Handi Medical gets therapists on record

Friday, March 20, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. – HME provider Handi Medical Supply in February gave healthcare professionals a chance to speak out against the effects of competitive bidding on Medicare beneficiaries.

At the 18th annual Handi Conference in St. Paul, Minn., Rose Schafhauser, executive director of Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES), sat down with OTs, PTs, case managers and respiratory care practitioners to talk about their opinions and experiences with the program.

“Every single one of them said it’s not lowering costs, it’s increasing them,” said Schafhauser, who conducted nine interviews. “I heard several stories of delays in discharges, readmissions and emergency room visits because patients didn’t have access to the equipment they needed to stay in their homes.”

Interviewees also expressed concern over increasing out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare beneficiaries.

Handi Medical intends to compile the interviews, which were video and voice recorded, and disseminate the finished product to Minnesota legislators, the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services, state payers and other organizations, like The VGM Group, to highlight access issues created by competitive bidding.

“Legislators and DHHS in Minnesota and other states have this opinion that they got from Baltimore that everything is just fine,” said Mike Bailey, CEO of Handi Medical and chairman of the MAMES Minnesota Legislative Committee. “Everything is not fine. People are waiting, people are not using their benefits, people are paying cash for the products and services they need.”