President’s 2021 budget includes DME-related provisions

Thursday, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – The President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget includes provisions that could impact the HME industry, including a proposal to expand competitive bidding to other geographic areas.

The budget, published Feb. 10, proposes that, beginning in 2024, the single payment amounts will be based on individual winning bid amounts (rather than the maximum winning bid methodology employed in Round 2021) and expands competitive bidding to other geographic areas, including rural areas, according to an analysis by AAHomecare.

This proposal also appeared in last year’s budget, but this is the first time the president states a timeframe, says the association.

The budget also proposes using available retail prices to create the DME fee schedules, which AAHomecare says does not take associated services into account.

Additionally, the budget also calls for a “10% reduction from 2020 enacted levels” for the Department of Health and Human Services, and improved access to rural health care by expanding access to telemedicine services, according to an analysis by VGM Government Relations.

“History has shown that items listed in the budget can and do show up in legislation later in the year,” it stated in a blog.

Other DME-related provisions in the budget, which have appeared in past budgets, include: eliminating the face-to-face requirement; using a benefits manager for DME claims to reduce improper payments; and changing the appeals process.