HME Industry Rallies Against Competitive Bidding

Home medical equipment (HME) providers say proposed changes to audit and competitive bidding programs for medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers should be implemented before the end of the year.

As the August legislative recess is underway, industry stakeholders are voicing support for H.R. 5083, or the Medicare DMEPOS Audit Improvement and Reform (AIR) Act of 2014, and H.R. 4920, or The Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Improvement Act. Both bills were introduced earlier this summer; having 14 and 29 co-sponsors, respectively.

Proposed changes to the DMEPOS audit system include making the Medicare administrative contractor responsible for DMEPOS payments; and changes include providing suppliers, physicians and practitioners who prescribe DMEPOS, and discharge planners and case managers who coordinate DMEPOS for individuals in the contractor’s area with error rate reduction training, among other amendments.

H.R. 4920, if passed, would make bids from DMEPOS suppliers binding under the Medicare bidding program. Support for the legislation continues to grow since its recent introduction.

Both bills would amend a section of the Social Security Act.

“We need to do everything we can to build support for our bills to put ourselves in the best possible position to be attached to a moving vehicle prior to the end of the year,” Seth Johnson, vice president of government relations for Pride Mobility, tells HME News in a recent article. “There’s plenty of opportunity to address all our issues.”

Following the August recess, the House Ways and Means Committee is planning a hearing on audits. A recent report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says CMS needs to provide audit contractors with additional guidance and oversight.

“That adds more fuel to the fire of why we need guidance and regulation in terms of the audit legislation,” Kim Brummett, senior director of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare, tells HME News. “I think momentum will increase with the report out.”

Read the full article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

Cassandra Dowell