Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

AAHomecare – Providers’ Stories Foreshadow Growing Challenges for Rural Patients and Communities

August 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – AAHomecare officials are thanking the many providers in rural and non-bid areas who have reached out to share their stories about the difficult business decisions they’ve faced in light of the latest round of bidding-derived cuts.  

Champions on Capitol Hill and other members of Congress have asked AAHomecare to collect and share as many real world examples of how the new pricing environment is affecting providers and patients in rural and non-bid areas. AAHomecare encourages providers to add their story to the mix.

The following are excerpts from what providers are telling AAHomecare about their challenges and plans:

• Alaska:“The only reason we
are still in business is because we are family owned and operated. Many
times we do not get a paycheck. We started this business twenty years
ago because of the need for DME. We now have over 200 clients we serve.
If I close the doors, they have no place to go except the hospital,
which is at capacity most of the time, and the cost to Medicare will
increase by 2000%. The other option is to move South.”

• California: “So here we are after 27 years in the DME business and with this second set of cuts I will have to close my doors within a 45-60-day timeframe.”

• Texas: “2016 marks my 20th year serving the needs of HME and supply customers. Due to the competitive bidding debacle, I’ll pack up 20-years’ worth of memories into a box and see what is next.”

• Kentucky: “No one thinks about the cost of our equipment along with the cost to deliver and educate the patient and family that is depending on us to help a mom or dad or a loved one. We also deal with insurance guidelines, deal with insurances two to three times on a claim, and have overhead that never stops… No business can keep its doors open when you are losing money to take care of someone.”

• New York: “There is a much bigger picture that seems to be overlooked by government. It’s about preserving services and equipment to individuals and the elderly with severe disabilities and the livelihood of local and county businesses and residents…”

“Your stories need not be as dramatic or heartbreaking as these examples are; anything that demonstrates how the July 1 cuts are affecting your policies, your ability to compete, or your patients’ access to HME is helpful,” say AAHomecare officials. “We appreciate getting stories that we can share publicly, and with the media – but we are also willing to use your story anonymously, in a summary we are creating for use on Capitol Hill.”

To help make the strongest case possible to advocate for relief for rural and non-bid area providers in September, contact Tilly Gambill at tillyg@aahomecare.org to share your story, or with any questions.