Dobson Study an Important Lobbying Tool
Study of Medicare's negative impact on beneficiaries should play a key role in current industry lobbying efforts.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 14, 2017
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.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.