Continuum of Care Provides Critical Educational Courses

In Las Vegas — a city said in folklore never to sleep thanks to 24-hour availability of slot machines and cocktails — crowds of DME suppliers, clinicians and rehab professionals started their Medtrade Spring activities early Tuesday, March 21, with the American Association for Homecare's (AAHomecare) Continuum of Care conference.

The Re/hab & Assistive Technology Track, sponsored by Mobility Management, boasted the greatest number of registrants, according to an AAHomecare official — a fact that shouldn't have been surprising, given impending power mobility codes and other anticipated developments. Jeffrey Baird, of Brown & Fortunato, began the half-day session with his talk on "Roping the Wind: Innovative Growth in a Changing Legal Environment." Baird spoke on a range of topics, from the DMERC/MAC change to the Beneficiary Inducement and Anti-Solicitation statutes, to the Medicare/Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b), which Baird dubbed "the mother of all statutes."

Baird also fielded attendee questions, including one from a New York supplier, who — referring to the scrutiny of Operation Wheeler Dealer and mistakes made by suppliers — succinctly asked, "Are we as bad as they say we are?" Replied Baird: "Most of the time, it's good people that just don't know."

Following Baird's business-focused segment, the Re/hab track took a more clinical turn. The next speaker was Lauren Rosen, the program coordinator for St. Joseph's Hospital, who spoke on "Seating and Positioning Tools." Rosen was followed by Dr. Mark Schmeler, director of the Center for Assistive Technology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who spoke on "New Policies and Documenting the Need for Powered Mobility Devices."

The Oxygen & Respiratory Issues track, sponsored by Respironics, kicked off with "Adaptive Servo Ventilation for CSA, Mixed Apnea and Periodic Breathing," presented by Ann Tisthammer, VP of clinical education for ResMed. Tisthammer was followed by Inogen Corp. VP of Sales Bob Fary, who spoke on a topic that has recently made many industry and mainstream headlines: "Oxygen Takes Flight … The Use for Oxygen on Commercial Airlines."

Following a break, Thomas Williams, managing director of Strategic Dynamics, took attendees through "Best Practices in Ambulatory Oxygen Delivery." The conference closed with the topic "ALS and Other Neuromuscular Diseases' Optimal Use of NPPV: Why, When, How and Predicting Survival and Outcomes," presented by RN Pamela Cazzolli, with the ALS/Neuromuscular Education Project.

Sharon Baer, manager of medical education for Respironics' Sleep & Home Respiratory Group, began the Sleep-Disordered Breathing track with her presentation "The Marriage of Technology and Process: Enhancing Patient Therapy." The ResMed-sponsored track then explored the multi-faceted issue of client compliance with the presentation "Helping Patients Overcome Possible Social Stigma Related to Wearing CPAP" by Theresa Shumard, DeVilbiss manager of sleep & respiratory strategic planning for Sunrise Medical.

The Sleep-Disordered Breathing track continued with Respironics' Field Marketing Specialist Lori Speyrer, who spoke on "Developing a Successful Relationship with a Sleep Center." And the conference's final speaker was Jim Eddins, manager of clinical specialists for ResMed, who talked about "Compact Without Compromise."

Tom Derrick and Scott Williamson began the Prosthetics & Orthotics track by focusing on business concerns with their presentation "Orthotic and Prosthetic Compliance: Navigating the New Provider Restrictions of Medicare and Private Insurance Companies." Derrick is a public relations manager and Williamson is the facility accreditation director of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Clay Stribling, of Brown & Fortunato, followed with "Survival in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Arena: Achieving Success in a Shifting Legal Landscape." The track closed with "Credentialing, Accreditation and Certification as a Means to Receiving Vendor Identification" by Donald Fedder, CEO, Board of Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification.

The Continuum of Care — presented annually in half-day format before Medtrade Spring and in full-day format prior to Medtrade — offers valuable opportunities not only to learn from industry experts and network with colleagues, but also the chance to pick up CEUs. For information on Continuum of Care offerings for Medtrade, to be held Monday, Sept. 18, 2006, in Atlanta, go to

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