Dobson Study an Important Lobbying Tool

Study of Medicare's negative impact on beneficiaries should play a key role in current industry lobbying efforts.

A survey showing that competitive bidding hurt access to HME for more than half of Medicare beneficiaries reported should continue to play an important role in current industry lobbying efforts to reform competitive bidding, noted a recent VGM statement.

According the patient access study, released by research firm Dobson DaVanzo in fall, 52.1 percent of beneficiaries reported problems accessing HME or related services, and 56.9 percent of beneficiaries who receive home oxygen therapy reported some sort of disruption or access issue related to their life‐sustaining service.

Moreover, 88.9 percent of case managers and discharge planners reported an inability to obtain medically necessary HME or services in a timely fashion, with 70.8 percent reporting hospital discharge delays of one to seven days as a result.

Now that that Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), have introduced H.R. 4229, the survey will likely play a key role in efforts to drive co-sponsorhisp for the bill, which is currently backed by 90 Represenatives.

The AAHomecare-commissioned study, which collected responses from 1,064 Medicare beneficiaries, case managers/discharge planners, and HME providers across 47 states, generated not only compelling data points, but candid feedback from beneficiaries, as well.

“It has almost destroyed my life,” explained Katherine J. of Olney, Maryland, a 66‐year‐old Medicare beneficiary with pulmonary hypertension who depends on home oxygen therapy. “It has really affected my quality of life.”

The statement from the VGM Group noted that Katherine worries that she won’t get the oxygen equipment she needs under competitive bidding program and noted that service changed significantly. Like many Medicare recipients, she is on a fixed income and unable to pay out of pocket to get the equipment she needs.

“I hope that [the survey] will change the way Congress and these officials think about home medical equipment like this,” she said. “It is ridiculous for them to do this; it’s almost like they’re rationing things for the elderly. I try not to get discouraged. I’m a fighter, and I will not give up!”

An executive summary of the report is available at http://bit.ly/2xzVAor. The full report can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/2C8Qsu3.

About the Author

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

Comments

Fri, Dec 15, 2017 Nasri Saad Cranbury NJ 08512

I have been a medical supplier since 1986.I am not a bid winner(nor do I want to be)..CMS has lied to the public for quite sometime now..AAH keeps dragging their feet instead of hiring a Law firm that will take on the bureaucratic swamp...CMS should be ashamed of themselves for what they are doing to OUR seniors.In New jersey CMS has given a contract to a Company by the name of OCEAN HOME HEALTH..(BBB Has a D- Rating for them),most of my customers are coming in and paying for the DME equip. because they refuse to do business with them.Besides they don't even have a retail showroom for the customer to enter.Meanwhile here I am, paying for retail space so the consumer can come into my store ..feel/touch/and try the different products out...supplier standards say you must have a retail presence.Who is policing the POLICE!!! Shame on congress/CMS/AAH

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