Navigation Links
Bipartisan Group of 22 House Members ask CMS to Stop Prepayment Review Project that would Jeopardize Care for Medicare Beneficiaries
Date:12/16/2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of 22 bipartisan House Members yesterday wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking the agency to stop their prepayment review project that could limit access to mobility assistance for Medicare beneficiaries.

The lawmakers, who included Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), cited potential job losses, restricted access to mobility equipment for Medicare patients and lack of sufficient notice among the reasons for CMS to halt the ill-conceived project.  

CMS wants to require "prepayment review" for all Medicare power wheelchair claims in seven states – California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Texas – starting January 2, 2012.  This will affect nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries who require power mobility. Stakeholders representing clinicians, people living with disabilities, and providers of power wheelchairs were all stunned by the November 15th announcement of the program.

In a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS acting administrator, the lawmakers said that while they applaud the agency's efforts to fight waste and abuse, they cited several major drawbacks to the prepayment program, including the broad scope of the project and the minimal notice given to affected stakeholders.

"…we have many concerns with enacting a demonstration project of this size with minimal notice to the affected stakeholders," the lawmakers wrote. "Such a project could result in significant job losses and jeopardize seniors' access to this important Medicare benefit."

The lawmakers noted that Congress and CMS have already significantly reduced pricing for power mobility devices, increased program integrity requirements for Medicare suppliers, enacted a competitive bidding program and a year ago converted standard power wheelchairs to a 13-month rental system, which is requiring businesses to obtain substantial capital to continue operating.

"Including a demonstration project to the requirements already in place could harm seniors that depend on the durable medical equipment to live independently in their homes," the lawmakers wrote. "Additionally, taking a one-size-fits-all approach adds burdensome regulations to good-standing providers and threatens jobs. We encourage you to halt the prepay review demonstration project due to the potential threats to businesses, jobs and seniors' access to care."

Furthermore, the House members recommended that CMS work with the stakeholders, including physicians, beneficiaries, and suppliers, to develop a program that restores access "to these invaluable products and services without impacting legitimate businesses."

In addition to Reps. Towns and Flores, the letter was signed by Rep. Henry Cuellar, PH.D, (D-TX), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX),   Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D., (R-TX), Rep. Brian Higgins (D- NY), Rep. Mark S. Critz (D-PA), Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-IL),  Rep Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. David Rivera (R-FL). Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN).

Organizations representing the aged and disability communities, as well as home medical equipment providers, are calling on Congress to stop the prepayment program. In fact, the United Spinal Association said the demonstration project will further endanger people living with disabilities who need mobility assistance.

"The process for receiving a power wheelchair has already become burdensome for Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians," said Paul Tobin, president and CEO of United Spinal Association. "There are parts of the country where Medicare patients have to do business with reluctant providers who are hundreds of miles away.  This demonstration project will make it harder for them to receive the wheelchair they need for everyday mobility.  We will be urging our members to contact their congressmen and put a stop to this project." 

Tyler Wilson, CEO and President of the American Association for Homecare, called it "inconceivable" that CMS would spring this change on the power mobility users and providers knowing that medical equipment providers are struggling to adjust to the 13-month rental policy, which has already caused many providers to leave the business.

"CMS moved unilaterally with no notice to Congress, Medicare beneficiaries, or the power mobility community," Wilson said. "Their actions will ration medically necessary items and services to Medicare beneficiaries and will actually increase health care costs.  Studies show that beneficiaries with limited mobility who don't receive power wheelchairs require more medical treatment, additional skilled services and may even have to be admitted to expensive care facilities and nursing homes."

The American Association for Homecare represents providers of durable medical equipment and services who meet the healthcare needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, wheelchairs and mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. Members provide homecare in all 50 states. 

CONTACTS:
Michael K. Frisby, 202-625-4328, mike@frisbyassociates.com
Michael Reinemer, 703-535-1881, michaelr@aahomecare.org 



'/>"/>
SOURCE American Association for Homecare
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. American Association for Homecare Backs Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate Medicare Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment
2. Amicus CEO Represents BIO on Rare Diseases at U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Bipartisan Hearing
3. Home Medical Equipment Group Supports Bipartisan Bill to Repeal the Controversial Medicare Competitive Bidding Program for Homecare
4. Consumer and Patient Groups Support Bipartisan Bill, H.R. 1041, to Repeal Controversial Medicare Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment and Services
5. Delay of Medicare Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment Underscores Severe Problems with Program; Support Surges for Bipartisan Bill to Repeal the Bid Program
6. Community Pharmacists Endorse Bipartisan Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act
7. PCMA Hails Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Increase the Use of Generic Drugs in Medicaid
8. Merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions Will Address the Bipartisan Mandate for Safer, More Affordable, Higher Quality Healthcare
9. McDonald Hopkins Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Halt Proposed Regulation that will Hurt Pharmacies and Physicians
10. Baxter and The Alzheimers Disease Cooperative Study Group to Pursue a Phase III Study of Gammagard Liquid in Patients With Alzheimers Disease
11. HistoRx and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Initiate Brain Tumor Biomarker Research Partnership
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ... raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at ... the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Frederick, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Mid-Atlantic Angels is actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital ... support over the past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):