Thursday, August 11, 2016

Providers' Stories Foreshadow Growing Challenges for Rural Patients and Communities

Let Us Know How Your Company is Adapting to the New Pricing Environment

Thanks to the many providers in rural and non-bid areas who have reached out to share their stories about the difficult business decisions they’ve faced in light of the latest round of bidding derived cuts.

Here’s some excerpts from what providers are telling us about their challenges and plans going forward:

  • California – So here we are after 27 years in the DME business and with this second set of cuts I will have to close my doors within a 45-60-day timeframe. It will not be pretty. I've had as many as 30 employees and now I have three; two of them are part time… When all this comes down I will also lose my home. Talk about having my world turned upside down.

  • Texas – 2016 marks my 20th year serving the needs of HME and supply customers. Due to the competitive bidding debacle, I’ll pack up 20-years’ worth of memories into a box and see what is next. The 20 people that hold full time jobs with me will have to be terminated. They won’t be alone, as all private HME companies serving rural areas will go out of business and lay off their employees. There will be thousands of them across Texas… Like I’ve said a thousand times, we could set up a hospital in the home for a fraction of what it costs to be hospitalized. We can provide years’ worth of oxygen therapy for what it costs for a couple days of being in the hospital. Not anymore. After July 1st, rural patients will have to beg someone for these products.

  • Kentucky – No one thinks about the cost of our equipment along with the cost to deliver and educate the patient and family that is depending on us to help a mom or dad or a loved one. We also deal with insurance guidelines, deal with insurances two to three times on a claim, and have overhead that never stops… No business can keep its doors open when you are losing money to take care of someone.

  • New York – There is a much bigger picture that seems to be overlooked by government. It’s about preserving services and equipment to individuals and the elderly with severe disabilities and the livelihood of local and county businesses and residents… We are giving up any hope. The light at the end of the tunnel is about to go out.

  • Alaska – The only reason we are still in business is because we are family owned and operated.  Many times we do not get a paycheck. We started this business twenty years ago because of the need for DME.  We now have over 200 clients we serve. If I close the doors, they have no place to go except the hospital, which is at capacity most of the time, and the cost to Medicare will increase by 2000%. The other option is to move South. 

Our champions on Capitol Hill and other members of Congress and staffers have asked us to collect and share as many real world examples of how the new pricing environment is affecting providers and patients in rural and non-bid areas.  We hope you’ll consider adding your story to the mix.

Please help us make the strongest case possible as we prepare to advocate for relief for rural and non-bid area providers in September.  Contact Tilly Gambill at to share your story, or with any questions.

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