WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 12, 2020)—AAHomecare is urging home medical equipment suppliers and other industry stakeholders to educate their Congressional representatives on the potential impacts of moving forward with Round 2021 of the competitive bidding program and enlist their support for a delay in implementing the program. 

As HME suppliers across the country have reported in a recent survey, the industry is facing a new business environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher costs, supply chain challenges, and new operational challenges and requirements to help keep HME professionals and patients safe. Put simply: bids HME companies submitted in the Fall of 2019 for the next bidding round will not reflect new realities for the health care industry in 2021 and beyond.

While CMS and HHS have provided a welcome measure of financial relief and relaxed requirements to help the HME industry respond to the pandemic, they have not moved off plans to move forward with implementing Round 2021 on Jan. 1, 2021. AAHomecare believes it is time to raise awareness of the impacts of moving forward with the bidding program on Capitol Hill and is asking suppliers to contact their Senators and Representatives with this request: “Please urge CMS to pause the bidding program for at least one year to allow the HME community to make its strongest possible contribution to supporting individuals and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If CMS is unwilling or unable to pause the program, I ask that you support legislation to delay the bidding program.”

Providers can also use these materials in developing outreach to Capitol Hill:

  • Issue Brief: Congressional Action Needed to Delay Competitive Bidding Program for Durable Medical Equipment
  • Talking Points: Competitive Bidding Round 2021 and COVID-19
  • Providers can also encourage colleagues, friends and other contacts to use the AAHomecare Action Center to send an email to Capitol Hill in support of delaying Round 2021. Users can edit the draft letter provided to include their own perspectives and experiences.

HME suppliers have played a major role in directly treating patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory challenges in their homes and have also continued to provide the full spectrum of HME products, supplies and related services that reduce the burdens on hospitals, as well as nursing care and senior living facilities. The HME industry needs to focus on maintaining and building capacity in the coming months rather than getting ready to cut capacity when bid results and contracts are set to be announced this summer. Please reach out to your Senators and Representatives on this important issue.

Contact Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org for assistance in crafting your messages or finding contact information for your legislators.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.