AAHomecare Recommends Six Bidding Fixes to HHS

Letter of recommendations to HHS Secretary Price outlines six alterations to fix program’s fundamental problems.

The American Association for Homecare sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., which made several recommendations for fixing the competitive bidding programs problems.

Specifically, AAHomecare suggested:

  • Use the market clearing price to determine Single Payment Amount for any item included in competitive bidding.
  • Use historical claims data to determine suppliers’ capacity to furnish DME items.
  • Increase the program’s transparency.
  • Reform competitive bidding product categories so that they aren’t overly broad, which can help contribute to “low-ball bidding.”
  • Apply uniform payment rules for transitioning DMEPOS competitive bidding beneficiaries.
  • Remove CMS’ authority to move forward with bundled payments for CPAP and standard power wheelchairs. 
“HME suppliers, patient groups, and leading economists and auction experts have voiced concerns about major structural problems with the bidding program since it first took effect,” AAHomecare President and CEOTom Ryan said.  “With the next round of the bidding program set to consolidate the two rounds into one entity, the time is right for CMS to make these much-needed and common-sense changes. The home medical equipment community and the patients we serve can’t afford to miss this opportunity to improve this program.”

AAHomecare recommended that CMS go through the formal rulemaking process to instate the proposed reforms for the next round of the bidding program, which slotted to take effect at the start of 2019, That said, the association noted that CMS could implement some of the reforms via sub-regulatory guidance.

The new recommendations letter follows AAHomecare’s Feb. 28 letter to Price asking for CMS to immediately repeal the full competitive bidding expansion rate cuts currently being applied to providers and patients in non-bid areas, and replace them with something more sustainable.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher HME Business, DME Pharmacy and Mobility Management magazines. He was Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy from 2008 to 2023. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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