PMD stakeholders battle new demo
WASHINGTON - With a new demonstration project calling for prepay reviews and prior authorizations for power mobility devices (PMDs) just weeks away, stakeholders are pulling out all the stops to delay it or get rid of it altogether.
"I really do think we're in a good position to get a change prior to implementation," said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products. "It's just a matter of how significant those changes are."
Industry efforts have included a bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter, signed by 22 lawmakers, sent to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner on Dec. 15 by Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Lamar Smith, R-Texas. The letter encourages CMS to halt the demo, set to begin in seven states on Jan. 1, to allow for a notice and comment period. Their reasoning: The demo, while intended to prevent fraud and abuse, will have unintended consequences, including "potential threats to businesses, jobs and seniors' access to care."
Additionally, AAHomecare officials met with CMS officials recently to discuss, among other things, their concerns with the demo and its implementation. State associations and consumer organizations have been speaking up, as well, stakeholders say.
"There has been a significant influx of calls into CMS trying to drill down as to what their intent is with this, what the scope of it is, and conveying the significant concerns," said Julie Piriano, director of rehab industry affairs at Pride Mobility Products
All of these efforts are paying off with CMS, stakeholders say.
"We are hearing from our allies on Capital Hill that CMS is indicating a willingness now to make some changes," Johnson said.