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Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers
NEWS & NOTES


September 14 | 2017

In this issue:

  1. Irma hits Georgia DME patients!
  2. Contact your US Rep!
  3. From CMS
  4. Healthcare in the News
  5. From Ga Medicaid
  6. Request from QIC
  7. Medtrade coming soon!
  8. Save these dates!

GAMES Platinum Members!







GAMES Associate Members
Support the associate members who support GAMES. If your vendors aren't on the list, ask them why!


Platinum


Airgas Puritan Medical
Christa Forrester
Mark Bradshaw



Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare
Joe Gessner
Steve Wakser




Philips Respironics
Susan Yenney
Kimberly Williamson



VGM Group
Gil McCall
Pat Aydelott


Gold

BREAS
Todd Tyson

Brightree
Melinda Mahoney

CAIRE

Lanier Hogan

Fisher & Paykel
Gregg Stahl

Cryogenic Inventory Solutions
Anne Holcombe
Travis Caulk

Mediware
Michelle Caldwell

ResMed
Jamie Griffis

The Compliance Team, Inc.
Jack Haire
Sandra Canally

The MED Group
Ted Metcalf

Silver

ACHC
Randy Hughes

ACU-Serve
John Stalnaker

Allegiance Group

Bruce Gehring

ABC Plus
Marcus Kruk

Barbara's Billing & Consulting
Barbara Penzien

Compass Health
Joe Toth

GCE Healthcare
John Lewis

IMS
Bo Lanier

Linde Healthcare
Clay Stalnaker

McKesson Medical Surgical
Chip Wooten

Medical Specialties Distributors
Pat Burke

Medline

Brian Topchik

Medtronic
Chris Arapoff

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance
Hutton Madden

Quality Medical Inc.
Jim Worrell

TestSmarter
 Brad Womble

Verus Healthcare
Rachel Dobyns


Bronze

Medtrade

Keving Gaffney

Pride Mobility Products
Steve Joyce

GAMES Members in South Georgia Cope with Hurricane Irma

Games members in the southern part of our state are still caring for patients with no power!

"Airgas was a life saver", said Jeremy Killough, president of Southeastern Home Oxygen in Columbus Georgia. "Every time we needed oxygen tanks filled, they were ready to help supply us with additional tanks.”

Southeastern worked a skeleton crew around the clock on Sunday and Monday supplying patients with additional oxygen tanks in preparation for the coming power outages. Southeastern also donated wheelchairs, walkers, and rollators to the local Red Cross shelter in order to assist displaced refugees.

"We were very grateful the storms diminished some before hitting Columbus GA,” says Killough. "We experienced more power outages due to downed trees, but not as much flooding as many other areas. As of today, all of our patients have had their power restored. This could have been a lot worse.”

Killough tells GAMES, "Your employees, service techs and managers, make all the difference in situations like this. They are the ones who step up to take care of all the problems, fielding phone calls, calming nerves, and meeting needs.”

In Tifton, Albany and other parts of the state, MRS Homecare began preparing for this storm as early as September 8th by activating their emergency protocols. With their staff working around the clock to contact Oxygen and Ventilator customers about upcoming potential power outages and their emergency plan, MRS was able to help ease some of the burden of multiple days without power in some of their rural branches.

"I’m not sure if the news coverage of the storm or the early evacuations from Florida had anything to do with it, but we saw a run on gaseous O2 much sooner than with previous storms,” says Tyler Riddle, president, MRS Homecare. "Situations like these really force you to look objectively at your emergency plan and see if it is adequate. On day 4 without power, even though our plan is pretty thorough, well we can certainly see areas for future improvement in our emergency preparedness plans...”  

Support Needed for Congressional Sign-On Letter on CPAP Bundling

A bipartisan group of House members is circulating a Congressional Sign-On letter asking CMS to withdraw a proposed CPAP bundling pilot program from the next competitive bidding round. Georgia is not currently part of the CPAP bundling pilot, but we know it will affect all of us.

In their letter, spearheaded by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-Minn), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Michael Bishop (R-Mich.), the legislators cite potential higher costs for beneficiaries and disincentives for suppliers who seek to provide higher-quality items and support among their concerns. The letter also states that, according to an earlier assessment by the Agency, "the final rule does not suggest that this program holds much potential to save the Medicare program money or enhance the quality of home-based respiratory care.” In addition, legislators note that the original bidding statute does not authorize CMS to test alternative payment models. Rather than layering on new payment models in new bidding areas, the letter encourages CMS to prioritize needed reforms to the bidding process to stabilize the program

Timing is poor as our Georgia US Representatives, especially in the south, are focused on recovery from hurricane Irma, but let’s at least try to let them know this issue is important to us. The deadline to sign-on is Friday.

CLICK HERE to see the Dear Colleague letter that was sent to their offices by the letter’s authors. CLICK HERE for the letter to CMS we are asking them to sign (send this with your personal request). CLICK HERE for a fact sheet on the pilot from CMS.

CLICK HERE for the current list of GA US Representatives. (As you make contact, please email GAMES with any updates or corrections to this list.)


From CMS on Hurricane Irma

Durable Medical Equipment·        
As a result of Hurricane Irma, CMS has determined it is appropriate to issue a blanket waiver to suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) where DMEPOS is lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable.  Under this waiver, the face-to-face requirement, a new physician’s order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of these hurricanes.         

As a result of Hurricane Irma, CMS is temporarily extending the 10 business day deadline to provide notification of any subcontracting arrangements. During the temporary extension period, affected contract suppliers will have 30 business days to provide notice to the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor of any subcontracting arrangements. CMS will notify DMEPOS Competitive Bidding contract suppliers via e-mail when this temporary extension expires. All other competitive bidding program requirements remain in force. Note: CMS will provide notice of any changes to reporting timeframes for future events.

CLICK HERE for the latest updates from the CMS Hurricane page.

CLICK HERE for an MLNMatters article on Hurricane Irma and Medicare Disaster Related Claims.

Healthcare in the News

These news clips were shared with GAMES by our state lobbyists, Southern Strategy Group:

Emory opening more primary care locations
Emory Healthcare is expanding its primary care portfolio by adding nine new clinics in metro Atlanta.

State's uninsured rate dropped last year, but trend may not continue
Georgia's uninsured rate fell to 12.9 percent in 2016 from 13.9 percent the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Georgia insurance agency plans help in Irma's aftermath
With remnants of Hurricane Irma hammering Georgia on Monday, the state's insurance commissioner was developing a plan of action to respond to what will likely be a costly storm for homeowners and businesses.

Trump picks Augusta lawyer to be U.S. Attorney
President Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Columbia County lawyer to be U.S. attorney in eastern Georgia.


FROM Georgia Medicaid

CMO Choice Change Period Ending Soon!

Georgia Medicaid posted an informational notice regarding the Choice Change Period that you may find useful to share with your patients.  

The Georgia Families® Choice Change Period will end on September 30th, 2017. Members can change their current Care Management Organization (CMO) between now and September 30th. Members who do not choose their selection will remain in their CMO until the next Open Enrollment Period.

CLICK HERE for the notice that you can share with patients.

QIC Requesting Timely Response to Telephone Discussion Demonstration

From AAHomecare

CMS has requested AAHomecare ask suppliers participating in the QIC Telephone Discussion Demonstration to please respond to the requested documentation in a timely manner. The QIC, C2C Innovative Solutions, have seen delays in responses which is hindering the QIC’s efforts to resolve as many cases as possible from the appeals backlog. Thus far, the QIC has been able to resolve 25,296 claims since the inception of the Demonstration, but in order for this Demonstration to be a success, suppliers must respond within the timeframe requested.

AAHomecare has recommended CMS send requests to the correspondence address of the supplier company to ensure the request is being sent to the correct employee. We believe the issue of non-response is due to the correspondence not reaching the correct contact at a company and we are working with the QIC to resolve this. In the meantime, AAHomecare recommends suppliers check that all correspondence from the QIC is being reviewed.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the QIC Telephone Discussion Demonstration in Jurisdictions D & C.


 Medtrade is Next Month in Atlanta!

Medtrade is the largest Home Medical Equipment Expo and Conference in the US. Connecting the HME industry for over 38 years, Medtrade features a large expo floor filled with the leading home medical equipment manufacturers and their HME/home health products. 

Medtrade is Oct 23-25, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. For more information about Medtrade, go to www.medtrade.com.

Get FREE ACCESS to the expo floor by using code "STASSOC17”when registering!


Save These Dates!
 
Medtrade
October 23-25, 2017
Atlanta, GA

GAMES Day at the Dome
January 29, 2018