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Providers share input to CMS on the impact of competitive bidding

Providers from across the country dialed in to a phone call this afternoon to hear directly from the agency on developments stemming from the Cures Act, and to provide input for future rounds of competitive bidding. The call was well attended and XX different providers having the opportunity to share how the competitive bidding program has affected their business and patients.

The call was presented by Joel Kaiser, Director of DMEPOS Policy at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Highlights of the call:

  • Joel Kaiser outlined the legislative and regulatory framework, which establish the programs and rules of the DMEPOS program.
  • Next, Kaiser laid out the requirements of Section 16008 which includes CMS soliciting stakeholder input.
  • There was over 2 hours of input coming from suppliers that was divided out into three groups, encompassing providers with various scopes of business and service areas.

The attendees heard from a wide range of independent providers from coast to coast. Providers discussed many impacts on their businesses and especially their patients including, limited choices of equipment, reductions in service areas, and reduced staff, among many other problems that threaten their businesses.

Providers that spoke up during the call did a great job of outlining solutions including a faster implementation of the Cures Act for the owed retroactive reimbursement from 2016.

VGM’s VP of Government Relations, John Gallagher offered comments, “It was great to see CMS opened up their lines to hear directly from providers and how policies are impacting their ability to provide care to patients.” Gallagher continued to say, “The common theme that we continue to hear from providers is that this program is unsustainable, where many providers are unable to provide care due to the low reimbursement. The input that CMS received today was unanimous that the program is not working. CMS must take this input and implement the industry’s proposed changes immediately.”

Providers stepped up to the plate today and effectively showed how these programs are harming their ability to provide care to their patients. There was great input from all of those who provided their thoughts.

If you were unable to attend the call and would like your voice concerns and experiences, you may submit comments no later than April 6, 2017 to DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov