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GAO Confirms Payment Delays to Medical Equipment Providers; Questions Arise as to Whether Medicare Can Implement Reforms
Date:5/18/2010

Legitimate Medical Equipment Providers Are Victimized by Administrative Backlogs

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that the processing of Medicare reimbursement claims for medical equipment providers continues to be a problem despite the government's efforts to implement reforms.  The administrative shortcomings within the Medicare program have caused painful payment delays and other problems affecting medical equipment providers.

Durable Medical Equipment providers, such as those supplying power wheelchairs and oxygen, have been victims of the Medicare system's questionable management. They are burdened by excessive audits, claim denials that are routinely overturned after time-consuming appeals, and documentation guidelines that often contradict previous policies. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cite cracking down on fraud as a rationale for some of these procedures, the way they have been implemented has harmed legitimate equipment providers.    

"The homecare community applauds efforts to root out Medicare fraud," said Tyler Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare). "But Medicare beneficiaries and those who provide them with vital medical equipment deserve a more efficient administrative process, one that does not create major obstacles for legitimate businesses that are serving some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  This is wrong, and Congress and the administration should put an end to it."

Wilson noted that the GAO report, "Medicare Contracting Reform" (GAO-10-71, March 2010,

SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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