Calling Script for Sustainable HME Reimbursement Rates
Since the nationwide implementation of competitive bidding, a program conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for medical equipment, there have been harmful impacts to Medicare beneficiaries receiving home medical equipment. Providers have faced unsustainable reimbursement cuts of approximately 50 percent due to the nationwide roll-out of competitive bidding in 2016. These rate cuts stem from a flawed bidding system into rural America that have resulted in a 40 percent reduction of suppliers nationwide, putting access to home medical equipment at great risk.
Efforts are being spearheaded in the House by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Loebsack to reinstate reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment which are sustainable to preserve access to DME for Medicare beneficiaries, while being mindful of taxpayer dollars. They have introduced H.R. 4229, Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act of 2017..
With medical equipment access issues on the rise for items like walkers, wheelchairs and oxygen, Medicare and Medicaid patients are having extreme difficulty receiving the equipment that they desperately need. As many other payers are adopting these highly flawed and unsustainable rates, providers are unable to keep their doors open. As access to this equipment is dropping, patients are forced to go to the hospital and eventually move out of the comfort of their own homes and into a costly nursing facility.
I ask you to support this legislation that will mitigate these unsustainable reimbursement rate cuts, and consider signing on as a cosponsor to this legislation. Supporting these providers will ensure that seniors and individuals with disabilities will continue to stay in the comfort of their own homes and keep costs down in comparison to the alternative methods of care.
Thank you for your time and consideration on this important matter.