Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Providers’ Stories Reveal Devastating Effects of Competitive Bidding on Businesses and Patient Access to HME

Let Us Know How Your Company Has Been Affected by the New Pricing Environment

While Congress is no longer in session, AAHomecare continues to keep legislators apprised of the challenges HME providers are facing as we pursue legislative relief for these unsustainable prices. Thank you for continuing to relay your experiences to the association.

Here are some excerpts from narratives providers have shared with us about their challenges and plans going forward:

Illinois - During 2016, we’ve struggled to meet budget and had a few months where our bottom line was below the break-even point. We’ve looked at our lines of business to determine where we are affected the greatest. Oxygen reimbursement has dropped drastically, and with all the expenses tied to oxygen, including tanks, supplies, 36-month cap, portability, maintenance, and salaries, we are currently reviewing if this is a viable business line to keep.

Missouri - We have been serving rural patients in SW Missouri for 30 years.  We are a long-time valuable business and employer in our small community.  The recent cuts make it impossible to adequately serve the needs of our current and future area patients.  If the pricing structure doesn't change fast, we will be forced to stop serving our community and our patients.  Telling patients "NO" for services they desperately need is heartbreaking.  The quality of life and activities of daily living of our patients will suffer drastically and ultimately cost Medicare much more as these patients will be unable to stay in their homes and move to hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes to gain the services we provide at a fraction of the cost!

New Mexico - Currently, we are negotiating with every vendor possible and looking for more affordable products (which are not always the same quality), extending current loans and reducing company contributions for Medical Health Insurance benefits.  It is possible that we will soon need to stop vesting in the retirement plan for our employees.  Sad state of affairs.

Help us continue to beat the drum on Capitol Hill by submitting your story to Tilly Gambill at tillyg@aahomecare.org.

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