Providers Testify at SBA Regulatory Fairness Hearing

Representatives of HME, CRT and women’s health businesses discuss small business impact of policies governing wheelchair accessories, custom breast prostheses, and Medicaid managed care.

Various industry stakeholders recently spoke at an Aug. 19 Regulatory Fairness Hearing held by the Small Business Administration to voice their concerns regarding the impact multiple policies were having on HME, complex rehab and women’s health, according to VGM Government Relations.
 
Addressing the SBA’s national ombudsman panel, Georgie Blackburn, vice president of government relations and legislative affairs for HME provider HME provider BLACKBURN’S discussed how the CMS authorized state managed care model was impacting small HME providers and their clients’ ability to access needed medical equipment and supplies.
 
“We have witnessed significant barriers to access for recipients in need for durable medical equipment,” Blackburn explained to the SBA, emphasizing that the problem was a nationwide concern. “We have experienced growing accounts receivable for services authorized and provided. Having contracted with all MCOs in our state, we can compare the effectiveness, efficiencies, and, most importantly, the timeliness of care. MCOs simply do not operate in a similar manner, and states do not effectively monitor comparable activity.”
 
On the women’s health front, Jasmine Jones of Cherry Blossom Intimates, which provides post-mastectomy products, and Nikki Jensen, vice president of Essentially Women, a member service group serving women’s healthcare providers, underscored the need for the Medicare program to expand its coverage to include custom breast prostheses as an option for women recovering from mastectomy surgery.
 
Essentially Women partnered with the People for Quality Care to advance The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, and is helping organize the #LetHerDecide awareness and advocacy campaign to spread awareness of the effort.
 
Jensen said that testifying to the national ombudsmen at the SBA hearing was a great opportunity to educate more people within CMS about the issue. More than 144,000 women who undergo mastectomies annually and many need custom prostheses.
 
Where complex rehab was concerned, John Letizia, ATP, CAPS, CEAC, president of Laurel Medical Supplies Inc., discussed how the issues surrounding reimbursement for CRT accessories and Medicare’s reimbursement policies were hurting small providers’ ability to properly serve their patients.

Additionally, Tom Powers, director of government relations at VGM, who also attended the event, said that industry legislation including H.R. 2771, H.R. 2293, H.R. 2408, and H.R.1370 was presented to the SBA panel of National Ombudsman and well received by the panel.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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