Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

AAHomecare in Action – UC Health System Frustrated by Competitive Bidding

September 19, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – In their comments on CMS’ latest rules proposal covering the bidding program for HME (CMS 1651-P), the University of California Health System reports that hospitals within the UC System continue to see significant problems obtaining DME under the program and urge CMS to carefully evaluate the impacts of the program.  

Their comments note that many winning bidders have actually dropped out of the program and point out resulting issues such as delays in patient discharges and instances of patients having to purchase items at their own expense which should have been covered by Medicare.

This paragraph in particular provides an excellent summary of the problems the bidding program is causing for healthcare providers: Hospital personnel note that, prior to the CBP’s implementation, case managers and discharge planners were able to select DME suppliers based on their level of customer service, including their demonstrated dependability and consistency in delivering required items within the necessary time frames.

They express frustration that they are no longer able to select DME suppliers based on what is in the patient’s best interest, but must use suppliers that, in their view, provide sub-standard customer service and often cannot meet the patient’s needs-ultimately compromising care outcomes.

Read the UC Health System’s full comments here. The UC Health System is America’s largest academic health system, and includes 12 hospitals and 18 health professional schools over seven campuses located in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Contact Legislators This Week on Rural Bidding Relief
WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate may be adjourning early to allow Senators who are up for re-election this year to get back to the campaign trail. Senate leaders will have little reason to stay until the end of the month as originally planned if they can pass a continuing resolution to authorize additional government funding, and work on legislation related to Zika-response and other water resources.

AAHomecare sources – as well as media covering Capitol Hill – have both said this could occur as early as this Friday, or possibly next week. Plans for House adjournment are less clear at this time.

“If you’ve been meaning to contact your legislators to advocate for rural relief legislation but haven’t yet, please make the call or send a note today,” wrote AAHomecare officials in a message to members this week. “Messaging and other tips can be found in this recent edition of Wednesday in Washington.”

You can find basic contact information via the Capitol Hill directory or e-mail Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org for contact information for Hill staffers who handle healthcare issues specifically.