Providers consider NCB Public Enemy No. 1

Saturday, July 31, 2004

YARMOUTH - While a number of legislative and regulatory changes are jockeying for HME industry attention, respondents to last month’s HME News Poll say nothing will sink the industry faster than national competitive bidding.

“The first round of competitive bidding is only the tip of the iceberg, and we all remember what happened to the Titanic!” said Leah Kennedy of Houston, Texas.

Competitive bidding dominated the concerns of 44% of 121 respondents who said it should rise to the top of the industry’s priority list. The transition from an AWP to ASP reimbursement model for respiratory drugs and the K0011 issue followed with 19% and 17% of the votes, respectively. FEHBP cuts (11%) and accreditation (9%) rounded out the list.

CMS anticipates huge savings following the transition from AWP to ASP for respiratory drug reimbursements, and providers of those drugs are bracing for an estimated 60% blow to reimbursement.

“Although reimbursement cuts are always hard to swallow, being faced with the very real potential of a whole segment [respiratory medications] of our business being eliminated. That should be our main focus,” said Upstate Homecare COO Gregory LoPresti.