AAHomecare Shows CMS Patient Access Survey Results

Updated data collected by association shows increased difficulty in DME access; survey remains open until Sept. 13.

Various representatives from the American Association for Homecare recently met with CMS officials to share updated findings from its Patient Access Survey that demonstrate difficulties patients and other stakeholders are experiencing due to competitive bidding.

AAHomecare Chairman Steve Ackerman and President and CEO Tom Ryan were joined by Jay Witter, senior vice president of Public Policy for AAHomecare, and Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for the association, to present broader findings from the survey to CMS officials. Additionally, staff from Dobson DaVanzo, the research firm AAHomecare commissioned to conduct the survey, and counsel Foley & Hoag attended the meeting.

The survey collects perspectives from HME providers, Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers and hospital discharge planners and staff on how competitive bidding has impacted access to HME. That data is then used to shape bidding regulation and legislation.

“The findings presented to CMS show that respondents noted increased problems related to access and availability, increased patient readmissions, delays of medically necessary equipment, and increased out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries in the current Medicare reimbursement environment,” a statement from AAHomecare read. “These sentiments were consistent for all three categories surveyed (Medicare beneficiaries, case managers/discharge planners, and HME suppliers).”

This isn’t the first time CMS has seen the survey. After seeing initial data, CMS told AAHomecare that it would wanted to see a larger volume of data. Fortunately, the survey received unexpectedly high response, which allowed AAHomecare to come back to the agency with more than 200 responses from beneficiaries, case managers and discharge planners.

“The terrific support from AAHomecare members and other stakeholders throughout the HME community in publicizing the survey to patients and case managers has played a major role in the success of this campaign,” the AAHoemcare statement read. “We have had more than 300 case managers/discharge planners from 37 states take part in the survey, and have responses from more than 200 beneficiaries in 38 states.”

The survey is still open until Sept. 13, and AAHomecare is urging providers to help drive patient, case manager and discharge planner participation. Moreover, the association is hoping to drive increased participation in several key states: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont. Participants should choose the most applicable survey option: 


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