A letter was sent to Secretary Price with six focus areas to improve the program.

—via AAHomecare (March 23, 2017)—Earlier today AAHomecare shared HME industry recommendations for fixing significant problems with CMS’s DMEPOS competitive bidding program with HHS Secretary Tom Price. The recommendations focus on six major areas:

  1. Use market-clearing price to determine Single Payment Amount for any item included in competitive bidding.
  2. Use historical claims data to determine supplier capacity.
  3. Increase transparency of the competitive bidding program.
  4. Reform competitive bidding product categories.
  5. Apply uniform payment rules for transitioning DMEPOS competitive bidding beneficiaries.
  6. Remove CMS’s authority to move forward with bundled payments for CPAP and standard power wheelchairs.

“HME suppliers, patient groups, and leading economists and auction experts have voiced concerns about major structural problems with the bidding program since it first took effect,” said Tom Ryan, president & CEO of the American Association for Homecare. “With the next round of the bidding program set to consolidate the two rounds into one entity, the time is right for CMS to make these much-needed and common-sense changes. The home medical equipment community and the patients we serve can’t afford to miss this opportunity to improve this program.”

AAHomecare recommends that CMS go through the formal rulemaking process to instate the proposed reforms for the next round of the bidding program, slotted to take effect at the start of 2019, although in some instances the Association believes CMS can make the recommended changes through sub-regulatory guidance.

The recommendations are the result of a collaborative effort involving AAHomecare staff, members of the Association’s Regulatory Council, leading industry stakeholders and HME regulatory law experts that began in earnest in mid-January of this year. AAHomecare’s letter to Dr. Price can be found here. The new recommendations follow on our February 28th letter requesting action to repeal the full phase-in of the Medicare DMEPOS adjusted fee schedule rates for non-competitive bidding areas that was applied on July 1, 2016.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.