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Device maker buys Liberator Medical

HME News - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 09:17
11/20/2015HME News Staff

MURRAY HILL, N.J. – C.R. Bard, a manufacturer of medical devices for vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty fields, announced today that it has acquired Liberator Medical for $181 million.

Liberator is a director-consumer-provider of home medical supplies, including catheters, ostomy, diabetes and mastectomy.

“As the population ages and more healthcare is expected to occur outside of the hospital setting, we believe that having direct access to the patient in the home is strategically important,” said Timothy Ring, Bard CEO and chairman. “We look forward to adding a strong distribution platform with potential for future growth to our product and technology platforms.”

Liberator was founded by Mark Libratore, a former Liberty Medical exec, more than a decade ago and has enjoyed steady growth since. In August, the provider reported net revenues of $20.4 million for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2015, a 9.7% increase compared to the same period last year. Liberator began trading on the New York Stock exchange in 2013 under LBMH.

The transaction is structured as a merger and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

Senators introduce bill to address rural expansion

HME News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 15:10
11/19/2015HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill to “smooth the transition” to competitive bid pricing in rural areas dropped today in the Senate.

Introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., the DME Access and Stabilization Act seeks to ensure HME providers can still serve Medicare beneficiaries, according to a press release.

“It is important that people receive quality health care, no matter where they live,” said Thune. “Not only does this legislation ensure that suppliers in rural areas can provide services they need to people in all parts of South Dakota, but it may enable people to return home faster after hospitalization.”

The text of the bill is not yet available, but AAHomecare has previously said that language for an anticipated bill in the House of Representatives would add 30% to pricing, and phase in the cuts over four years instead of the six months currently planned.

“Our bipartisan bill would smooth the transition to a new payment formula for businesses supplying and servicing these products, and make sure seniors, particularly those in rural communities, can continue to live independently and with dignity,” said Heitkamp.

Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.,  Angus King, I-Maine, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho are co-sponsoring the bill.

The national roll out of competitive bid pricing will be implemented Jan. 1, 2016.

NCPA testifies on ‘undue influence’ of PBMs

HME News - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:08
11/18/2015HME News Staff

WASHINGTON – National Community Pharmacists Association President Bradley Arthur testified at a Nov. 17 hearing on the “disproportionate market power” of pharmacy benefit management corporations.

Arthur told members of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law that PBMs have “undue influence” on patients, health plans sponsor and pharmacies.

Arthur, a pharmacist, is co-owner of Black Rock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y.

“I can tell you that as a small business owner and health care provider, the current situation and overall business climate that exists in which market power is increasingly concentrated in an ever-shrinking number of corporations makes me apprehensive about what is around the bend,” he testified.

Among Arthur's key points:

• Three corporations, express scripts, CVS health and OptumRx, cover approximately 78% of patients managed by PBMs.

The criteria PBMs use to determine multi-source generic drug MAC (or “maximum allowable cost”) reimbursements are unknown, which means that for approximately 86% of the prescriptions dispensed by small community pharmacies, pharmacists are unable to make informed business decisions on fundamental matters such as expected cash flow and drug inventory;

• Small community pharmacies lack leverage and are saddled with “take it or leave it” contracts with PBM corporations that include onerous terms that can threaten their financial viability;

• PBM corporations have conflicts of interest through ownership of mail order and specialty pharmacies, often incentivizing or requiring patients to use such pharmacies when many patients prefer to use a community pharmacy.

CMS provides update on RACs

HME News - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 13:49
11/17/2015HME News Staff

BALTIMORE – CMS has released requests for proposals for the next round of the recovery auditor contracts.

Until new contracts are awarded, CMS has indicated that the RACs may resume auditing activities, including sending additional documentation requests or ADRs, upon signing a contract modification. The modification allows the RACs to conduct these activities through July 31, 2016.

If a RAC chooses not to sign the modification, providers should note that Oct. 16, 2015, was the last day the RAC could send ADRs, and Dec. 31, 2015, will be the last day the RAC can send an improper payment file to the Medicare Administrative Contractor or MAC for adjustment.

The new RFPs are posted at the Federal Business Opportunity website, www.fbo.gov.

CMS's attempts to name new RACs go back almost a year, thanks to disputes over changes to the contracts.

The disputes could also lead to a new contractor being named as the national RAC for HME, home health and hospice. Connolly was named that contractor in late 2014.

What to Do When an Aging Loved One Dies

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
If and when my parent passes away,which will likely take place in my own home, I wouldnt know what to do.

How Elder Law Can Help You

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
The specialty of Elder Law is becoming more important as our population ages. People are living longer, but in many cases, are not living better.

Home the Desired Setting for Elder Care

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Most of those receiving long-term care and most caregivers prefer a home environment.

Is Medicaid Planning Ethical?

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
As in any area of consumer spending, knowing what to look for and what strategies to use in arranging for paid care services can often result in saving money.

Fall Prevention and Coping after a Fall

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Age related physical changes, mental conditions, health conditions, and even medications increase the risk of injury. Falling is the leading cause of injury among seniors ages 65 and older.

Vietnam and PTSD - 40 Years Later

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
40 years ago - May 7th - marked the end of the Vietnam War. Many of those alive 40 years ago can still easily recall where they were on the 7th of May and what they were doing on that memorable day.

VA Is Looking for Authority from Congress to Institute a 3 Year Look Back and Penalty for Veterans Pension

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Second of a series of analysis regarding the proposed legislation.

Proposed Legislation for Look Back and Penalty for VA Veterans Pension - The Rise and Fall of the Pension Poachers

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
A first of a series of analysis regarding the proposed legislation.

Mesothelioma Facts: What the Elderly Need to Know

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Why do you need to know about mesothelioma?

What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Understanding the differences between Alzheimer's and dementia can be confusing.

Life Insurance and Life Settlements

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Understanding the various types of Life Insurance policies can be a daunting but a little bit of education can go a long way.

Avoiding Slips and Falls In Bad Weather

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Cold weather can bring more than just a white Christmas. It also brings a number of hazards which can cause slips and falls.

Enlighten Your Season: Advice for Caregivers of the Elderly

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Taking care of elderly loved ones can be very exhausting, especially during the holidays.

Did You Know There is a New Vaccine Recommendation for Adults Age 65 and Older

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
Adults 65 years of age or older are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease.

Advanced Directives, Fiduciaries, Guardianship, and Power of Attorney

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
It is common, as time goes along, for the elderly to become unable to make sound decisions about a variety of issues includes finances, health care and managing themselves at home.

Parkinsons Disease

Long Term Care Link - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 20:00
In the U.S., over one million Americans suffer from Parkinsons disease (approximately 10 million worldwide).
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