House questions CPAP bundling program

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group in the House of Representatives is circulating a congressional sign-on letter that asks CMS to delay a CPAP bundling pilot program from the next round of competitive bidding.

The letter states a number reasons for delaying the program, including the lack of evidence that it will save money or enhance care, and CMS’s lack of authorization to test alternative payment models as part of its competitive bidding program.

“Instead, we encourage the agency to work with Congress and stakeholders to prioritize efforts that bring stability to the program,” the letter states. “If the agency is interested in reforms to ensure better compliance with CPAP therapy and other home respiratory care, we stand ready to work with you on initiatives that have a greater potential to save money and improve health outcomes.”

AAHomecare encourages HME providers and other stakeholders to ask their representatives to add their names to the letter by Sept. 13.

The association has argued that bundling a CPAP device, consumable items, maintenance and service into a single monthly payment could cause disruption for providers, could provide an incentive to furnish inferior products, and could result in lower quality of care.

CMS announced earlier this year that it had added 10 new competitive bidding areas for the CPAP product category. In five of those CBAs, payment for CPAP devices, related accessories and services will be made on a bundled, non-capped monthly rental basis, while payment in the other five CBAs will be made on a capped monthly rental basis like other existing CBAs.

The sign-on letter is being spearheaded by Reps. Tim Walberg, R-Minn., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Scott Peters, D-Calif., and Michael Bishop, R-Mich.