Lobbying Difficulties Facing HME Providers
At the MedTrade Spring Conference and expo in Las Vegas, lobbyist and policy advisors Alex Vogel and Stacey Ramp from Mehlman Vogel and Castagnetti Inc., who spoke at the American’s Association for Homecare’s Washington Update, stated that the coming elections will pose some stiff obstacles to advancing the industry’s aims.
According to the bi-partisan advocacy firm that works closely with the American Association for Homecare to advance homecare industry and patient concerns, the following are the key factors that will influence the industry’s ability to lobby on its behalf:
• President Obama is not likely to lose due to the edge he gets from blue state voters, allowing his campaign to focus on swing states.
• Difficult lawmaking environment because the Republicans’ split will leave the Senate to require 60 votes to end a filibuster.
• The Republicans will largely remain in the majority since it is a Presidential election that follows redistricting.
• The economy as a prevailing factor against which all lobbying and legislation is judged.
CMS’ Flaws for the Round 1 Recompete
The author expresses concerns over the way CMS had outlined some details of the Round 1 “recompete.” Although a re-do of the Round 1 re-bid was expected, some significant changes were unexpected by the industry. One of which is having six instead of nine product categories, and few of these categories are comprised of the same products like with the original Round 1, the Round 1 re-bid, or Round 2 in that case.
Additionally, the author commented on the inclusion of TENS for chronic back pain in competitive bidding when CMS had already considered dropping its coverage because it believes the benefits were misused/overused. Another thing is that many providers supply beds, which could imply that in the Round 1 recompete, they must supply both bed and TENS to bid.
The author believes that aside from the unfair competitive bidding practices, it seems that the agency is also now dictating what providers should supply.
Providers’ Roles in Improving the CPAP Market
According to experts, competing in the PAP market requires HME providers to do much more than dispense machines. HME providers should also do their share in taking a broad-based and unified approach to maximize ongoing patient compliance for the success of obstructive sleep apnea treatment. This needs attention to details like how a mask fits, along with patient education, and patient outreach.
Although the PAP market is predominantly CPAP, Fischer & Paykel reported that providers still need to differentiate themselves in the market by helping customers get the most effective and cost-efficient solutions and technologies. In addition, they should reduce inventory management costs, augment existing revenues and improve staff efficiencies to help address the decreasing reimbursements.
To further improve the low success rate for PAP, providers need to focus on mask comfort and fit as this is the reason why six out of ten PAP users discontinue therapy. On the other hand, full servicing of existing patients also helps facilitate profitability of CPAP products.
Other HME News of Interest
- Top HME Industry News 3-30-2012 Fate of Affordable Care Act Will Affect HME’s Future...
- Top HME Industry News 4-11-2012 Negative Impact of the Medicare Bidding Program on Both...
- Top HME Industry News 4-20-2012 CMS Projects Higher NCB Savings in Round 2 due...
- Top HME Industry News 3-23-2012 Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP Continuous Positive Airway...
- Top HME Industry News 3-20-2012 MedTrade Spring preview: Importance of Getting Creative According to...