Washington D.C. (May 17, 2017)—A letter authored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) is calling for reforms to policies and regulations involving durable medical equipment and complex rehab technology. The letter is to be sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The letter outlines four specific reforms that need to be addressed by CMS in regards to the competitive bidding program for DME and CRT in addition to oxygen reimbursement cuts. Providers have faced reimbursement cuts of approximately 50 percent due to the rural rollout of competitive bidding. In addition to these cuts, providers also faced reductions in oxygen reimbursement when CMS applied a budget neutrality regulation that has reduced reimbursement for rural providers by another 11 to 14 percent.
“CMS has continued to implement further reductions with very little regard to the input from providers and the intent of Congress,” said John Gallagher, VGM’s vice president of Government Relations. “The reforms outlined in this letter would provide great relief for providers who are struggling to provide care to their patients and must be implemented immediately.”
Reimbursement cuts have led to a 38 percent reduction of medical equipment providers nationwide, causing great concern of Congress and industry stakeholders. The letter shares, “Over numerous years, CMS has made significant policy and regulatory changes that have resulted in significant reductions in reimbursement.” The letter goes on to state, “We are concerned that these reductions may have caused access issues for Medicare beneficiaries and shifted costs to other areas of Medicare.”
According to Gallagher, Rogers’ letter will play a crucial role in providing CMS with pressure to make these changes. “The congressional offices are looking to get broad bipartisan support from their fellow representatives, which is where the industry can play a huge role. It is imperative to gather as many supporters as possible to show the urgency of these reforms.”
Advocates should call their member of Congress, and visit VGM’s Action Center to send a message to representatives to urge them to support the letter to Secretary Price and Administrator Verma.