Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

AAHomecare in Action – Industry Groups Join Forces to Honor HME Providers During Homecare Month

November 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – In honor of Homecare month in November, People for Quality Care (PFQC) and Save My Medical Supplies (SMMS) have come together to spread the word about the positive impact of home medical equipment (HME).

From helping patients live independently in their homes to being leaders in their communities, there are many examples of how HME providers go out of their way to help others. PFQC and SMMS have created a centralized home for these positive stories at www.Homecaremonth.org.

Homecaremonth.org will share patient and provider testimonials about the value of homecare and the positivity and passion of the HME community. The site will also showcase the strong role that HME providers play in their communities, from sponsoring sports teams and volunteering with charities to leading their Chamber of Commerce and participating in local politics.

“The patients we speak with have remarkable things to stay about their home medical equipment providers. Unfortunately, these positive testimonies can get drowned out by stories of fraud and abuse. With Homecaremonth.org, we want to shine the spotlight on the heart of HME providers and honor all the important work that they do,” said Kelly Turner, director of advocacy for People for Quality Care.   

“The hard work, passion, creativity and dedication displayed by home medical equipment providers is astonishing,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, the HME association that manages SMMS. “Patients, caregivers and family members know that they can rely on HME providers in the most difficult of situations and homecare month is a great opportunity to honor the tremendous work that HME providers are doing 365 days a year.”

The stories and content on Homecaremonth.org is meant to be shared. Don’t miss this opportunity to spread the word about the value of homecare with your friends, family, patients and vendors.

ESRD Final Rule Summary and Overview
WASHINGTON, DC – On October 31, CMS released the final rule on “Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies.” The final rule establishes the methodology for making national price adjustments to payments for DMEPOS paid under fee schedules based upon information gathered from the DMEPOS competitive bidding programs (CMPs) and phase in special payment rules in a limited number of competitive bidding areas under the CBP for certain, specified DME and enteral nutrition. 

AAHomecare analyzed the 500-page document and developed a point by point overview of the final recommendations from the rule on pricing, bundling, repair, contract product categories and others, as well as a 20-page full summary.

 Click here to download the rule overview.

CMS Releases Info on New RAC Contracts
WASHINGTON, DC – On November 4, 2014, CMS announced that the new contracts for Recovery Auditor Regions 1, 2, and 4 remain under a pre-award protest, which is expected to continue into late summer of 2015. However, the procurement process continues for Region 3 (Part A / Part B claim reviews), which includes Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and, for Region 5, which will be the national contract for DMEPOS and Home Health & Hospice claim reviews. The CMS remains hopeful that these two new contracts will be awarded before the end of this year. 
 
This means that the DMEPOS and the home health industries will see much more scrutiny from the national RAC contractor.  AAH will continue to monitor the contract award and next steps for this RAC.

Post Election Overview
WASHINGTON, DC – This week the GOP held onto the U.S House of Representatives and won control of the U.S. Senate. The Republican takeover of the Senate will usher in new committee chairmen expected to provide a more aggressive check on the Obama administration and scrutiny of its agenda on issues such as energy, foreign policy and Wall Street oversight. However, House and Senate Republicans will be forced to balance their agenda in the shadow of the White House veto power and the 2016 elections, making concessions essential to passing any meaningful legislation.

With 2016 hanging over their heads, experts predict that the Republican Senate will likely avoid a major overhaul of Medicare, because there are many vulnerable members who will face reelection in two years.

The GOP will be defending 24 seats in 2016, many of which are in blue or swing states.

We can expect a round of assaults on the Affordable Care Act, with the medical device tax and employer mandate both seen as promising targets.
“The election is a chance to “strike away” at the health-care law, advance trade agreements and revamp the U.S. tax code,” said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah in a statement today. Hatch is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and will most likely become its chairman next year.

Click to read more about how the election results will affect the HME community.