HME News

JAN 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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VOLUME 24 — NUMBER 1 JANUARY 2018 $7.00 HME NEWS POLL ■ CareCentrix isn't moving wisely, it's moving fast, says CEO John Driscoll. See page 11. ■ Product Spotlight: This month we feature oxygen therapy products like the LifeChoice Activox 4L from ResMed. See page 19. ■ What would be the impact of Amazon expanding its presence in the HME market? See results on page 22 N E W S ■ New details emerge on IFR. PAGE 3 ■ Stakeholders monitor MedPAC. PAGE 3 ■ CMS considers expanding phone demo. PAGE 3 C O M M E N TA RY ■ Miriam Lieber pays tribute to her late mother-in-law, Phyllis Kraemer, HME billing pioneer and mentor. PAGE 6 D E PA RT M E N T S PROVIDERS ■ OIG report 'slap on wrist.' PAGE 11 ■ Q&A: Steve Huntington. PAGE 11 MOBILITY ■ Stakeholders position accessories bill. PAGE 14 ■ Rehab council spells it out. PAGE 14 RX & SPECIALTY PROVIDERS ■ Diabetes market on precipice of disaster. PAGE 17 ■ InfuSystem reports Q3 earnings. PAGE 17 VENDORS ■ Earnings: Inogen, Invacare. PAGE 20 ■ M&A: Amerisource, Compass, Permobil. PAGE 21 W W W . H M E N E W S . C O M Industry's eyes turn to Medicaid CVS, Aetna cast shadow Move over, Angry Birds VGM LIVE AT HOME THINKS BIG M E D I C A I D C U T S PA G E 1 8 C V S A E T N A PA G E 1 8 3B Medical sets stage for big year A NEW VIDEO GAME FROM STEALTH PRODUCTS helps pediatric wheelchair users (and their parents) get over the fear of assess- ments for power wheelchairs. GAME CHANGER BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WASHINGTON – CMS has finally started to detail how it plans to implement a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act that requires the agency to cap its contribu- tion to Medicaid reimbursement for DME at Medicare reimburse- BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – You could call 2017 a rebuilding year for 3B Medical. Until January of 2017, 3B Medi- cal was embroiled in a patent law- suit with a competing manufac- turer of sleep therapy devices, ResMed. The lawsuit spanned 16 actions across t h r e e c o n t i - nents, says Alex Lucio, executive vice president at 3B Medical. "It was a mas- sive litigation for a company our size," he told HME News. "3B is a prod- uct company. We want to work on developing new products and bringing innovative solutions to market. Our ability to do that was at a standstill during the BY THERESA FLAHERTY, Managing Editor I F A planned merger between CVS Health and Aetna goes through, community phar- macists say it could fl atten the industry. "It's going to have a terrible negative impact on privately- owned pharmacies," said Steve Nelson, CEO and president of Okeechobee Discount Drugs in Okeechobee, Fla. "They've got a pharmacy benefi t man- ager (CVS CareMark) and now an insurance company. They'll be in direct competition with physicians, they'll sell you policies, you'll see their clini- cians—there's no freedom of choice left." CVS Health and Aetna on Dec. 3 announced that CVS Health would pay approxi- mately $69 billion in cash and stock for Aetna's outstanding shares. The companies tout BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WATERLOO, Iowa – As the newly rebranded VGM Live at Home, Jim Greatorex envisions the group's provider members help- ing seniors with everything from ment starting Jan. 1, 2018. CMS on Nov. 28 published a notice in the Federal Regis- ter outlining its plans to require state Medicaid programs to sub- mit their fee schedules for K, E and select A codes using a new spreadsheet to make sure they're not paying too much for DME. " T h e y w i l l h a v e t o s u b - m i t a n n u a l l y t o M e d i c a r e : codes, descrip- tions, modifi- ers, utilization, then rates," said Laura Williard, vice president of payer relations at AAHomecare. "They have added a column based on our feedback for them to specify the allowable, rural, non-rural, etc." Stakeholders have been work- ing most of this year trying to get additional information from CMS Two companies announce planned $69 billion merger stair lifts to smart sensors. Formerly Accessible Home Improvement of America, the group has traditionally been focused on accessibility products like wheelchair ramps more tar- geted at people with disabilities. As VGM Live at Home, however, it plans to broaden its focus to also include connected technol- ogies that are more targeted at seniors. "We'll soon announce that BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor BURNET, Texas – With a Bluetooth- enabled specialty drive control and now a video game that can be used as a training and assess- ment tool, Gabriel Romero feels like Stealth Products is fi nally in a place where it's keeping up with mainstream technology. "My background is in com- puter science, so anything involving programming or electronics in our industry, I've taken to," said Romero, vice president of sales and marketing for Stealth Products, a division of Quantum Rehab. "It's always just surprised me that this industry hasn't been advancing faster when it comes to the tech- nology surrounding us." Here's what Romero had to say about LOONZ, a video game that centers around an elephant 3 B M E D I C A L PA G E 2 1 V G M L I V E AT H O M E PA G E 1 5 L O O N Z PA G E 2 1 Alex Lucio Laura Williard 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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