registrants had to wait two years before applying for their designations. "Over the about six months of the amnesty program, we received 50 applications for the CRTS," said Weesie Walker, executive director of NRRTS. "So I said to the board, 'This is a time where we need to have as many CRTSs as possible,' and they agreed." to accessories for complex manual wheel- chairs by the end of 2018, stakeholders h o p e t o b e 100% focused on the sepa- rate benefit next year. "The first bill for a separate benefit was introduced in April 2012 and broader advocacy started in March 2013 in the next Congress, when we had a true bipartisan bill," said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. "But unfortunately when the accessories issue came up in 2015, we had to make fix- ing that the priority." The good news: In a way, the act of getting Congress to recog- nize the access and other issues associated with cutting reim- bursement for accessories may better position the industry to finally succeed in getting a sepa- rate benefit. "When we've talked to mem- bers of Congress about the accessories issue, it highlighted the problems with coding and the way equipment is catego- rized and showed why a sepa- rate benefit is necessary," Clay- back said. After so many years in play, members of Congress are famil- iar with the industry's push for a separate benefit, but stakehold- ers will have to go back to the drawing board in one big way: NRRTS reg- istrants must still meet the following crite- ria: have a doc- umented min- imum of three years of expe- rience provid- ing direct ser- vice; be an ATP in good standing for a minimum of three years; and complete an application for registry. Walker says in talking to com- plex rehab professionals she real- ized that the two-year waiting period was a "turn off." "I've always known a lot of people who never became reg- istrants and I could never figure out why," she said. "Well, this is one of the reasons. For a lot of experienced suppliers out there, (this change) is the motivation they need to join NRRTS." While having an ATP on staff may be the ticket-to-work if you want to get paid by Medicare, Walker says the CRTS designa- tion also carries weight—it's required by a number of state Medicaid programs, and it's recognized in CMS's supplier standards. "It's more specialized," she said. "In today's world, the CRTS is the only designation for suppli- ers. Suppliers require a different set of skills." HME BY JOHN ANDREWS, Contributing Editor AKRON, Ohio – Miller's, a runner- up for this year's HME Excel- lence Awards, has taken full advantage of the various media platforms that are available to spread its message to the public, referral sources and patients. By using technology to keep in close contact with everyone the company serves, owner Johnny Miller says it has given him a greater context on the provider's role in the healthcare continuum. "We had been slow to adopt, but once we went in, we went all in," he said. "We wanted to do a better job getting from cli- Miller's 'all in' on social media ents and referral partners what they want and what we could do to improve. Some of the feedback isn't easy to hear, but we use it to better ourselves." Miller's has a diverse busi- ness mix, but a strong con- centration on complex rehab. Because many rehab patients start as children, having clear channels of communication is especially beneficial for them, Miller said. "We have patients who have been with us for a very long time, starting as kids and still with us for 20 or 30 years, so GEORGIE BLACKBURN (center right) receives the award from VGM's Mike Mallaro, Christa Miehe and Clint Geffert (from left to right). Don Clayback THE MILLER'S crew poses with its award plaque. The company tied for sec- ond place this year. Weesie Walker S E PA R AT E B E N E F I T S E E PA G E 1 6

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