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Archive for September, 2012

House Co-Sponsors

We are up to 32!  At the bottom of this email (and attached) is the current list of Members who have signed on by State.  As you see, we have bipartisan support and representation from the key committees.  Is your Member on the list?  Of particular note are the two most recent sign-ons: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN).  Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers serves on the Energy & Commerce Committee and is the Republican Co-Chair of House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.  Congresswoman Black serves on the Ways & Means Committee and had a career as a nurse prior to getting elected to Congress. 

It’s helpful  to review what caused these key Members to sign on. 

We have been working with their offices for several months educating them on CRT issues and why they needed to support our bill.  The type and location of the “education” took many forms.  CRT Supplier Don Whitney of Inland Medical met in person with Congresswoman McMorris-Rodgers in her home district to educate her on CRT and the benefits of H.R. 4378.  Darren Jernigan of Permobil and Tom Strickland of National Seating & Mobility joined the meeting with Congresswoman Black in her Washington D.C. office and Permobil got her to take a tour of their facility to learn first-hand about CRT and how it helps people.  These meetings were supplemented with the exchange of multiple emails and supporting documents with Congressional staff to give them the information they needed to recommend their “boss” sign on.  It’s great to see the investment of time pay off.  Read more

CMS Postpones K0009 Policy Change Implementation

Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 10:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

HME BUSINESS
New coding policy for manual wheelchairs effective Feb. 28, 2013.

By Laurie Watanabe
Sep 20, 2012

Medicare’s Pricing, Data Analysis & Coding contractor (PDAC) has announced that the implementation date for a new K0009 coding policy for manual wheelchairs has been postponed.

“Previously it was communicated that DMEPOS products listed on the PDAC Web site with HCPCS code K0009 will be end dated effective September 30, 2012,” the PDAC Web site said in a Sept. 11 posting. “This effective date has been changed. The new effective date will now be February 28, 2013.” Read more

AAHomecare: Bipartisan Market Pricing Bill Introduced

Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 09:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert
Courtesy of HomeCare Magazine

WASHINGTON, DC, September 21, 2012—The American Association for Homecare applauds a bipartisan bill introduced today in the House of Representatives that would implement market-based pricing for home medical equipment and services such as oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, and other durable medical equipment that allow Medicare beneficiaries to remain safe and independent at home.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and 13 cosponsors introduced the “Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act of 2012.” The bill would a market pricing program (MPP), replacing in a budget-neutral manner the current Medicare competitive bidding program for home medical equipment and services.

Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare, commented, “A lot of providers, state associations, and other advocates have worked hard to make sure their lawmakers understood the importance of this bill. We appreciate all these efforts. Now we have to work even harder to ensure that MPP is enacted this year to save the homecare sector and ensure that beneficiaries get the equipment and care they deserve.” Read more

Thursday, September 20, 2012 @ 08:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

According to Mobility Magazine:  ATP Involvement Needed for K0005s Starting in March
By Laurie Watanabe
Sep 17, 2012

A new Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters article from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states what seating & mobility clinicians and providers have known all along: Ultralight weight manual wheelchairs, HCPCS code K0005, are complex rehab technology products.

MLN Matters article SE1233, issued Sept. 10, is called “Clarification of the Quality Standards and Accreditation Requirements for Ultra Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs.”

It alerts providers that for ultralight claims with dates of service on or after March 1, 2013, suppliers will have to be in compliance with DMEPOS Quality Standards and accreditation requirements. Read more

Handi Medical Supply has 5 ATPs!

Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 09:09 AM  posted by jbuytaert

From HME News bulletin

What’s an RTS?
by:  Elizabeth Deprey -  Friday, September 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – CMS created confusion over acronyms in August when it sent out bulletins about its decision to designate K0005 as complex rehab.

In the bulletins, the agency made references to requiring an assistive technology professional (ATP) to provide the wheelchair, but it also made references to a rehab technology supplier (RTS). In the industry’s view, they are not one in the same.

“RTS describes a person’s function,” said Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS. “It’s what everybody does. An ATP is an RTS who takes the test and gets certified as an ATP.”

Medicare’s apparent use of the terms ATP and RTS interchangeably could cause confusion down the road, stakeholders fear.

CMS clarified its stance in an MLN Matters article on Sept. 11, stating “A qualified RTS is an individual that has one of the following credentials: Certified Rehabilitative Technology Supplier (CRTS); Assistive Technology Supplier (ATS) (discontinued 12/31/2008); Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) (discontinued 12/31/2008); Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) (effective 1/1/2009).”

So even though stakeholders and CMS may view the term RTS differently, it appears they’re on the same page about what’s required to provide a K0005 wheelchair.

“When you read the whole thing, it’s clear,” said Peggy Walker, a billing and reimbursement adviser for U.S. Rehab. “You’re all set as long as you have an ATP or CRTS.”

The MLN Matters article is available at http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE1233.pdf.