Coronavirus: VGM requests support, hosts webcast

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM has sent letters to top government officials and lawmakers, asking them to take a number of steps to improve coronavirus efforts related to HME.

In letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma, as well as the offices of Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committees, VGM asks that CMS:

  • Suspend adding non-invasive ventilators to Round 2021 of competitive bidding.
  • Extend the current blended reimbursement rate in rural non-bid areas and initiate a blended rate for non-rural bid areas in 2021 to protect access.
  • Allow providers to accept and submit claims for telehealth visits.
  • Reduce burdensome paperwork on physicians and providers.
  • Cover and reimburse for HME, supplies and services provide to patients confirmed with COVID-19.
  • Prioritize the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers.


VGM encourages other stakeholders to send letters with issues specific to their areas to their congressional offices.

"Home, Delivery, Billing and Sales in a COVID19 Environment’

VGM is hosting a webcast on “Home Delivery, Billing and Sales in a COVID19 Environment” on March 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. CST. HME providers need to be prepared to maintain best practices in these areas amid the coronavirus pandemic, the group says. What do external stakeholders need to know about cleaning policies and procedures? What are the precautions that providers need to take to mitigate exposure and compromised scenarios for delivery and clinician staff that are in the homes of patients? Additionally, VGM points out that providers must be prepared for limited access to the medical referral community. The speakers will be VGM’s Ronda Buhrmester, consultant Ty Bello and AAHomecare’s Laura Williard.