AAHomecare Fights 'Double Dip' O2 Cuts
Association continues efforts to get non-bid providers relief from extra-low reimbursement for stationary oxygen.
- By David Kopf
- Apr 20, 2017
The American Association for Homecare is continuing its fight to get relief for rural and other non-bid-area respiratory providers who have been hit by CMS’s “double dip” on reimbursement cuts for stationary oxygen.
The extra-low rates originate from CMS applying a 2006 budget neutrality offset that aimed to balance increased use for portable oxygen devices that generate the own oxygen by lowering reimbursement for stationary equipment. However, the cuts, which are part of the the 2017 Medicare fee schedule, actually result in rates for non-bid area providers that are lower than the rates in many competitive bidding areas.
Originally highlighting the concern in a December letter to CMS’s outgoing associate general counsel, Janice Hoffman, AAHomecare reports that it is now engaging new HHS and CMS leadership on the issue.
“We would like to reinforce these efforts by generating Congressional interest and support on the issue as well,” a statement from the association read.
To that end, the association is urging providers being impacted by the double dip to express their concerns to their respective lawmakers, and ask those Senators and Representatives to contract CMS on their behalf.
In addition to describing how the cuts affect their business, the association outlined these key talking points for provider advocates:
- Medicare improperly reduced payments for E1390 concentrators by applying a regulation introduced in 2006 that should only be applied to unadjusted fee schedules.
- CMS’ inappropriate application of the budget neutrality offset has resulted in rural and non-bid area rates being lower than CBA rates in many cases.
- The 2017 adjusted fee schedule payments for stationary oxygen equipment must be consistent with those based on regional average single payment amounts from the CBAs.
The association also generated a comparison of the rural and non-bid area rates to selected bid area rates to provide additional insight on the issue.
AAHomecare member providers needing help in crafting their messages message or in need of contact information for House and Senate healthcare legislative assistants can contact AAHomecare’s Gordon Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.