The formal letter asks Price to step up implementation of industry concerns.

WATERLOO, Iowa (March 21, 2017)—VGM Group, Inc. has submitted a formal letter of regulatory priorities to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price.

The letter outlines three top priorities that VGM's membership has identified that require immediate action from the administration in order to prevent reductions of access to care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Action items listed include an implementation date of the retroactive delay to Medicare reimbursement cuts be moved up with an outlined completion date, January 1, 2017; reinstated reimbursement cuts to rural America must be delayed until the impact analysis is released; and the application of two different statutes to determine payment methodologies by CMS on oxygen concentrators must be corrected.

“These challenges must be addressed immediately as there has been more than a 34 percent reduction in the number of HME suppliers from 2013 to 2017,” said John Gallagher, vice president of VGM Government Relations. "HME suppliers play a key role in providing care to some of the most vulnerable patients in the health care system. This patient-centric care leads to improved health outcomes while offering large savings to the federal government compared to the alternative of that patient being admitted into a hospital."

Along with the three reimbursement priorities, the letter to Price also identifies four reforms that VGM feels the administration needs to implement: reforms to the competitive bidding program; support of a prior authorization process to reduce audits; establishment of a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology; and a request that the Department of Health and Human Services work with the Department of Veterans Affairs/TRICARE so that reimbursement rates match the Medicare fee schedule.

“With the implementation of these proposed regulatory recommendations to the administration, we firmly believe that home medical equipment suppliers across the nation will have a renewed ability to provide care to the most vulnerable patients in the health care system,” stated Gallagher.

To view VGM’s letter to HHS Secretary Price, visit VGM Government Relations’ website at