Study Will Assess Patients’ HME Access

AAHomecare-commissioned effort will examine how bidding has impacted medical equipment access in bid and non-bid areas.

The American Association for Homecare has tapped healthcare research group Dobson DaVanzo & Associates to help carry out what it’s calling a “major” research effort to study patient access to HME in competitive bidding areas, non-bid areas and rural areas.

The study will also collect perspectives from HME providers, Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers and hospital discharge planners and staff on how competitive bidding has impacted access to HME. Dobson DaVanzo will analyze survey results and develop a report on participants’ experiences.  

The associated noted in a public statement that the study is a response to regulatory policymakers and Congress members who have indicated that information on Medicare beneficiary access to HME is critical to improving the bidding program and fiving relief to rural and non-bid providers. Despite working with a more amenable HHS and CMS, AAHomecare noted that data that provides a clear picture of the situation for those providers and patients is “vitally important” in shaping those policies.

“Capitol Hill and regulatory agency leaders need to see how the bidding program and the new reimbursement rates for rural and non-bid areas are impacting access to home medical equipment,” AAHomecare chairman Steve Ackerman said. “A better understanding of the experience we have every day working with beneficiaries and discharge planners to secure needed equipment in a timely manner will help policymakers come up with solutions that help providers and patients alike. This independent evaluation of what is actually going on at the street level, trying to get patients home, is long overdue."

The steering committee for the survey includes Steve Ackerman of Spectrum Medical Supplies; John Gallagher, vice president of Government Relations for the VGM Group; George Kucka of Fairmeadows Home Health Center; and Gary Sheehan of Cape Medical Supply.  

Providers that want to participate in the survey (both AAhoemcare members and non-members) can contact Ashley Plauche, AAHomecare’s manager of government affairs, at  

About the Author

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



Fri, Jul 28, 2017 Paula Smith Arkansas

I hope they keep in mind that some rural areas may not yet be experiencing a shortage of DME options because some of us are funding our small businesses out of our own pockets for a period of time in hopes that we will get some relief. I should be turning away Medicare clients or at the very least not handle certain items. If we don't get relief soon, I will be forced to become a non Medicare provider.

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