Less than two weeks after implementation, problems with Round 2 of the bidding program are becoming increasingly evident. AAHomecare is receiving reports of delays, equipment shortages, and contractors refusing services in bid areas around the country. Yet, CMS is reporting just a few dozen complaints.
It is critical that home medical equipment providers report problems with the bidding program to their representatives, especially in cases where patients are seeing new barriers and complications in getting the products, services, or maintenance they need.
In congressional hearings and on Capitol Hill visits made by the HME community and the AAHomecare lobbying team over the past year, many members of Congress and their staffs expressed sympathy for the effects of the bidding program on our sector, but they were not convinced that patients would suffer significant disruptions. Now that the program is lurching forward and is indeed causing serious problems for Medicare patients, we need to make sure Congress is fully aware that these disruptions are taking place.
AAHomecare is coordinating efforts with VGM, The MED Group, and state associations to hold a virtual fly-in next Thursday, July 18, for providers and patients from all across the country. This virtual fly-in is the perfect opportunity to tell Congress about problems you or your patients have experienced since the implementation of Round 2.
You can use the AAHomecare Action Center to quickly send a message directly to your congressional representatives, or look up phone numbers to call those offices on July 18. Email Gordon Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance.
In the meantime, we are still collecting information about provider problems through our dedicated email address: CBRound2Problems@aahomcare.org. Don’t worry though, we won’t use any details about you or your company when we talk to members of Congress unless we have your permission first.
Don’t let CMS pull the wool over Congress’ eyes! Representatives and Senators MUST hear from you and your patients—current or former—about problems with the bidding program. Please add your voice to our efforts on July 18. Mark your calendar!