HME News

MAY 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 Briefs OIG: VA slow to repair wheelchairs WASHINGTON – The Office of Inspector Gen- eral has found that veterans waited an average of 69 days for power wheelchair and scooter repairs, more than a month beyond a 30-day timeliness benchmark set by the agency, according to a new report. "These delays occurred because staff and prosthetic service managers at the respec- tive VA medical facilities did not always effectively manage and monitor repair re- quests," the OIG stated in a report. "VA medical facility staff, including prosthetic service staff, did not always promptly input repair requests in the consult management systems so the requests could be properly tracked. Moreover, prosthetic service staff did not effectively monitor the completion of the repairs after the purchase orders for the repairs were issued and the consults were closed." The OIG reviewed a statisti- cal sample of power wheelchair and scoot- er repairs at eight VA medical facilities in Veterans Integrated Service Network 7. It identified about 380 veterans in the network who experienced delays in the completion of about 480 of the 1,200 repairs in fiscal year 2016. NSM joins AAH… NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobil- ity has joined AAHomecare as a bronze cor- porate partner. NSM says the partnership is representative of the provider's ongoing commitment to public policies that pro- tect access to manual and power complex wheelchairs and mobility related products. "We have been impressed by the scale, ca- pability and effectiveness of AAHomecare in representing the critical areas of our in- dustry," said Bill Mixon, CEO of NSM. "With specialists on staff and relationships with respected advisors, the association is a credible presence on the front lines on Cap- itol Hill and at state and federal agencies." …and VGM Live at Home NASHVILLE, Tenn. – AccessNSM, a division of National Seating & Mobility, has joined the VGM Live at Home nationwide community of home accessibility providers and certi- fied modification contractors. NSM says the partnership will connect AccessNSM with VGM's network of business tools and re- sources, as well as vendor programs. "The new partnership with VGM is a natural fit for AccessNSM," said Kalen McKenzie, vice president of the division. "VGM has made great strides bringing the home ac- cess industry together, and we look forward to utilizing their resources in providing the best services and solutions for our clients." NRRTS extends amnesty LUBBOCK, Texas – NRRTS has extended an Amnesty Program for awarding the CRTS designation to new or current registrants who meet certain criteria through June 1. The organization has awarded the designa- tion to about 30 registrants since the pro- gram launched on Jan. 1. ■ NCART is sizing up new strategies and next steps in manual accessories fight, says Don Clayback. See story this page. 14 HM e N ew S / MA y 2018 / www. HM e N ew S .c OM MAC takes physical stance on manuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Survey seeks to define complex rehab landscape. . . . . . 14 Total Rehab, VGM donate specialized wheelchair . . . . . . 14 Open for biz: Fuller Medical Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 UPitt, NCART push for demographic information NCART puts new emphasis on access 'The Cow Whisperer' The VGM Group and Omaha, Neb.-based Total Respiratory and Rehab donated a custom-built power wheelchair with tracks to 12-year-old Alex Gotto of Dyersville, Iowa. The new chair, a TrackMaster MK-1, features a green and yellow paint scheme; dual, one-horsepower electric motors; a custom seating system; 47-inch long tracks; and a wide base to provide stability. It also features 900-lumen LED floodlights to help Alex, who is known as "The Cow Whisperer," navigate around the farm day or night. VGM donated the chair and Total Respiratory and Rehab covered the freight and labor to install the custom upgrades. The Tracks for Alec fundraiser paid for the upgrades. manuals National Seating & Mobility charts path AT p s u R V E y s E E N E x T p A G E m A N U A L S s E E N E x T p A G E By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor S eventy-six A t Ps new to n ational s eating & Mobil- ity were part of the 600- plus attendees at the company's annual symposium in March. t he symposium, in its 24 th year, was a chance for ns M management and employees to highlight their accomplishments in 2017 and set goals for 2018, By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor p ITTSBURGH – t he University of Pittsburgh and n CAR t are con- ducting a short survey to pro- vide definition to the complex rehab technology professional landscape. UPitt and n CAR t were ask- ing A t P-certified supplier and manufacturer representatives to complete the three-page survey, which focuses on demographics and industry background and experience, by April 18. "Basically, every profession does surveys like these every five years," said Mark s chmeler, associate professor at the Uni- By Liz Beau L ieu, e ditor WASHINGTON – Complex rehab stakeholders are taking a slightly different tack now that the manual accessories issue wasn't included in the recent omnibus bill. s takeholders were push- ing for H.R. 3730, a bill that would stop competitive bid- ding-related cuts for acces- sories for complex manual wheelchairs, to be part of the much larger spending package. "Unfortunately, it was a big bill, which is why it's so attractive, but we didn't make the cut," said Don Clayback, executive director of n CAR t . Bid-related pricing for accessories for manual wheel- chairs has been in place since Jan. 1, 2016. s takeholders now plan to make providers the focal point of their lobbying efforts to restore pricing. "We want to get some pro- viders to weigh in on some of the issues they're dealing with related to access," Clay- back said. " t hey have tried to hold off making changes that will affect access as much as they can, but if relief doesn't come soon, there are going to be more access issues." s takeholders provided the perfect vehicle for providers all under the theme "Jour- ney to e xcel- lence." "We want to chart a path for not only o u r s e l v e s but also the industry to achieve excellence," said C e O Bill Mixon. " t he idea is that a journey is a collaborative process and it takes time." One highlight in that journey in 2017: a "fairly significant" reduction in the company's cycle time of providing equipment and services to patients, Mixon says. Looking at 2018, ns M plans to pursue excellence across four pillars of people, culture, opera- tional excellence and growth. "Beneath each of those are 15-20 strategic initiatives that we believe will help us get there," Mixon said. Under growth, ns M has a goal of providing home accessibil- ity equipment and services from 75% of its 123 branches by the end of 2018, up from 50%. "We're really excited about home access," Mixon said. "We view ourselves as a provider of Home accessibility to play large role in the national complex rehab provider's growth plans Bill Mixon versity of Pittsburgh and co- investigator of the survey. "We have a general idea of how many professionals are providing CR t , but we don't know how old they a re , w h e re they work, what market d i s p a r i t i e s there are." t h e s u r v e y 's q u e s t i o n s include what is your highest level of formal education, what other professional certifications/ licenses do you have, what type of company are you employed by, what type of financial com- pensation do you receive, and what level of training do you feel a CR t provider should have? t he results of the survey will be used to help raise awareness of the opportunities in com- plex rehab and assistive tech- nology, which have been long overshadowed by more estab- lished professions in physical therapy, occupational therapy and orthotics and prosthetics, s chmeler says. " t hese other fields can explain what the job market is and what to expect, and these are questions 'What if we find out the average age of an ATP is 50 and in 10 years we're going to have to replace 50% of our workforce?' N S m s y M p O s I u M s E E N E x T p A G E Mark Schmeler

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