Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Legislative Update – VGM Making It Easy to Respond to CMS Request for Competitive Bidding Input

March 3, 2014

WATERLOO, IOWA – In response to CMS’ request for public comment
regarding the expansion of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, VGM
is asking providers to take a few moments to fill out an online survey.

To simplify the process of submitting public comment, the online
survey, developed by VGM, asks the six questions that reflect the
questions asked by CMS about expanding the competitive bidding program.

The questions in the VGM survey provide examples and are
simplified to better reflect a provider’s day-to-day business
experience. The link to the survey is available here. Submitted surveys will be processed and sent to CMS by courier before the March 28 deadline.

“Our staff reviewed the CMS instructions and online tools to see
if the public comment process was simple to understand and complete
quickly,” explains John Gallagher, vice president, Government
Relations, VGM. “What they found was far from ideal for busy business
owners. So we developed a straightforward solution that can be completed
in a short amount of time. We need a sounding board for our issues and
know that that squeaky wheel is what gets heard. We’re working to make
it easier for the voice of providers to be heard.”     

CMS is requesting comments no later than March 28, 2014. The VGM
survey will be online and available for submission until March 21.

Comp Bidding Expansion Targets 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week’s notice on implementing pricing, published by CMS in the Federal Register, declared that single payment amounts must be used in adjusting fee schedule amounts beginning January 1, 2016.

CMS’ proposed rule on bidding program expansion has the potential to impact the industry as much as round two did. “While it is clear that CMS has acknowledged issues specific to PAP supplies and enteral therapy in the current bidding rounds, providers should pay particular attention to the comments on combining DME into bundles with one all-inclusive rate,” write AAHomecare officials in a note to members. “The bundles would be reimbursed on a monthly basis, include all supplies and maintenance, and add the concept that equipment never caps.”

CMS has requested public comment on the proposed expanstion (see article below). And for more on the “bundle” possibilities (and the recent Federal Register notice), see Denise Leard’s analysis in this week’s issue of Medtrade Monday.

Stand Up for Homecare on Tuesday, March 11
LAS VEGAS – Attendees at Medtrade Spring can “stand up for homecare” by clicking here and registering for an evening of networking with homecare industry leaders. The even takes place on Tuesday, March 11, at 6:00 pm in the Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas.

Stand Up for Homecare is a broad-based campaign to get positive, accurate news about home medical equipment into national and local media through direct outreach to media contacts. The campaign also helps home care providers, their patients, and other stakeholders build positive perceptions of the HME sector on Capitol Hill.

When you Stand Up for Homecare, you are supporting efforts to promote a positive image of homecare, raise public awareness of homecare’s many benefits, and spur people to take action against harmful policies like Medicare’s bidding program.