Alaska: Providers still waiting for answers

Monday, March 21, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska – A year after Alaska lawmakers passed a bill to allow Medicaid reimbursement for used DME, providers say they still haven’t gotten their marching orders from the state.

Medicaid beneficiaries may be required to purchase used or refurbished DME if the equipment is available; is less expensive; is able to withstand three years of use; and meets the needs of the recipient. The law, passed in April 2015, is meant to reduce costs to the Medicaid program.

“You need to pass regulations to actually implement it and we’ve not seen that yet,” said Dan Afrasiabi, president of Anchorage, Alaska-based Geneva Woods Pharmacy. “So until we can actually see how they want to implement the law, it’s very difficult to know what it means to us.”

Afrasiabi’s biggest concern: that the law could lead to even more documentation and audits, tying up resources. 

“Legislation like this is subject to so many interpretations relative to the quality of the used equipment,” he said. “And then you’ve got issues around warranties and repairs.” 

This isn’t the first time reuse programs have been attempted. Texas and Kansas passed similar bills, but the programs have had difficulty gaining traction, due to sanitation concerns and liability issues. hme