‘Unreasonable’ audits crippling providers, SBA told

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – The impact of audits and competitive bidding on rural providers was on the agenda at a roundtable held by the Small Business Administration yesterday.

HME providers and other stakeholders attended the roundtable discussion on Regulatory Enforcement Fairness and hosted by Brian Castro, SBA national ombudsman.

“These unreasonable and excessive audits from CMS are crippling to durable medical equipment providers in Montana,” said Andrew Jeske, CEO of American Seating & Mobility in a VGM bulletin. “Audits are holding up revenue, for multiple years in most cases, that is crucial to the survival of rural providers.”

An appeals backlog at the Administration Law Judge Level put the backlog at more than 870,000.

Providers also spoke out against the national expansion of competitive bid rates, which will disproportionately impact rural providers.

“We face much different obligations than metropolitan areas,” said Mike Calcaterra, Montana Chairman of Big Sky AMES. “Fueling an SUV for an oxygen tank delivery that is 75 miles one-way is unsustainable with the proposed cuts.”

Castro told attendees the SBA understand problems associated with both issues and would be addressing them with key members of Congress.

Another roundtable is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 at the University of Great Falls in Great Falls.