VGM Urges Hospitals to Fight Bid Expansion

VGM Government Relations calls on hospitals to help protect patient access to DME as September legislative efforts intensify.

VGM’s Government Relations team has launched a grassroots campaign to enlist hospital executives to help fight Medicare’s most recent competitive bidding cuts.

After Medicare implemented the full national bidding expansion cuts on July 1, which applied an additional 25 percent average reimbursement reduction to key DMEPOS categories, many rural providers are being put in the position of having to make difficult business decisions that in some cases are beginning to impact patient access.

“Right now DME providers, especially in rural America, are facing extremely difficult decisions,” said John Gallagher, VGM’s vice president of Government Relations. “They’re having to choose whether or not to accept new Medicare patients, purchase new equipment, what staff to keep or even if it’s feasible to keep their doors open.”

This will cause trouble particularly for hospitals in rural areas, because their patients might wind up not having access to the right medical equipment or access to only poor medical equipment, which could result in difficulties discharging patients or increased readmissions.

“Since the beginning of the year, many hospital administrators have spoken out regarding Medicare’s actions, but many more are needed,” Gallagher stated. “The next few weeks are critical to getting legislative relief before irreversible harm continues.”

To help advance the campaign, VGM Group has crafted a letter DME providers and hospitals can send to their lawmakers that outlines the concerns related to bid expansion’s impact on rural patients and hospitals. The letter, as well as other resources for reaching and lobbying elected officials, is located at www.combatmedcuts.com.  

About the Author

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

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