Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Clinician Video Highlights Problems with Competitive Bidding

May 22, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the power of a video. For years, clinicians and case managers have struggled to coordinate care for their Medicare patients who require home medical equipment, services, and supplies under the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP).

Meanwhile, CMS reports that there are no issues with CBP and that access has been unaffected. Patient advocacy group People for Quality Care is combating this misinformation with a video featuring testimonials from clinicians on the front lines of care who attend the annual Handi Medical Education & Equipment Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“Our goal is to empower the Industry with the tools needed to continue the fight as we work together toward relief,” says Kelly Turner, director of People for Quality Care. “This video reinforces the message shared by the Industry and other stakeholders that the program is harming the very people it’s designed to protect and is in desperate need of reform.”
 
The passionate and articulate clinicians in the video are clear. A faulty program design coupled with unsustainable reimbursement rates are crippling the Industry’s ability to provide HME and creating problems for Medicare beneficiaries. Preventable hospital readmissions, reduced options, and patients either going without or paying out of pocket for HME are central themes as clinician after clinician shares the real world impact of Competitive Bidding in their communities.

“It’s destroying not just access to care but quality of care,” reports one clinician. “The government is picking on the most vulnerable people in our population” laments another. “It may be great for Medicare; it’s not great for the patients. It is the worst thing that I’ve seen in my entire life” stated a case manager who has been coordinating care for patients for 45 years.

Ashley Plauché, AAHomecare’s manager of Government Affairs and Legislative Partner of People for Quality Care, explained that this is a great example of what can happen when suppliers commit to advocacy. “We’re grateful for Handi Medical’s vision of hosting and recording their conferences and giving us permission to use their footage to give clinicians’ voices a national platform. Undoubtedly, their message echoes the sentiment of countless others across the country who are trapped in a failing system and looking to Congress and the Administration for change.”

As the industry gears up for the AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference this week in Washington DC, People for Quality Care encourages the industry to take advantage of this time to engage legislators about the need to protect the HME benefit. The video is available online on People for Quality Care’s YouTube Channel, and the group invites HME Industry to use this video in meetings with legislators, payors, and policy-shapers.

Contact: Kelly Turner, Director, People for Quality Care

PH: 866.342.6643
E-Mail: kelly.turner@vgm.com

Clinician Video Link: https://youtu.be/Ka0vtBbUIfE

Ashley W. Plauché is manager of Government Affairs, American Association for Homecare.