Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Competitive Bidding Under Fire

August 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – HR 4920, the new bill introduced by Reps Tiberi and Larson, is gaining traction on Capitol Hill partly due to new stories that demonstrate the impact of competitive bidding on real people. WBZ Boston published an article about a Medicare patient in Massachusetts who was stranded in her home after her power wheelchair broke.

The Free Lance-Star out of Fredericksburg, Va, published an article about a provider that submitted a bid lower than what they were already charging, but was rejected. Pat Grimes Inc was a staple of the Fredericksburg community, known for going above and beyond to provide supplies to patients, and staying on-call 24/7 for COPD patients being discharged from the hospital. After they lost their bid, they attempted to shift focus and then downsized, but ultimately they were forced to close their doors.

AAHomecare and Save My Medical Supplies are collecting personal stories from providers and patients who have experienced difficulties with competitive bidding and sharing them with the media. Those with additional stories are encouraged to share them at SaveMyMedicalSupplies.org.

PFQC Launches Interactive Data Map
People for Quality Care (PFQC) launched an interactive data map with Medicare patient complaints. The map contains information gleaned from PFQC’s Medicare Beneficiary Complaint Hotline which continues to collect patient complaints to send to Congress. In one year, 3,200 patient complaints streamed into the hotline. 
After discussions with Congressional leaders and their staff, PFQC decided to develop a new tool concisely showcasing how Americans are affected by Medicare changes.

Click to view the interactive map and read patient stories: http://www.peopleforqualitycare.org/map/
“We created this tool so Congress and the public can see the unfortunate reality- Medicare’s competitive bidding program is not working,” said Kelly Turner, director of Advocacy. “Hopefully it will spur leaders to act quickly so America’s seniors and people with disabilities can get the care they deserve.” For more information, contact Lalaina Rabary at Lalaina.rabary@peopleforqualitycare.org.

The MED Group Announces Legislative Fly-in for Sept 9-10, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
LUBBOCK, TX – The MED Group, a Managed Health Care Associates Inc. (MHA) company, in conjunction with AAHomecare, will host a legislative fly-in at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. on September 10th.

The focus of the fly-in will be to promote the support for H.R. 4920, the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Improvement Act of 2014, and H.R. 5083, the Medicare DMEPOS Audit Improvement and Reform (AIR) Act of 2014. A pre-meeting will be held from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM September 9th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.,  to provide legislative leave behind information and the list of appointments with legislators set up for the Sept 10 session.  

“The binding bid bill (HR 4920) and the audit bill (HR 5083) are two areas that will aid all DME providers in regard to competitive bidding and audits,” stated Jeff Woodham, senior vice president and general manager for The MED Group. “AAHomecare has worked with a number of industry stakeholders to get these bills introduced. The MED Group is excited to host the legislative fly-in to move these bills forward so that all DME providers can operate in a healthier industry. This legislative fly-in is open to all DME providers so that industry stakeholders can show solidarity on these issues.”

“The bidding program, as currently constructed, is unsustainable for DME providers, and the communities they serve—and there’s no doubt in my mind that policymakers will eventually come to see this,” added Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “AAHomecare, our members, and other DME and patient-group stakeholders are working to support HR 4920, common-sense legislation that will improve this program by providing rational fixes to the bidding program; most importantly by making winning bidders truly accountable for honoring their bids, and ensuring that only properly-licensed bidders participate.”

To register, call The MED Group at 1-800-825-5633 and speak with a Customer Support Representative. The MED Group is asking all providers to attend the fly-in and show their support for both bills.  

AAHomecare’s Stand Up for Homecare Fundraiser Reception at Medtrade
Tuesday, October 21 • 5:30 pm  – 7:00 pm
The Stand Up for Homecare reception at Medtrade is the premier networking event for the industry. When you Stand Up for Homecare, you are endorsing AAHomecare efforts to promote a positive image of homecare, raise public awareness of homecare’s many benefits, and support consumer advocacy groups out there making a difference in patient’s lives. It is a time to stand together and support the industry, see old friends, make new ones, and have fun doing it.

AAHomecare’s Washington Update at Medtrade


Tuesday, October 21 • 8:00 am  – 9:45 am
 – Sponsored by HME Business
As the largest national association representing the HME industry, AAHomecare is on the front lines in Washington, DC fighting for its members. This is your chance to get the insider’s perspective on what is happening now and what is up next on Capitol Hill, at CMS and where the industry is headed on its biggest issues. Stay informed, stay involved. AAHomecare speakers to include: Tom Ryan, president, Jay Witter, senior vice president of government affairs, and Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs.

• Providers who wish to register for Medtrade should CLICK HERE.    
• The full link for registration is http://registration.experientevent.com/showmth141/default.aspx?flowcode=att
Pricing for events can be found at https://www.medtrade.com/attendee/pricing.shtml

Exhibitors have already bought 96% of the floor space at the Georgia World Congress Center in anticipation of what could be the most important Medtrade in the event’s long history. For a complete list of exhibitors and/or additional information about the show, visit www.medtrade.com.