Make your voices heard, the time is now.

Our friends at AAHomecare make a clear and compelling call to action, in their Wednesday in Washington bulletin this week. Every voice counts, and more importantly every story counts.

Never called your congressman before? Never participated in lobbying efforts? That doesn’t matter- now is your moment.

I hope that all AAHomecare member companies and others in the HME community will take at least 30 minutes to put together simple comments to share with CMS by Monday, Sept. 10.  It doesn’t have to be lengthy to make a strong impression and help our cause.

Quite simply, we just need you to tell CMS what significant rate cuts across the board in recent years have done to your ability to serve patients in your community.  Whether you are in a competitive bid area (CBA) or not, you’ve been affected by these rates.  A concrete example of how much reimbursement has been cut for you for a certain item or two, contrasted with the costs and complications of providing that product, can tell a compelling story.

If you’ve had to change your business practices or limit your offerings in any way on account of the drastic cuts, you can share that information as well.

After you tell your story, you can make some or all these points (depending on how they apply to your business) to CMS, in your own words:

  • You support CMS’ proposal to use maximum winning bids to determine single payment amounts in CBAs.
  • Ask CMS to extend the 50-50 blended rate relief they propose for rural areas to all providers in non-bid areas.
  • For payments in CBAs during the “gap” period until the next bidding round, ask CMS to add inflation adjustments going back to 2013 for current rates.
  • Ask CMS to provide more sustainable reimbursement rates for stationary and liquid oxygen.

That’s all it takes – a brief description of what the current Medicare reimbursement model is doing to your business and how it affects your patients, and how you would like to see it changed or improved.  If you haven’t commented yet, please invest at least 30 minutes of your time and add your voice to the comments.  We have a chance to enact important policy changes that may impact our industry for years to come – let’s take full advantage of this opportunity!

 

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