State news: Hazard pay in Pennsylvania, growing threat in Minnesota

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS) has helped to secure COVID-19 hazard pay for HME providers as part of the state’s grant program for frontline workers, AAHomecare reports. 

The Department of Commerce and Economic Development added HME providers to the definition of qualified recipients after a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, and numerous emails between Mindy Eberhart, executive director of PAMS, and the department. 

“We are pleased that the Pennsylvania DCED has agreed that home medical equipment providers are eligible to apply for the hazard pay grants, as they should be,” said Eberhart in an AAHomecare bulletin. “Our providers have faithfully worked throughout the public health emergency to continue to service their customers. We are thankful that their efforts are being recognized, and that our perseverance has paid off on behalf of our members and the industry.” 

AAHomecare says this win in Pennsylvania will help other states seek similar protections. 

Call for comments 

ST. PAUL – The Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services is calling on HME providers and consumers in the state to submit comments opposing plans to modify certain DME payment rates and expand volume purchasing for DME. 

The final report of the Minnesota Health and Human Services Blue Ribbon Commission recently agreed to advance the two cost saving measures. 

The commission has agreed to cap payment rates for DME and supplies at the Medicare rate in the instance where a Medicare rate exists. It has also agreed to expand the state Medicaid program’s use of volume purchasing of DME and supplies to additional items, including enteral nutrition, wound care supplies and standard wheelchairs and walkers. 

Comments on the commission’s report are due July 31.