Newsletter Q4 2012


The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

These past few months have brought difficult times to our area as we are still picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Many of our providers, health plans, and employees were affected by the storm. An Integra Employee Relief Fund was established to help our employees combat these unexpected expenses and our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected in our area.

Please note that many of our health plan partners in the Tri-State area were without power for 6-9 days (MetroPlus, GHI & HIP are still experiencing some issues). This resulted in a stalemate on payments being received, processed and released for claims pending in their system during this time frame. We ask that you remain patient as they are working diligently to get back on track.

Additionally, as a result of the storm, the previously scheduled NJ AAOP conference was canceled for 2012. We would like to thank all of you who had planned on attending the event and visiting us both at our booth as well as at our private reception.  Although we did not get the chance to meet this year, we look forward to seeing all of you at the event next year!


Direct Deposit- Speeding up the Flow of Your Money

With our NEW Direct Deposit feature, Integra Partner providers are being paid quicker than ever before! With 75 providers already enrolled, they no longer need to wait for paper checks to come in the mail, walk down to their local bank, and then continue to wait as the check goes through the clearing process. With ACH deposit, the money is automatically deposited directly into their bank accounts! Not to mention, for those 70+ providers who were already enrolled in ACH when Hurricane Sandy hit, they were able to receive their deposits without any delays!

Fast Facts for Existing ACH Enrollees

  • Our bank requires us to schedule ACH payments at least one business day before the payment date.
  • Generally, the ACH instructions are uploaded to the bank on Sunday evenings.
  • Since Sunday is not a business day, the payment cannot be scheduled until Tuesday.
  • Some receiving banks will post to your account the same day, other banks do over-night posting.
  • If your bank does overnight posting, you may not see the deposit in your account until Wednesday.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail Frank Bianco at or call him directly at (718) 819-3914.


Integra Partners Cultural Elements

  1. Create a WOW Company
  2. Value Each Other
  3. Push the Boundaries
  4. Make it FUN!


Provider Spotlight- Mt. Carmel Pharmacy     “A Thanksgiving Story”

Thanksgiving – The Past and The Present
The tradition of Thanksgiving has been a long standing American tradition which dates back to the Pilgrims in 1621. After a plentiful harvest season, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of giving thanks, inviting Indian Chief Massasoit and many of his people to this three-day feast.  These rich principles of community, selflessness, and valuing one another are still on display today as every year we gather with friends, family, neighbors, strangers, and everything in between to share in what has become more than just a meal.

Dating back to 1993, Bronx, NY based Mt. Carmel Pharmacy and Surgicals has exemplified this behavior and has become a pioneer in their local community. From serving 75 people at their first annual Thanksgiving Day feast, they now proudly serve between 1000 and 1200 people every year for the past 15 years. From the homeless, to elderly couples, to lonely, to young and old, all are welcome as their doors remain open for any and everyone.

The Spark
In 1993, Iris Garcia was working as a receptionist in a doctor’s office that was run by the Paganelli brothers – Armand, Michael, and Roger who are third generation Bronx-based pharmacy owners.  One day, she was approached by a friend of hers asking if she would put together a Thanksgiving feast for the poor in the Church Gym. At the time, Iris had lived across the street from the Church where she also was/is a parishioner. Having had some Thanksgivings where she had nothing for her own family, Iris felt as though this was her chance to help others and to give back.

She decided to speak with the Paganelli brothers who were already involved in other community outreach programs. They loved the idea and the passion Iris brought to the table and an arrangement was quickly made. Mt. Carmel Pharmacy would become a sponsor and help provide the financial support to make it happen and Iris, along with help from her family, friends, and neighbors would make it happen.

Going Strong
That first year, Mt. Carmel purchased 7 turkeys and Iris and her dedicated team provided all of the fixins’. They served 75 people that day in 1993, a number which surprised many of the organizers. They had no idea that there were so many people in the community that needed a place to share Thanksgiving. Little did they know that as the years went on, that number would increase to over a thousand attendees each year!  They now prepare 50-60 turkeys every year and the volume prepared by Iris and her crew is quite remarkable. That doesn’t even count desert, where they go through 150 pies and more than 50 lbs of cookies!

Whether you come to fill a carry out container to bring home or choose to dine in the beautifully decorated gymnasium filled with balloons, centerpieces, and candles, Governor Bradford would be proud of the tradition Mt. Carmel Pharmacy and Iris Garcia continue to make special.

Thank You
For the efforts put forth by Mt. Carmel Pharmacy, Iris, and all of those involved in this heartwarming story we recognize your efforts and commend you on a job well done.


Affordable Care Act- Reimbursable Products

Did you know that under the ACA breastfeeding support and supplies will be covered by the insurance companies? Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventative measures mothers can take to protect their health and that of their children. One of the biggest barriers over the years has been the cost of purchasing or renting breast pumps and nursing related supplies. Pregnant and postpartum women will now have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.

The service of this equipment will primarily come from Durable Medical Equipment suppliers. If you are already selling these items, please e-mail Scott Brennan at so that you can become eligible for referrals!


Are Your Requests for Consumable Supply Refills Being Denied?

The Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contactors have been conducting reviews on claims for consumable supplies and they have found that there are a large number of denials on requests for refills due to incomplete documentation. The most prevalent error is the way in which the suppliers are documenting the quantity of an item the beneficiary has remaining.

A few examples of items which are categorized as consumable products are; ostomy, urological supplies, surgical dressings, glucose supplies, etc.  When filling out documentation for reimbursement for items such as these it is essential that the supplier assess the quantity of each item that the beneficiary still has on hand. This will aid in determining that the amount left is nearly exhausted.

Below are a few examples of situations where insufficient documentation to justify reimbursement occurs (not all inclusive);

  • “Yes” or “No” questions only regarding whether the beneficiary wants or needs more supplies.
  • Documentation which only provides information regarding the amount of supplies the beneficiary is requesting.
  • Documentation which only states that the beneficiary has less than the required threshold number of supplies left.

To minimize denials on consumable goods it is essential that the supplier presents a customized and detailed record specific to each beneficiary’s requested refills. A physical count is recommended but not necessary. However, it is vital that the documentation proves that there was an individualized assessment completed.

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