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Category: Timely Topic

COVID-19 Resources: Keep It Clean

By Laura Frederick
August 10, 2020 Category: Timely Topic

With the number of maintenance chemicals and standards out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out whats the right chemical to use on your equipment. There are two types of cleaning that are pertinent for oxygen equipment, cleaningand disinfectingwith oxygen compatible cleaners and cleaning equipment for oxygen service. 1. Cleaning with oxygen-compatible cleaners Oxygen can react with any residue, particles, dirt, oil, grease or other contaminants that are left on the surface of equipmentwhichis in directcontact with oxygen, such as the cylindervalve orsurface. The body of a cylinder or a regulator for example, should be cleaned with chemicals that will leave noresiduebehind thatmaycause an interaction with oxygenthat may result in combustion. 2. Cleaning equipment for oxygen service Surfaces that come into direct contact with oxygen, such as the valve opening on a cylinder, the inside of a cylinder oranoxygen connection must not only be cleaned with an oxygen

How the New Tax Code Affects Home Healthcare Providers

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
April 22, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

President Trumps new tax law went into effect this year, boosting take home pay for about 90% of Americans. The amount of the increase varied based on projected income. For example, for a single person who does not have children, is not a homeowner and is making a salary of $29,900 a year, the increase per paycheck was about $19. (This assumes 26 paychecks per year.) At $50,000 it was about $52 per paycheck. At $61,000, about $65 per paycheck, and at $85,000, about $90 per paycheck. Home HealthCare TODAYwent behind the scenes to talk with Eric Smith, an IRS spokesperson, about the impact of the new tax code on DMEs and HMEs. We were interested in learning more about the following: what deductions are allowed for individuals and businesses; whether there is a tax advantage for offering an HSA (healthcare savings account) insurance plan to employees; the 2018 state of Obamacare/ACA; any tax benefits that might be available from financing medical equipment vs. using

Booming Business

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
March 09, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Forget, for a moment, the problems caused by Competitive Bidding and shrinking government reimbursements. Think, instead, of the glass being half fullthink of the surging market that should be swirling around every DME/HME. Listen to the voices of the baby boomers and those thinking about retirement and be prepared to tap into the incredible market they represent. According to Nielson, no group in America has more disposable income. It has been estimated that Americas 75 million baby boomers, between the ages of 52 and 70, control about 70 percent of all disposable income in the U.S., according toNielson. On top of that, boomers are expected to inherit as much as $15 trillion dollars over the next 18-20 years. Now thats real spending power! Studies show they are going to spend that money in a lot of ways. Most significantly, boomers will shell out huge amounts for healthcare, travel, entertainment and dining out. They will spend less on cars and on new clothing.

Planning for Long-Term Care: The Time is NOW

By ERIN CLARK
March 05, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

The population is aging, and as more people move closer to retirement and beyond, the importance of planning for long-term care has never been more important. Unfortunately, it is often a topic that is underestimated at best, and avoided at worst. There are 78 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), which translates to a retirement rate of 10,000 people each day. Many of these baby boomers understand the importance of planning for retirement, offering investment options such as 401(k)s, IRAs and CDs, to name a few. But too often, planning for and investing in long-term care is overlooked, and that can lead to disastrous results for your nest egg. The cost of long-term care is trending upward, due to both a general increase in demand as well as a reduction in federal support. To share a few numbers: Total healthcare spending in the U.S. made up more than 17% of our gross domestic product. That adds up to more than three trillion dollars per year

Staying Safe in Public Places

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 11, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Before I started my own business I was a cop in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Police officers are trained to deal with horrible accidents, victims of crime and malicious criminals. My training was extensive and challenging. I handled it well. But nothing could have prepared meeven my military service before becoming a police officerto deal unemotionally with the October, 2017 shooting tragedy in Las Vegas. That event makes us all wonder how we and our loved ones can be safer in public places. The great orator, writer, and abolitionist Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) was on target when he said, Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. He would be equally well spoken today to say, Eternal vigilance is the price of personal safety. The only real defense against bad guys is to stay alert and on the lookout at all times. Put safety first every time and be aware there are definite steps you can take to mitigate danger in public places. Here are safety tips I have gleaned from

Lasting Impact

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 07, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Many of us have enjoyed opportunities to visit Florida and other sunny destinations. Usually its a fun trip to soak up a great climate and to visit with great people. We all think of Miami and other warm weather spots as a kind of paradise, especially in January and February. But as we have recently seen from the hurricanes that savagely struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico there is often a high price for living in these tropical wonderlands. Everyone appreciates the damage caused by high winds. But we should not forget those same winds also blow in high opportunities for fraud. The fraud comes in many different forms: charity fraud, Internet fraud, emergency assistance fraud. Recently I attended an FBI presentation that focused on cyber crime. It was a sobering reminder that American companies, citizens in every walk of life, and even children are the targets of adversaries, terrorists, criminals, and on-line predators. Natural disasters are particularly attractive

From the Corner Office

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 05, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

The late great St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean once reportedly said: It aint braggin if ya can back it up.Well, in this case I can back it up, so I hope it doesnt come across as bragging. I am excited becauseOxyGoand theApplied Companieswon a prestigious2017 Weatherhead 100 Awardthis past November for the second consecutive year. It validates my belief we are on the right track in our efforts to enable you to serve the oxygen needs of your patients with the best and most reliable products to help them breath better and keep going. Weatherhead awards are presented each year to the fastest growing 100 companies in Northeast Ohio. They were based in 2017 on five year revenue growth from 2012 through 2016. Companies on the list must have had sales of at least $100,000 in 2012 plus a minimum of 16-full time employees and more than $1 million in sales in 2016. Much has changed since the Weatherhead 100 debuted in 1988 when Ronald Reagan was president.

A DME Holiday Wish List

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
December 20, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true. Weve all heard that warning from time to time. With the holiday season here and lots of gifts being exchanged, we asked four DMEs what industry presents they would like to open if opening those gifts contained wishes that would come true in 2018. Here are the gifts at the top of their lists. I would love to open a gift that contains the future of the industry as it will be in 125 years. I would love to open a gift where providers are more forward thinking. The industry is full of great opportunities, even in the volatile environment that currently exists. I believe the provider community has the ability to control the outcome of our future if we can embrace effective change. A more obvious response would be the gift that contains my notice that the Competitive Bid program is terminated and we will go back to the 2015 Medicare fee schedules. ~ LISA WELLS| Director of Compliance, Med-South, Inc. Birmingham,

Fighting Back

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
November 11, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

On September 10th the eye of Hurricane Irma crossed over Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West, FL and about 70 miles south of Tavernier in the Upper Keys. It was an extremely powerful Cape Verde type hurricane with 135 mph winds and was the first hurricane to hit the Florida Keys in fifty years. By the evening of September 8th, hundreds of thousands of Floridians had evacuated, some to as far north as Michigan or Canada making it the largest evacuation in the states history. One who stayed was Roger De Armas, the owner ofMedical Care Services, a DME with stores in Tavernier and Key West. He and his son, Roger Nick, evacuated from Tavernier only to shelter for a few days with family in Kendall, FL, farther north and inland, but only by about 35 miles. The storm blasted the Keys over a Saturday and Sunday and by Tuesday both Roger and Nick were back at the Tavernier store, cleaning up and doing their best to serve patients who had stayed. This is the story of how they

Hurricane Update

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
August 29, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Do you have patients who were impacted by either Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma? Or were you directly impacted as a provider? If so,CMS has issued several waiversintended to prevent gaps in access to care for beneficiaries impacted by the storms. Providers do not need to apply for an individual waiver if a blanket waiver has been issued. Specific waivers granted are retroactive to beginning of the emergency, if warranted. Here is how CMS announced the waivers that apply to both hurricanes. As a result of Hurricanes Irma (and Harvey), 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 physicians order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description

Keeping Healthcare Workers Healthy in the Wintertime

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
February 20, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Winter is a particularly challenging time for healthcare workers.This is true because healthcare workers often find themselves interacting with sick patients where the risk of spreading germs is high. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay well this winter. For a healthier winter workplace, consider these suggestions, many recommended by the CDC. It keeps close tabs on the percentage of healthcare workers obtaining flu shots. All healthcare employees should be encouraged to get a flu shot. The CDC is very specific on the importance of flu shots and why they are needed. It defines healthcare workers as including, (but not limited to): Physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance,

Blog - Timely Topic

Category: Timely Topic

COVID-19 Resources: Keep It Clean

By Laura Frederick
August 10, 2020 Category: Timely Topic

With the number of maintenance chemicals and standards out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out whats the right chemical to use on your equipment. There are two types of cleaning that are pertinent for oxygen equipment, cleaningand disinfectingwith oxygen compatible cleaners and cleaning equipment for oxygen service. 1. Cleaning with oxygen-compatible cleaners Oxygen can react with any residue, particles, dirt, oil, grease or other contaminants that are left on the surface of equipmentwhichis in directcontact with oxygen, such as the cylindervalve orsurface. The body of a cylinder or a regulator for example, should be cleaned with chemicals that will leave noresiduebehind thatmaycause an interaction with oxygenthat may result in combustion. 2. Cleaning equipment for oxygen service Surfaces that come into direct contact with oxygen, such as the valve opening on a cylinder, the inside of a cylinder oranoxygen connection must not only be cleaned with an oxygen

How the New Tax Code Affects Home Healthcare Providers

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
April 22, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

President Trumps new tax law went into effect this year, boosting take home pay for about 90% of Americans. The amount of the increase varied based on projected income. For example, for a single person who does not have children, is not a homeowner and is making a salary of $29,900 a year, the increase per paycheck was about $19. (This assumes 26 paychecks per year.) At $50,000 it was about $52 per paycheck. At $61,000, about $65 per paycheck, and at $85,000, about $90 per paycheck. Home HealthCare TODAYwent behind the scenes to talk with Eric Smith, an IRS spokesperson, about the impact of the new tax code on DMEs and HMEs. We were interested in learning more about the following: what deductions are allowed for individuals and businesses; whether there is a tax advantage for offering an HSA (healthcare savings account) insurance plan to employees; the 2018 state of Obamacare/ACA; any tax benefits that might be available from financing medical equipment vs. using

Booming Business

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
March 09, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Forget, for a moment, the problems caused by Competitive Bidding and shrinking government reimbursements. Think, instead, of the glass being half fullthink of the surging market that should be swirling around every DME/HME. Listen to the voices of the baby boomers and those thinking about retirement and be prepared to tap into the incredible market they represent. According to Nielson, no group in America has more disposable income. It has been estimated that Americas 75 million baby boomers, between the ages of 52 and 70, control about 70 percent of all disposable income in the U.S., according toNielson. On top of that, boomers are expected to inherit as much as $15 trillion dollars over the next 18-20 years. Now thats real spending power! Studies show they are going to spend that money in a lot of ways. Most significantly, boomers will shell out huge amounts for healthcare, travel, entertainment and dining out. They will spend less on cars and on new clothing.

Planning for Long-Term Care: The Time is NOW

By ERIN CLARK
March 05, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

The population is aging, and as more people move closer to retirement and beyond, the importance of planning for long-term care has never been more important. Unfortunately, it is often a topic that is underestimated at best, and avoided at worst. There are 78 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), which translates to a retirement rate of 10,000 people each day. Many of these baby boomers understand the importance of planning for retirement, offering investment options such as 401(k)s, IRAs and CDs, to name a few. But too often, planning for and investing in long-term care is overlooked, and that can lead to disastrous results for your nest egg. The cost of long-term care is trending upward, due to both a general increase in demand as well as a reduction in federal support. To share a few numbers: Total healthcare spending in the U.S. made up more than 17% of our gross domestic product. That adds up to more than three trillion dollars per year

Staying Safe in Public Places

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 11, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Before I started my own business I was a cop in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Police officers are trained to deal with horrible accidents, victims of crime and malicious criminals. My training was extensive and challenging. I handled it well. But nothing could have prepared meeven my military service before becoming a police officerto deal unemotionally with the October, 2017 shooting tragedy in Las Vegas. That event makes us all wonder how we and our loved ones can be safer in public places. The great orator, writer, and abolitionist Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) was on target when he said, Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. He would be equally well spoken today to say, Eternal vigilance is the price of personal safety. The only real defense against bad guys is to stay alert and on the lookout at all times. Put safety first every time and be aware there are definite steps you can take to mitigate danger in public places. Here are safety tips I have gleaned from

Lasting Impact

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 07, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

Many of us have enjoyed opportunities to visit Florida and other sunny destinations. Usually its a fun trip to soak up a great climate and to visit with great people. We all think of Miami and other warm weather spots as a kind of paradise, especially in January and February. But as we have recently seen from the hurricanes that savagely struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico there is often a high price for living in these tropical wonderlands. Everyone appreciates the damage caused by high winds. But we should not forget those same winds also blow in high opportunities for fraud. The fraud comes in many different forms: charity fraud, Internet fraud, emergency assistance fraud. Recently I attended an FBI presentation that focused on cyber crime. It was a sobering reminder that American companies, citizens in every walk of life, and even children are the targets of adversaries, terrorists, criminals, and on-line predators. Natural disasters are particularly attractive

From the Corner Office

By DAVE MARQUARD
February 05, 2018 Category: Timely Topic

The late great St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean once reportedly said: It aint braggin if ya can back it up.Well, in this case I can back it up, so I hope it doesnt come across as bragging. I am excited becauseOxyGoand theApplied Companieswon a prestigious2017 Weatherhead 100 Awardthis past November for the second consecutive year. It validates my belief we are on the right track in our efforts to enable you to serve the oxygen needs of your patients with the best and most reliable products to help them breath better and keep going. Weatherhead awards are presented each year to the fastest growing 100 companies in Northeast Ohio. They were based in 2017 on five year revenue growth from 2012 through 2016. Companies on the list must have had sales of at least $100,000 in 2012 plus a minimum of 16-full time employees and more than $1 million in sales in 2016. Much has changed since the Weatherhead 100 debuted in 1988 when Ronald Reagan was president.

A DME Holiday Wish List

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
December 20, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true. Weve all heard that warning from time to time. With the holiday season here and lots of gifts being exchanged, we asked four DMEs what industry presents they would like to open if opening those gifts contained wishes that would come true in 2018. Here are the gifts at the top of their lists. I would love to open a gift that contains the future of the industry as it will be in 125 years. I would love to open a gift where providers are more forward thinking. The industry is full of great opportunities, even in the volatile environment that currently exists. I believe the provider community has the ability to control the outcome of our future if we can embrace effective change. A more obvious response would be the gift that contains my notice that the Competitive Bid program is terminated and we will go back to the 2015 Medicare fee schedules. ~ LISA WELLS| Director of Compliance, Med-South, Inc. Birmingham,

Fighting Back

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
November 11, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

On September 10th the eye of Hurricane Irma crossed over Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West, FL and about 70 miles south of Tavernier in the Upper Keys. It was an extremely powerful Cape Verde type hurricane with 135 mph winds and was the first hurricane to hit the Florida Keys in fifty years. By the evening of September 8th, hundreds of thousands of Floridians had evacuated, some to as far north as Michigan or Canada making it the largest evacuation in the states history. One who stayed was Roger De Armas, the owner ofMedical Care Services, a DME with stores in Tavernier and Key West. He and his son, Roger Nick, evacuated from Tavernier only to shelter for a few days with family in Kendall, FL, farther north and inland, but only by about 35 miles. The storm blasted the Keys over a Saturday and Sunday and by Tuesday both Roger and Nick were back at the Tavernier store, cleaning up and doing their best to serve patients who had stayed. This is the story of how they

Hurricane Update

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
August 29, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Do you have patients who were impacted by either Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma? Or were you directly impacted as a provider? If so,CMS has issued several waiversintended to prevent gaps in access to care for beneficiaries impacted by the storms. Providers do not need to apply for an individual waiver if a blanket waiver has been issued. Specific waivers granted are retroactive to beginning of the emergency, if warranted. Here is how CMS announced the waivers that apply to both hurricanes. As a result of Hurricanes Irma (and Harvey), 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 physicians order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description

Keeping Healthcare Workers Healthy in the Wintertime

By ROB SALTZSTEIN
February 20, 2017 Category: Timely Topic

Winter is a particularly challenging time for healthcare workers.This is true because healthcare workers often find themselves interacting with sick patients where the risk of spreading germs is high. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay well this winter. For a healthier winter workplace, consider these suggestions, many recommended by the CDC. It keeps close tabs on the percentage of healthcare workers obtaining flu shots. All healthcare employees should be encouraged to get a flu shot. The CDC is very specific on the importance of flu shots and why they are needed. It defines healthcare workers as including, (but not limited to): Physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance,

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