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July 11, 2011 Volume 17, Number 25


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Table of Contents
- OIG Report: More PWC Documentation Problems
- No About-Face on the Face-to-Face
- Bills Affecting HME Are Multiplying on Capitol Hill
- NAIMES Survey: Keep Fighting for H.R. 1041
- Video: Medicare Confusion Confines Woman to Her Bed
- AHP to Open Patient-Support Facility in Texas
- Cape Medical Anchors Future with Seacoast Buy
- Chesapeake Rehab Is Latest Addition to ATG Roster
- ResMed Buys BiancaMed and Its SleepMinder
- Industry's Williams Loses Battle with the Beast
- GAO on Manufacturer Bidding; CMS Reports on Round 1; Nix IAPB, Groups Say

For more industry news, features and highlights from our latest issue, please visit our Web site at

- Headline News
OIG Report: More PWC Documentation Problems
The data is from 2007 and the trouble rests with physician education, HME advocates say, but will government officials care about that?

WASHINGTON—More than half of power wheelchairs provided to Medicare beneficiaries in the first half of 2007 had claims that lacked sufficient documentation to determine medical necessity, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said July 7.

Based on its review of a 375-claim sample, an OIG report showed 9 percent of the PWCs were medically unnecessary, and another 52 percent had claims that were insufficiently documented.

The report, “Most Power Wheelchairs in the Medicare Program Did Not Meet Medical Necessity Guidelines,” is the OIG’s latest based on the same 2007 sample. Two previous OIG reports found problems with PWC claims coding and documentation.

“Across all three reports, 80 percent of claims for power wheelchairs supplied to beneficiaries in the first half of 2007 did not meet Medicare requirements,” the OIG stated.

But that was in 2007, HME advocates point out, immediately following CMS’ overhaul of the power mobility benefit, which in turn was followed by a raft of clarifications that left mobility providers waiting on additional guidance about exactly what documentation was required to support power mobility claims.

They’re still waiting, said The MED Group’s Tim Pederson, former chair of the American Association for Homecare’s Complex Rehab and Mobility Council.

“There was a lot of confusion in the industry then, and I think there still is today,” Pederson said. “The report says half of the claims in 2007 didn’t meet medical necessity requirements, but if you look into the detail of it, the lack of documentation by the physician in the patient’s medical record is by and large the biggest culprit, and we still have a lot of questions about what is acceptable documentation.

“We don’t have any more clear guidelines about documentation now than we did then,” he said.

According to the OIG report: “Seventy-eight percent of claims without supplier-record errors were not supported by records provided by physicians who prescribed the power wheelchairs. That is, while suppliers’ records indicated that power wheelchairs were medically necessary, physicians’ records indicated that they were medically unnecessary, or physicians’ records provided insufficient documentation or no documentation of medical necessity. In most cases, physicians’ records had insufficient documentation to support the medical necessity of power wheelchairs.”

“We can’t help but fail because they are measuring the wrong stuff,” said Pederson, who recently sold South Dakota-based WestMed Rehab and now heads MED’s O&P network. “What they should be looking at is what kind of effort CMS is making to educate physicians …

“Until that gets addressed, we are going to see these reports and audits look really, really bad.”

The OIG report also noted that “although CMS has taken steps since 2007 to decrease errors among suppliers of power wheelchairs and other DME, Medicare has paid significantly more in recent years for power wheelchairs than it did in 2007. These increases may indicate that CMS continues to pay for power wheelchairs that are not medically necessary and/or that have claims that do not meet documentation requirements.“

As a result, the OIG made four recommendations, one being enhanced reenrollment screening for current DME suppliers.

“Federal regulations place new DMEPOS suppliers at a risk level of ‘high,’ whereas currently enrolled DMEPOS suppliers are placed at a risk level of ‘moderate,’” the report said. “We believe that currently enrolled DMEPOS suppliers should be subject to the same enrollment screening standards as newly enrolling DMEPOS suppliers and should also be placed at the risk level of ‘high.’”

CMS disagreed, noting that it has other tools that allow increased scrutiny of current suppliers. But the agency agreed with the OIG’s additional recommendations that it should:

• review records from sources in addition to the supplier, such as the prescribing physician, to determine whether power wheelchairs are medically necessary;
• continue to educate power wheelchair suppliers and prescribing physicians to ensure compliance with clinical coverage criteria; and
• review suppliers that submitted sampled claims we found to be in error.

AAHomecare, which has long argued that Medicare documentation requirements for PWCs are confusing, inconsistent and too complex, had a quick reaction to the report.

“Not only is the OIG report misleading, the OIG continues to draw the wrong conclusions from the results of the study,” said the association’s Walt Gorski, vice president of government relations, in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. “Government bureaucrats are overturning physicians’ medical judgment more than six out of every 10 times. When the so-called error rate does not decrease despite continued efforts to educate providers over a period of several years, CMS and the OIG must look to simplify the coverage policy and inject common sense back into the auditing process.”

In a following blog, Gorski added that “power wheelchair providers are being put into a position of educating physicians on a very complex policy and then judging the physician’s medical record competency. This should not be the power wheelchair provider’s role.”

The report validates what AAHomecare has been advocating for years, the blog said: “Lawmakers need to hold CMS accountable to establish clear and objective guidance to the physician community in the power mobility benefit.”

But Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., also issued a statement about the OIG report that shows another view.

“When we see that more than half of Medicare's payments for power wheelchairs in a given time failed to meet the appropriate standards required for reimbursement, we know that something is very wrong and that the federal government can and must do better,” Carper said.

Last month, Carper and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced the Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayers Dollars Act (S. 1251), or the FAST Act, which includes a provision that requires increased screening for Medicare providers. It also requires prepayment screening for all power wheelchairs and other DME “susceptible to fraud.”

On July 12 (Tuesday), the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, which Carper chairs, will hold a hearing on Medicare fraud and abuse.

Download a PDF of the 55-page OIG report.

Read AAHomecare’s blog on the report.

Read Carper’s full statement.

If you had to choose, what should be the alternative to CMS' competitive bidding program? To vote in HomeCare's monthly Web poll, visit

No About-Face on the Face-to-Face
BALTIMORE—In a perplexing turn, CMS issued a proposed rule July 5 that requires a face-to-face exam by a physician who is ordering home health services under Medicaid. The proposal also requires a face-to-face encounter for DME under both Medicare and Medicaid.

Mandated as a provision under the Affordable Care Act, the face-to-face requirement has been in effect for home health agencies billing Medicare since April 1, but CMS has not yet issued the Medicare policy for DME.

“The proposed rule indicates the items that will be subject to the DME face-to-face exam requirement for Medicare will also require a face-to-face exam prior to ordering the items under Medicaid,” the American Association for Homecare told members in its weekly newsletter.

The question is, how can CMS mandate that HME providers stick to Medicare face-to-face provisions that have not yet been defined?

“We are trying to get some clarification from CMS and notify providers, because it is definitely confusing,” said Stacey Harms, AAHomecare’s manager of government affairs. She added that the association has been in discussions with CMS for several months about which DME items should fall under the requirement.

“That’s why we were a little shocked,” Harms said. “We knew [the face-to-face exam] was going to be applied to home health for Medicaid, but we were surprised that DME was included.”

While the health reform law calls for beneficiaries to have a face-to-face exam for all DME, the proposed rule said some items will be exempt under Medicare—those of “small dollar value, and at a decreased risk for fraud, waste, and abuse”—and those items would also not require a face-to-face exam under Medicaid.

CMS said it would issue guidance for states about the items subject to the rule.

For DME that is subject to the Medicare requirement, according to the rule, “the physician must document that a face-to-face encounter that is related to the primary reason the individual requires the item has occurred no more than 90 days before the order is written or within 30 days after the order is written.”

Harms said while AAHomecare has heard from some Medicaid agencies that they might make the face-to-face exam retroactive to January, “since Medicare hasn’t issued a face-to-face exam [rule for DME providers] yet, I don’t think there is anything they can do.”

AAHomecare staff spoke with CMS about the status of the DME requirement in June, Harms said, and the agency was not too far into the process then.

“The DME rule is a little ways out, I think,” she said.

In the proposed rule, CMS also clarifies the definition of “medical supplies, equipment and appliances,” which is the term used for DME under the Medicaid home health services benefit. According to AAHomecare, the rule:

• Clarifies that home health services are not restricted to patients who are homebound or to services furnished in the home by modifying the phrase “suitable for use in the home” to indicate covered items must be “suitable for use in any non-institutional setting in which normal life activities take place.” This clarification is to ensure that states do not deny items and services based on grounds that they will be used outside of the home.

• Proposes criteria to define “home health supplies, equipment, and appliances” to better align Medicaid with the Medicare program’s definition of DME. Here’s how the rule proposes to define medical equipment:

—“Supplies are defined as health care related items that are consumable or disposable, or cannot withstand repeated use by more than one individual.”

—“Equipment and appliances are defined as items that are primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, generally not useful to an individual in the absence of an illness or injury, can withstand repeated use, and can be reusable or removable.”

View a PDF of the proposed rule.

Bills Affecting HME Are Multiplying on Capitol Hill
ATLANTA—If you think H.R. 1041, the bill that would repeal competitive bidding, is the only HME game on Capitol Hill, here is some news: There is plenty of other legislation that could potentially affect your home medical equipment business. And there’s wanna-be legislation as well.

Here’s a snapshot of some bills, both introduced and in the works, that could change the way you do business. Each is currently under review by one or more committees.

S. 1273, the Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act—Introduced June 24 by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Robert Casey, D-Pa., the bill would “ensure direct care workers, who often care for seniors in their homes, receive minimum wage and overtime pay.” The legislation would also establish a monitoring program to oversee the capacity and quality of the direct care work force and establish a grant program aimed at helping states improve recruitment, retention and training of direct care workers.

S. 1203/H.R. 1295, the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act—Designed to close a gap in coverage where medications used in home infusion to treat an array of serious diseases are covered but the medical equipment and services that go with them are not, the companion bills were introduced June 15 by Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and John Kerry, D-Mass.; and Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa. The legislation calls for infusion-related services, supplies and equipment for home infusion therapy to be covered under Medicare Part B, while coverage of the drugs would remain under Part D.

S. 1217/H.R. 2233, the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act of 2011—Similar to legislation introduced in 2010, this bill was introduced June 16 by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and proposes coverage for custom breast forms, currently the only custom prosthesis not covered by Medicare. While Medicare recognizes custom breast prostheses as a valid treatment option—and has assigned a billing code—the program now denies claims as “not medically necessary.” Medicare does provide reimbursement, however, for more costly surgical breast reconstruction.

H.R. 436/ S. 17, the Protect Medical Innovation Act—Companion bills that would repeal the medical device tax included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were introduced Jan. 25 by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The tax is set to be implemented in 2013 and is estimated to raise $20 billion over 10 years. As of Thursday, the House bill had 164 cosponsors, the Senate bill 17.

H.R. 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act—In an attempt to repeal a provision in the health reform law that created an Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare and gave it the power to cut reimbursement, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., a physician, introduced H.R. 452 on Jan. 26. The bill has so far garnered 157 cosponsors. On June 24, more than 270 health care and business organizations sent a letter to Congress urging elimination of the board.

S. 1251, the Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (or FAST Act)—Introduced June 22 by Sens. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., this legislation could require prepayment review for a wide range of HME as an anti-fraud measure. According to its text, the bill would require procedures for "prepayment review, which may include pre-certification, for all claims for reimbursement under this title for durable medical equipment at high risk of waste, fraud, and abuse, as determined by the Secretary, including power wheelchairs."

Even as those bills maneuver their way through the legislative process, others are working their way toward becoming bills.

On June 27, Coburn and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., released a plan to overhaul Medicare. The main points of the plan: gradually raise the eligibility age to 67 from 65; have a single deductible for both Part A and Part B Medicare of $550; establish a maximum out-of-pocket limit ($7,500) for all enrollees; accelerate the reimbursement changes for home health providers under the Affordable Care Act to save $9 billion over 10 years; require higher-income enrollees to pay more for Medicare and for their share of Medicare Part B and Part D; increase the minimum premium to 35 percent of the program’s cost for enrollees. So far, the plan has generated no support from Democrats.

Meanwhile, the effort to gain a separate Medicare benefit for complex rehab technology continues. The National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology and the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers have draft legislation, a position paper and a proposal for the benefit and continue the hunt for a legislator to carry the bill. Toward that end, the ITEM Coalition, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Health Task Force and the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation sponsored a congressional briefing on June 23 to spotlight the value of rehab services and devices. At the briefing, Don Clayback, NCART executive director, distributed information on the separate benefit initiative.

And in the newest effort that could dramatically affect HME, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., prompted by a new GAO report, said June 29 he has asked the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to look into testing a competitive bidding program for manufacturers of HME. While the report—“Medicare: Issues for Manufacturer-Level Competitive Bidding for Durable Medical Equipment”—makes no recommendations, it analyzes such programs for manufacturers of oxygen equipment, wheelchairs and walkers and says that Medicare could realize significant savings through competitive bidding. (For more, see Competitive Bidding for Manufacturers on Radar Screen Again, July 5.)

Stay tuned.

NAIMES Survey: Keep Fighting for H.R. 1041
HALIFAX, Va.—Initial responses to a NAIMES survey on how the HME industry should deal with competitive bidding make it pretty clear that stakeholders want to keep battling to stop the program, but they’re not so united on what should take its place.

“A significant portion of people have a lot of ideas about what the alternative to bidding would be,” said Wayne Stanfield, president and CEO of the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers.

As of June 30, the organization had received 98 responses to the survey, which asks what the DME industry should do now and what alternative to the CMS bidding program the respondent would choose.

While Stanfield had not completed a detailed analysis, he said, “It is pretty clear that the majority of the people want to continue the fight for [H.R. 1041] but do anything possible to stop Round 2 from going forward.”

Introduced in March by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., H.R. 1041 would repeal competitive bidding and “pay for” it with $20 billion in undesignated discretionary funds. The bill had 134 cosponsors as of Thursday.

But it is the answer to the question about an alternative to the bidding program that Stanfield found most interesting, he said.

About 15 percent of the respondents said MEDPAC or another government panel should set prices, while 7 percent said a manufacturer bidding program should do it. Another 25 percent said the current pricing is fine, while 35 percent offered other options. Around 18 percent said competitive bidding should be repealed and replaced with an auction designed by Peter Cramton, the University of Maryland economist who has mounted a continuing campaign against the flaws in CMS’ bidding design.

Through warnings to Congress, a mock auction event and a letter to President Obama, Cramton has been relentless in his resolve to stop the current competitive bidding program and get it redesigned. He has crafted legislative language for a “repeal and replace” proposal that would halt Round 1 and reinstitute administrative pricing for HME until an independent expert designs a new auction. Last week, he released a study underscoring dramatic marketplace changes in the Round 1 competitive bidding areas since the program was implemented in January.

The idea of any auction/bidding program has been a hard sell to the HME industry. But Stanfield’s initial results seem to indicate that some providers, at least, are interested in Cramton’s proposal.

“At least another six or seven also said yes to Cramton, but they added some caveats,” Stanfield said. That pushes the total number of respondents who support the economist’s auction proposal to 20-25 percent.

Stanfield said it is important “for the industry to be cautious and reflective” about any new concept. However, he added, there needs to be an alternative to the CMS competitive bidding program, “and the only one being advanced with any degree of impetus is Cramton’s auction proposal.

“There is nothing else on the table,” he said, “and I do not believe that CMS is going to stop on their own.”

Take the NAIMES survey.

Video: Medicare Confusion Confines Woman to Her Bed
WATERLOO, Iowa—CMS continues to report that competitive bidding is going fine since the implementation of Round 1 in January. But HME advocates say this interview with provider Jim Kokenge, filmed by People for Quality Care during VGM’s Heartland Conference, presents a markedly different picture of the program.

“It’s not very long,” said VGM VP Carolyn Cole of Kokenge’s story, “but it’s a perfect example of what competitive bidding is doing to patients.”

Watch the video.

Provider Newswire
AHP to Open Patient-Support Facility in Texas
BRENTWOOD, Tenn.—Responding to its growing base of respiratory patients, American HomePatient is creating a new facility in Longview, Texas, to provide patient support. The facility, which is expected to open later this year, will offer patients telephone contact to monitor their therapy and provide ongoing support.

The company will invest more than $300,000 in improvements for a building in Longview and hire about 70 people this year, according to a release from the Longview Economic Development Corp. The new facility will employ more than 200 when fully operational.

“The economic impact to the Longview area will be significant,” said Steve Metcalf, president of the LEDCO board of directors. “American HomePatient will invest in new equipment and facilities in the City of Longview, Gregg County and the Longview Independent School District. The total payroll, benefits, capital investment and taxes paid will reach $80 million over the next ten years.”

In April, LEDCO approved a seven-year, $1.1 million performance grant as an incentive for AHP to expand in Longview.

With 300 locations in 35 states, AHP is owned by funds managed by Dallas-based Highland Capital Management.

Cape Medical Anchors Future with Seacoast Buy
SANDWICH, Mass.—With an eye toward further securing its future in an increasingly shaky environment, Cape Medical Supply has acquired six-year-old Seacoast Sleep Solutions of Kittery, Maine.

The deal marries Cape Medical, a full-line HME serving all of Massachusetts, with Seacoast, a regional provider of sleep therapy products, home oxygen and HME for patients in northeastern Massachusetts, southeastern New Hampshire and southern Maine. Seacoast was founded in 2005 by a respiratory therapist who will remain on staff.

“We continue to focus on aggressive growth strategies that will produce sustainable gains for our customers and team members,” said Gary Sheehan, Cape Medical CEO, in a release. “This was a dynamic opportunity for us to produce material growth and diversify our geographic reach and we are very pleased we were able to complete the transaction.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, Cape Medical will rebrand Seacoast Sleep Solutions as Seacoast Respiratory to better reflect its breadth of products and services. All of Seacoast’s existing employees will be retained, and Cape expects to hire additional employees for the Kittery location and its Sandwich headquarters.

This marks Cape’s first major acquisition since a 2005 purchase of two home oxygen therapy business units from Cape Cod Healthcare. Since, the company has focused on organic growth, opening new retail facilities as well as a new patient service and distribution center in the Greater Boston area in the fall of 2010.

According to Sheehan, the industry’s continuing challenges mandate aggressive growth.

“We are excited for what the future holds for our organization across New England and more confident today that we are properly configured to succeed in an incredibly difficult and complex health care regulatory landscape,” he said.

Chesapeake Rehab Is Latest Addition to ATG Roster
ROCKY HILL, Conn.—ATG Rehab announced July 1 it has acquired Baltimore, Md.-based Chesapeake Rehab Equipment, which has 13 branches in six Mid-Atlantic states. The move marks the largest acquisition in ATG’s history, as well as the largest ever in the complex rehabilitation industry, according to a release, expanding ATG’s reach to 41 offices in 24 states.

“We’ve been talking for many years about putting the two organizations together. The time is now right for us to do so,” said Chesapeake Rehab President and founder Gary Gilberti. “After a decade-long courtship, this is a great marriage of two organizations that, as one, will be able to provide an improved level of service and realize operational economies of scale. It’s a true ‘one-plus-one-equals-three’ opportunity.”

Gilberti will become president of ATG Rehab’s new Mid-Atlantic region, which serves more than 35 hospitals and rehab facilities.

ATG will establish offices in the cities and states served by Chesapeake, including Baltimore, Cumberland and Salisbury, Md.; Newark, Del.; Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pa.; Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville and Wilmington, N.C.; Murrell’s Inlet, S.C.; and Roanoke and Richmond, Va. The acquisition will add approximately 170 staff members, 29 of which are Chesapeake ATPs.

The deal is ATG’s second acquisition in a month, and its third this year following a majority investment by Boston-based Audax Private Equity. In March, ATG acquired the complex rehab segment of Warwick, R.I.-based Vanguard Home Medical Equipment, a subsidiary of Landauer Metropolitan, and Peak Wheelchairs of Colorado with offices in Lafayette (Denver) and Windsor. In June, ATG added the complex rehab division of WestMed Rehab in Rapid City, S.D.

Manufacturer Newswire
ResMed Buys BiancaMed and Its SleepMinder
SAN DIEGO—ResMed announced July 6 it has acquired an Irish medical technology company that has developed a non-contact device to monitor sleep and breathing in the home and hospital.

Dublin-based BiancaMed’s SleepMinder is described as an “accurate, touch-free device that measures sleep and breathing with sophisticated biometric software.” The core of the company’s proprietary technology is a sensitive radio frequency motion sensor that can detect respiration and movement without physical contact with the human body. The software converts the motion data into a measurement of sleep.

BiancaMed, which is also working on a number of other applications for its technology, will become part of ResMed’s new Ventures and Initiatives unit, formed earlier this year when the global sleep sector giant restructured its management and reorganized.

“We are committed to innovation in sleep and respiratory medicine and the related co-morbidities by commercializing products incorporating novel technologies,” ResMed Chairman and CEO Peter Farrell said in a release. Calling BiancaMed’s new technology “exciting,” Farrell added there are other opportunities for the company's applications “that will provide future growth.”

According to its website, the company has also developed the world’s first and only non-contact baby movement monitor called BiancaBaby, which monitors a baby’s smallest movements.

A report from The Irish Times said BiancaMed’s technology is also being tested in a Dublin hospital trial for patients with congestive heart failure. Patients are monitored at home for sudden weight gain, which can signal a problem, with the hope “that the technology will be able to cut hospital readmissions significantly,” the report said.

ResMed has been an investor in BiancaMed since its inception in 2003 when it was formed as a University College Dublin spin-out to commercialize research from UCD’s School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering. Other shareholders include Enterprise Ireland, DFJ ePlanet Ventures, Invest Northern Ireland, Seventure Partners and UCD.

ResMed plans to retain BiancaMed’s 29 employees, and the office in Dublin will remain active.

JC Kyrillos, president of ResMed Ventures and Initiatives, said the acquisition is right in line with goals for the new unit.

“In May of this year, we created ResMed Ventures and Initiatives to focus on opportunities in chronic disease states related to sleep-disordered breathing and other market opportunities,” he said. “BiancaMed represents the type of investment we are pursuing because it has current applications in our core sleep market, and several potential future applications in chronic diseases, such as heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

ResMed purchased all of BiancaMed's outstanding shares with cash and estimated that the acquisition will dilute earnings by approximately $0.04 per share in FY 2012, excluding amortization of intangibles and one-time acquisition-related costs.

Industry's Williams Loses Battle with the Beast
CLEVELAND—Well-known HME advocate David Williams, 62, passed away July 6 at The Cleveland Clinic due to complications from multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed with what he called “the nasty disease” in 1975, Williams chronicled his experiences living with MS in his 2004 motivational biography “Battling the Beast Within.”

After 10 years as chief technologist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Marymount Hospital, in 1983 Williams was named the first director of the Ohio Governor’s Office of Advocacy for People with Disabilities. In 1992, he became director of government relations at Invacare, a position he held until his retirement in 2004 as a commanding and passionate advocate for disability and HME issues.

Well-known in offices on Capitol Hill, Williams continued his advocacy efforts after his retirement, working as a consultant in legislative and regulatory affairs. In 2007, he was appointed to a seven-year term on the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.

Along the way, Williams competed in the Ohio Wheelchair Games from 1983 through 1994 in basketball, track and field, road racing and hand cycling. He also coached the Junior Buckeye Wheelers, which set a record that still stands as the seven-time winner of the coveted team championship at the National Junior Wheelchair Games.

In a foreword to Williams’ book, Invacare Chairman Mal Mixon writes: “It was not until I met David Williams that I really developed a true understanding of courage and why a positive attitude is so important in our lives. If anyone ever had a right to complain it is David—and yet, he does not! For more than 25 years he has been engaged in a constant battle with progressive multiple sclerosis and its related assaults on his spinal cord. He has never let his significant disabilities stop him from effectively carrying out his family and professional responsibilities. In living his life, he is truly an inspiration to everyone who comes in contact with him.”

Said Invacare colleague Cara Bachenheimer, “Dave was such a gigantic and wonderful life force. There are so many of us that will desperately miss him on so many levels, personal and professional.”

Williams is survived by his wife Fran McCaffrey, adult sons Eric and Nathan Williams and grandson Jaxson David Williams.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Lorain County Community College Foundation, 1005 North Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio 44035; or St. Joseph Catholic School, 200 St. Joseph Dr., Amherst, Ohio 44001.

Headlines from
GAO on Manufacturer Bidding; CMS Reports on Round 1; Nix IAPB, Groups Say
Competitive Bidding for Manufacturers on Radar Screen Again

Round 1 Is Fine, So Are Beneficiaries, CMS Reports

270 Groups Urge Congress to Nix IPAB

To revisit this news anytime during the week, check We welcome your comments. Drop a line to HomeCare Editor-in-Chief Gail Walker at


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