Price ‘hands down’ best pick, poll respondents say

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Friday, December 16, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine – The overwhelming majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll (85%) say the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services could signal the start of good things for the HME industry.

“It is an exciting time for the HME industry,” said one poll respondent. “I cannot recall a time when we have had a proponent of our industry who understands it in the way that he does at this level of government.”

Price, a longtime champion of the industry, has introduced multiple bills to create an alternative to the competitive bidding program called the market pricing program.

Not surprisingly, more than half of poll respondents (56%) said repealing the competitive bidding program and replacing it with MPP should be Price’s No. 1 priority.

“Competitive bidding has wrecked this industry and been awful for patient access,” said one respondent. “I think he will be a strong driver for reform of Medicare overreach in this industry.”

Other respondents, however, expressed caution.

“Repeal and replace sounds so simple but it will be a difficult and challenging task,” said Lori Sears, of Active Home Medical Supply in Lapeer, Mich. “I am comforted knowing there will be a physician that understands our industry leading the way.”

Price is also a well-known critic of the Affordable Care Act, and 28% of poll respondents say repealing and replacing that program should be his top priority.

“Price has repeatedly brought before Congress an alternative to the ACA,” said Mark Schmitt, with Altimate Medical in Morton, Minn. “Hopefully, he can now get the job done.”

Other priorities for Price should be reforming Medicare (8%) and decreasing Medicare regulations (8%), say respondents, many of who singled out a broken audit system.

“When 80% of unfavorable rulings are overturned, there is something wrong,” said one respondent.

While several respondents expressed surprise that anyone would disagree with Price’s nomination—“Price is the best pick for DME nation, hands down”—others viewed a bigger picture beyond the confines of the HME industry.

“While I appreciate Price’s support of repealing competitive bidding, his stance on women’s and LBGT rights is appalling,” said one respondent. “I’d rather go out of business than deprive my fellow Americans of their right to choose or the freedom to marry.”

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