Following a public commenting period from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Round 2 of its Competitive Bidding program for home medical equipment (HME), a recent survey shows a majority of HME providers generally reject the program’s “one-size-fits-all” approach.
In efforts to simplify the submitting of public comment, VGM Group, Inc. created an online survey to allow HME providers to post comments and concerns relative to the proposed changes and address the specific questions regarding the latest round of the Competitive Bidding program.
From February 27 to March 21, 2014, VGM received a total of 854 surveys. Of the 854, there were 493 that included specific comments and concerns regarding various areas of the Bid program’s structure.
“The consensus suggested the competitive bidding program and current pricing structure is harmful to patients, their caregivers, referral sources and HME businesses,” the VGM Group survey results note. “We were pleased to receive details from the survey respondents helped to better identify the diversity of the issues experienced by providers who are being subjected to ‘one-size-fits-all policies.'”
Providers have long voiced concerns over the hardships of the bidding program—which when into effect July 1, 2013—arguing that consumers will have less resources to turn to for their HME needs as a result of providers not being able to secure Medicare contracts.
The survey arrives following recent developments this week from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, which found that CMS did operate within federal guidelines and requirements when contracting for the Competitive Bidding Round 1 rebid program.
Written by Jason Oliva