AAHomecare: CMS Must Delay Round 2021

Association calls on providers to ensure their lawmakers understand that COVID-19 necessitates CMS delay implementing the next round.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the American Association for Homecare is calling for continued provider support for the effort to delay the implementation of Round 2021 of CMS’s competitive bidding program.

The association wants HME providers to contact their members of Congress to back a delay of Round 2021 for at least one year so that HME providers can continue to focus on serving patients properly during the PHE.

“Ensuring that HHS, CMS, and Capitol Hill understand how moving forward with the next round of the Competitive Bidding Program in this environment will hinder our ability to support patients and reduce hospital burdens during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath remains a priority for the HME industry,” a statement from AAHomecare read. “If you haven’t already done so, please reach out to your Senators and Representative to ask that CMS delay Round 2021 of the Bidding Program for at least one year — and allow HME to make its strongest possible contribution to responding to this healthcare crisis.”

Other important reasons for why the industry needs a delay:

  • As an AAHomecare survey pointed out, HME providers are experiencing strained supply chains, increased costs, and operational obstacles due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).
  • Bids HME companies submitted in the Fall of 2019 for the next bidding round don’t reflect these issues.

Due to the pandemic, AAHomecare suggested the most effective way for providers to lobby their lawmakers is to send a personal email to healthcare legislative staffers. The email should:

  • Describe the company, the services it offers, and the areas it serves.
  • Quantify how COVID-19 has increased operating costs.
  • Explain that Round 2021 bids were submitted before the COVID-19 pandemic and don’t reflect supply chain disruptions and additional costs and procedures.
  • Encourage lawmakers to ask CMS to pause Round 2021 for at least one year so that providers can focus on care during COVID-19.

 To help providers craft and send their email, AAHomecare provided the following resources:

AAHoemcare also called on providers to urge other HME stakeholders to also reach out to their lawmakers.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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