AAHomecare and NEMEP partnered to study the effects on suppliers in the state.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 22, 2017)—Last June, The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) announced an “Incontinence Supply Management Program” for all Medicaid beneficiaries that would implement minimum quality standards for incontinence products to take effect on September 1, 2016. In addition to the quality standards, NY DOH also awarded a preferred vendor contract to TwinMed, LLC for incontinence products to be purchased by Medicaid providers. Medicaid providers who purchase incontinence supplies from TwinMed, LLC were to receive competitive pricing and an approved formulary by the Department as meeting the new minimum quality standards. 

While providers are not mandated to purchase these products from TwinMed, LLC, if they purchase from other vendors, they are required to obtain independent laboratory testing results certifying that the products dispensed meet the minimum quality standards. These results must be maintained by the provider for each product and kept on file for a 6-year period in the event of a pre- and/or post-pay audit. 

Both AAHomecare and Northeast Medical Equipment Providers Association (NEMEP) applaud the initiative to provide high-quality incontinence products to the NY Medicaid beneficiaries. However, along with these developments, the NYS DOH published fee schedule changes for these products that decreased reimbursement by approximately 30 percent to go into effect on February 15, 2017. In response, NEMEP reached out to AAHomecare for guidance in developing a strategy to address the cuts with the Department on behalf of their impacted members.

Laura Williard, AAHomecare senior director of payer relations, developed and performed a mini cost analysis study that evaluated providers’ cost-of-goods along with operational costs to providing these products. This aggregate, de-identified information was presented to the Department along with comparisons of current and proposed rates with the average Medicaid allowables across the country and also with the five surrounding states. 

Kim Voelker, NEMEP executive director, was informed that the implementation of rate reductions would be postponed until March 15, 2017 while further review takes place. Going forward, Voelker and Williard will be meeting with the Department to review the study more fully and to advocate on behalf of providers regarding the unsustainability of the cuts. Voelker comments: “Our collaboration with Laura and AAH enabled NEMEP to provide the Department with solid data illustrating providers’ true costs in supplying these products. We look forward to a continued dialogue and re-evaluation of the reimbursement model."

Visit aahomecare.org and northeastmep.org for more information.