AAH to Finance Committee: Spare us

Sunday, May 31, 2009

ARLINGTON, Va. - AAHomecare sent a six-page letter to the Senate Finance Committee last week, making its case against cutting reimbursement for home medical equipment to help pay for healthcare reform.

The association argues that the HME industry has already been subjected to "a long series of deep and disproportionate" cuts in recent years, resulting in a negative impact on quality of care. This year has been no exception with a 9.5% reimbursement cut on 10 product categories and a 36-month cap on reimbursement for oxygen implemented Jan. 1.

The letter, sent to committee chairman Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, makes the following recommendations:

*    Refrain from further cuts to oxygen and enact budget-neutral reform

*    End national competitive bidding

*    Restore appropriate payments for complex rehab

*    Enact effective and aggressive fraud and abuse measures

In a recent report outlining the options for financing healthcare reform, the committee named HME reimbursement as a possible revenue source, but it didn't propose specific cuts.

For more information, see "Cuts to HME: Reform report leaves door 'wide open'" in last week's HME NewsWire: