NEMED Urges Sebelius to Recognize HME's Role
Letter urges HHS chief to consider home medical equipments value in driving cost-effective Medicare policy.
The New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association has sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging that she consider the role of home medical equipment in developing cost-effective healthcare policy in Medicare.
The letter states, in part:
“The New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association (NEMED) applauds you on the recent announcement of the finalization of the Community First Choice rule; however we are concerned that the overlapping implementation of DME (HME) national competitive bidding will ultimately hurt the program’s success.
With the advancements that have occurred in technology over the years, many medically necessary services can and are being provided in the patient’s home. NEMED believes that any discussion surrounding the evaluation of the healthcare delivery system with an emphasis on finding innovative, cost-saving solutions must include home medical equipment and the related services. Advances in technology and trends are making homecare more cost-effective while simultaneously improving patient outcomes. Former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Michael Leavitt, said that home and community-based care is ‘radically more efficient’ than institutional care…
If driving more care and services into the home setting is the Department’s ultimate goal, then a robust network of healthy, financially viable HME providers will be critical. The Competitive Bidding program, as it is currently structured, is the death knell for this sector. We understand that you may be aware of the Market Pricing Plan (MPP) that was drafted by national, regional and state HME associations with the help of auction experts. If this Plan is implemented, NEMED believes that it will keep the provider network intact which will lead not only to a greater chance of success for the demonstration, but its inevitable expansion. A copy of the MPP is attached. We encourage you to consider this alternative bidding plan.”