Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Additional Case Manager Participation Sought for Patient Access Survey

August 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – As suppliers standing on the front lines of patient care, AAHomecare officials are asking for your help in recruiting case managers and Medicare beneficiaries to take the nationwide survey that evaluates patient access to HME under competitive bidding in bid and non-bid areas.

Important Update: There may be an opportunity to present CMS with preliminary findings from the survey early next week, and we especially need additional Case Manager/Discharge Planner participation before that meeting — if you have any contacts in that segment who you believe would be willing to take the survey, please do what you can to get them to act this week.

If you know of people who would be willing to take the survey, please send them the appropriate link:
• Case Manager/Discharge Planner Survey (highest priority)
• Beneficiary Survey

Considering the challenges some beneficiaries may face taking the survey online, healthcare research firm Dobson DaVanzo will also be reaching these participants by phone for interviews, as needed.  Since the recent reimbursement rates for rural providers also affects TRICARE beneficiaries, we also welcome patients in that group.  All participants can be assured that responses to the survey will remain anonymous.

We appreciate the strong participation by the HME provider community in the supplier survey thus far. Your input will help provide a clear picture of Medicare beneficiary access to HME for legislators and regulators as they work on improving the bidding program and other issues affecting our industry.

Additional information can be found here.  For questions about the survey or to pass along information on patients who are willing to take the survey by phone, please contact Ashley Plauche, AAHomecare manager of government affairs, at ashleyp@aahomecare.org.  

Physician Decision Letter Can be Included in DMEPOS Prior Authorization
WASHINGTON, DC – Last year, CMS finalized the rule to move forward with expanding the prior authorization (PA) program.  Although the program has great support from the industry, AAHomecare expressed concern with the lack of physician involvement in the correspondence of the PA decision.

Unlike the PMD Demonstration, under the PA expansion, DME MACs cannot automatically communicate with referring physicians on the PA decision. However, based on AAHomecare’s feedback, last week CMS shared that a prescribing physician can contact the DME MAC for a copy of the PA decision letter. The DME MACs will not be automatically sending a copy of the decision letter, but referring providers will be allowed to request to be included in the communication.

CMS has updated the DMEPOS PA website to note this change and also included a sample letter physicians could use to request a decision letter. AAHomecare thanks CMS for the opportunity to provide feedback and for implementing a crucial modification to the program.

You can find the announcement and sample decision request letter here.

Nominate an HME Leader for the 2017 Van Miller Homecare Champion Award
WASHINGTON, DC – The Association is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Van Miller Homecare Champion. Nominate an AAHomecare member who has made an exceptional contribution to the homecare sector throughout their career in one of the following ways:

• A longstanding record of service within the homecare community;
• Embodiment of the spirit of caring and generosity which are the hallmarks of this profession;
• Active membership and engagement in the American Association for Homecare.

The goal of the Homecare Champion Award is to honor people who have been involved in various aspects of the business of HME and the care that is an essential component of it. Therefore, this award is not focused on federal or state government advocacy, but all aspects of the HME business and furthering of the industry. Nominations can be submitted to Sue Mairena, suem@aahomecare.org through Sept. 8. Find the nomination form and see past honorees here.

This award will be presented during the Stand Up for Homecare reception during Medtrade on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and recognized in a special notice in the trade press and local media.