Letters to the editor: Crisis averted but work not done

Monday, March 26, 2012

CMS announced, in the fall of 2011, the launch of competitive bidding in 91 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and their intentions to bid manual wheelchairs and items deemed accessories. This created new challenges, and more complex accessories and items were assigned to under-defined categories (Medicare codes), with one group being adjustable skin protection cushions.

Amidst a major crisis within the funding system for wheelchair cushions, the opportunity arose for substantial change to the way adjustable skin protection cushions were classified. The argument was made that the codes needed to be fixed before competitive bidding began, or excluded. I am pleased to say that our efforts have been heard. On Dec. 27, 2011, CMS announced the exclusion of the adjustable skin protection cushion codes, E2622, E2623, E2624 and E2625, from Round 2 of competitive bidding.

The decision to pull adjustable skin protection cushions is a victory for beneficiary access, but it is only the first step in a longer process. Now we have additional time to insure the coding and reimbursement structure are enhanced to ensure these products are classified and assigned to clinically homogenous groups.

Numerous individuals and groups contributed to this successful outcome. Representing over 40 of the nation's leading beneficiary advocacy groups, substantial support came from the Independence through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition. Additionally, strong support came from Congressional members, led by Reps. Jerry Costello, John Shimkus and James Langevin, and Sen. Richard Durbin. The efforts of the stakeholders and sympathetic members of Congress made the difference.

Roho is committed to this effort and intends to give freely of our time and talent to achieving this goal.

--Dave McCausland, senior vice president of planningand government affairs, The Roho Group

If worked fairly, we can make it

Thank you for this article ("The Diabetic Shoppe's success--or failure-- affects local community," March 2012)! Mr. Salmon, (my Daddy) headed to Washington, D.C., (Feb. 14), staying through Friday, to fight for the DME/HME industry and our company. Our employees thank him for everything he is doing to keep this business and industry on a level playing ground, because we know that if the bid is worked fairly, then we can make it. We have a wonderful group of people working here and we want to keep each and every one of our employees. We are fighting for what we have worked so hard to create (The Diabetic Shoppe) and we all need to join the effort to save this industry. We are working on it, and I believe that if anybody can do it, we can. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do.

Thanks from "The Diabetic Shoppe" family!

--Peyton Boone