Small Business Committee goes to bat for HME

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON – The House Small Business Committee is asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price for relief for HME providers.

Committee member Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., is circulating a letter addressed to both Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma, expressing concern with a 38% reduction in the number of HME suppliers since July 1, 2013.

The letter seeks: additional resources to speed up fee schedule adjustments required by the 21st Century Cures Act; a delay in cuts that went back into effect in non-bid areas on Jan. 1, 2017; and a restoration of payments for oxygen concentrators in rural areas based on adjusted fee schedules.

“We must provide relief for durable medical equipment suppliers before they are no longer able to help patients across America,” says the letter.

The letter is the result of grassroots efforts by Patrick Naeger, president of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services.

“I am grateful to my friend, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer for recognizing the destruction small businesses like mine and thousands of others across the country are facing as a result of Medicare competitive bidding rural fee schedule cuts,” said Naeger, executive vice president of Healthcare Equipment & Supply in Perryville, Mo., in a press release.

Last week, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., also began circulating a letter seeking changes to HME policy.