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Archive for July, 2013

Competitive Bidding – Industry applies pressure, stands ready

Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 10:07 AM  posted by jbuytaert

According to HME NEWS:

‘I am not going to be satisfied until we get competitive bidding stopped,’ says Rep. Thompson

by:  Theresa Flaherty - Friday, July 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – The heat wave blanketing the East Coast last week had nothing on the heat the HME industry applied to lawmakers as part of a virtual fly-in July 18.

“We notified every representative in the state and got a lot of good feedback,” said Paula Hardison, office manager for New Bern, N.C.-based Carolina Diabetic Supply. “We’ve shared our representatives’ email addresses with employees and customers, as well as the complaint line and the number to (the Capitol Hill switchboard).”

The virtual fly-in was a coordinated effort among AAHomecare, The VGM Group, The MED Group and state associations. The goal: to encourage not only providers, but also beneficiaries and referral sources, to contact lawmakers and describe the problems they’ve encountered under Round 2 of competitive bidding since July 1.

In addition to phone calls, more than 2,500 letters were sent to lawmakers last week, according to AAHomecare.

Right now, some of the loudest messages come from hospitals and discharge planners, say stakeholders.

“Bid winners 600 or 700 miles are telling them it will be weeks before they can send a walker,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for The VGM Group. “When you are talking about, say, the Mayo Clinic, that’s not going to fly. That gets members of Congress saying, ’Wait a minute.’” Read more

Extreme Heat Tips Sheet for Individuals

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 @ 01:07 PM  posted by jbuytaert

Tips for staying cool and hydrated on hot days

During periods of extreme heat, people can take certain precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses. The most important thing people can do to prevent illnesses from extreme heat is to stay cool and hydrated.

The following are basic safety tips people can use during hot days:


  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • Do not wait until you are thirst before you drink fluids (except if advised to reduce fluid intake by your doctor)
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Avoid drinks that are high in sugar
  • Avoid very cold drinks – they can cause stomach cramps


  • Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned place
  • Visit air-conditioned places (for example, malls, libraries) if your home is hot
  • Electric fans will not prevent heat-related illnesses when the temperature reaches the high 90s and above
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing
  • Take a cool shower or bath

Read more

Reporting Problems with Competitive Bidding

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 @ 09:07 AM  posted by jbuytaert

A hotline has been set up by People for Quality Care for people to call into and report their personal issues resulting from competitive bidding.  The number is (800) 404-8702 and it is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week by an operator who will take the beneficiary’s name, location, and a brief summary of the issue. The complaints will be added to a list that will be presented to CMS and Congress (with the person’s permission). However, we are also asking anyone with a complaint to call Medicare and their members of Congress as well. CMS is saying they are not hearing complaints from the beneficiaries. And Congress needs to be  swamped by calls on this as well so that we can get the legislation passed  to delay/replace it.

Friday, July 5, 2013 @ 11:07 AM  posted by jbuytaert