HME News

MAY 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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VOLUME 23 — NUMBER 5 MAY 2017 $7.00 HME NEWS POLL ■ There are options and opportunities for bid reform, says Matthew Agnew. See page 8. ■ Product Spotlight: This month we feature billing systems and services like the VirtueRN. See page 18. ■ What has been the biggest impact on your business from the national roll out of bid pricing? See results on page 22 N E W S ■ Stakeholders prep strategies. PAGE 3 ■ Newspoll: Providers keep biz functions in the US. PAGE 3 ■ New RAC starts 'slow and steady.' PAGE 4 C O M M E N TA RY ■ Ever-evolving modern technology is now critical to a successful resupply business—there are tools today that didn't exist six months ago, says Gary Long of Brightree. PAGE 9 D E PA RT M E N T S PROVIDERS ■ Home Health Depot shrinks to grow. PAGE 12 ■ Respiratory Services hits its 'prime.' PAGE 12 MOBILITY ■ Ready, set, roll. PAGE 14 ■ Simon Margolis Fellows: Gunn, Dickerson. PAGE 14 RX & SPECIALTY PROVIDERS ■ Downward spiral for supplies. PAGE 16 ■ NHIA event looks 'homeward.' PAGE 16 VENDORS ■ Drive has all eyes online. PAGE 19 ■ VirtuOx connects providers. PAGE 19 W W W . H M E N E W S . C O M CMS, 'right this wrong' Stance on accessories more clear Running man The time that Rick Adamich spends running and participat- ing in events like Tough Mudder (above) does as much for his business as it does for his body. Adamich had even more time than usual to contemplate work as he put in the training miles to compete in his fi rst-ever Boston Marathon on April 17. See story page 12. CCS Med 'Connects' diabetes patients Janet Stephens stays STEP ahead in manufacturing F O R U M S E E PA G E 2 1 BY THERESA FLAHERTY, Managing Editor WA S H I N G TO N – From Martha's Vineyard to the Pacific North- west, rural HME providers are struggling to survive in a post- competitive bidding world, they told CMS offi cials during a call March 23. CMS was mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act to take BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WASHINGTON – During a second Special Open Door on March 21, CMS offi cials gave examples of what accessories are covered under a new prior authorization process for K0856 and K0861 power wheelchairs. Accessory codes required to make a coverage decision on the base include, but are not limited to, power seating system combi- nation tilt and recline (E1007); head control interface (E2327, E2328, E2329, E2330); sip-n-puff interface (E2325); joystick other than a standard proportional BY KELLY BOTHUM, Contributing Writer FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – CCS Medical is seeing 25% higher testing rates for hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, choles- terol, kidney and eye tests, and reductions in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for patients in its virtual diabetes education program. Most diabetes education programs are offered only in- person, usually in a class set- ting with an educator available on a limited schedule. That's not the case with CCS Con- nects, which allows people with diabetes to work indi- vidually with a certifi ed diabe- tes educator by phone, email, webinar or Skype to get the information and support they need. "Traditionally, people go to diabetes education classes and work on goals," said Kris- tine Erdman, vice president of clinical services for CCS Med- ical. "Then they're done and you never see them again. But people are still struggling with their management and self-care. We never dismiss BY JEFF ROWE, Contributing Writer T HE MANUFACTURING Insti- tute has announced that Janet Stephens, director of planning & initiatives for SCA's Global Hygiene Supply Personal Care Americas business unit, will receive the Women in Manufac- turing STEP (Science, Technol- ogy, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. HME News caught up with Stephens to learn more about what it's like to be a woman in manufacturing. HME NEWS: How did you get your start in manufacturing? Janet Stephens: I started out in computer sci- e n c e , b u t I didn't like it. So I took one of those guid- ance aptitude tests and was told I should be an engineer. I liked chemistry, got a degree in chemical engineering, and, at my fi rst job, found I really love the manufacturing environment. It's a purpose-driven place to be. HME: How has working in different areas of manufacturing helped you to get where you are now? into account stakeholder input on future pricing in non-bid areas, which got their fi rst taste of the program in 2016. "We've been forced to dig into our personal savings to keep our business afl oat this year and con- tinue to provide much needed supplies and services in our area in anticipation that Medicare will right this wrong," said Rebecca Erickson of Star Valley Medical Supply in Afton, Wyo. Signed into law in December, the Cures Act rolled back cuts that went into effect in non-competi- tive bidding areas from June 30, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016, allowing providers in those areas to recoup six months worth of payments. With that cut, and a fi rst round Callers to forum outline problems related to drastic rate cuts J. Stephens C O N N E C T S E E PA G E 2 1 P R I O R A U T H S E E PA G E 2 1 J A N E T S T E P H E N S S E E PA G E 2 0 PRIOR AUTHS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R H O M E M E D I C A L E Q U I P M E N T P R O V I D E R S

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