Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

AAHomecare in Action – The Clock is Ticking

March 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – The clock is ticking for the next round of cuts for providers in rural, non-bid areas. The July 1 cuts are now just 2,719 hours away. In hopes of stemming these cuts before they cause further harm to providers and patients, AAHomecare has been working with Senator John Thune (R-SD) [pictured] and Rep Tom Price (R-Ga) to stop the second cut so Congress can thoroughly examine the impact CMS’ plan.

After discussions with these Congressional champions and other HME industry stakeholders, AAHomecare’s Executive Committee has agreed to support a bipartisan, non-controversial, and budget-neutral proposal with the following elements:
• Stop the second cut due to take effect on July 1, 2016 for DME items in non-CB areas for 9-12 months (depending on CBO score). This would delay the second cut until at least April 1, 2017.
• The pay-for would be to move the Medicaid cut from calendar year 2019 (Jan 1) to fiscal year 2019 (Oct 1, 2018).  This would move the start date up by 3 months.
• CMS’ plans to limit future bid ceilings to the previous round bid rates to be replaced with a bid ceiling of fee schedule rates in effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
• CMS required to solicit stakeholder input and take into account travel costs, volume, clearing price and information on the numbers of providers serving bid areas as part of rate-setting activities for Jan. 2019 and beyond.

Hill champions would like to move these concepts as stand-alone legislation with the intent of passing it before July 1. AAHomecare will keep providers updated on the timing of the legislation and what the HME community needs to do to help move this proposal forward soon.

AAHomecare to Expand Efforts in Payer Relations
WASHINGTON, DC – Over the course of the past year, AAHomecare officials have heard increasing calls from members and other stakeholders in the HME community for more support in working with institutional payers besides Medicare. Now, AAHomecare is ready to begin moving forward with plans to increase advocacy and support of HME providers in their dealings with Medicare Advantage, Managed Care, and Medicaid payers this year, starting with the addition of a senior director of Payer Relations to the team.

This new hire will be tasked with developing relationships and reference materials to assist AAHomecare members in navigating relationships and concerns related to these payers, and will also keep abreast of regulations covering these groups to make sure they are compliant in their dealings with the HME sector. Those interested in applying for this position, or for those who would like more information, contact Sue Mairena at suem@aahomecare.org.