RALEIGH, N.C.—State and national durable medical equipment (DME) advocates have helped secure a $3.2 million increase for HME in North Carolina, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) announced. 

AAHomecare credited the Atlantic Coast Medical Equipment Services Association (ACMESA) and strong relationships developed with North Carolina Medicaid officials and members of the state legislature for making the win possible.  

The ACMESA Medicaid and legislative committees has been working in earnest for the past two years to get a rate increase since North Carolina discontinued a five percent pandemic relief-related rate hike.

Laura Williard, AAHomecare vice president of payer relations, led engagement with finance leaders in North Carolina Medicaid and provided budget analysis to the agency that will target this rate increase to 13 total products that had an emergency need to ensure access to care. The targeted rate increases equates to about $3.2 million more for home medical equipment (HME) suppliers’ bottom line over an eight-month period.

“North Carolina HME advocates have done a great job in building relationships and educating policymakers on the value of homecare and need for sustainable reimbursements,” Williard said. “Those efforts are critical to succeeding in a highly competitive state budget environment."

“ACMESA is thankful for the rate increase provided on essential codes on the DME fee schedule,” said Beth Bowen, executive director of ACMESA. “Our strong relationship with NC Medicaid is one we value and has enabled our providers to continue to provide quality DME services to North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries. ACMESA and AAHomecare will continue to fight in the next legislature to obtain a much needed across the board increase. Now is the time to continue to reach out to our legislators to remind them of the value DME brings to NC Medicaid.” 

The rate increases go into effect on November 1. Additional details from NC Medicaid are expected soon, AAHomecare said.