HME's future tied to Affordable Care Act's fate

Thursday, March 29, 2012

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act could have significant repercussions for the HME industry, according to AAHomecare.

After three days of oral arguments, the association noted in a bulletin on Thursday that there are numerous HME-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act, and if the Supreme Court rules that the act is unconstitutional, those provisions would be eliminated.

The Supreme Court has two other options: It could rule the act constitutional; or it could rule some parts of the act unconstitutional and let the remaining parts stand.

The HME-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act include: reducing reimbursement by about $8 billion over 10 years; expanding the competitive bidding program by 21 areas; applying a 2.3% medical device tax; and eliminating the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs.

The act is in the Supreme Court's hands because of contention over a mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance. 

The Supreme Court will likely issue an opinion in June.

The arguments and their transcripts are available at