VGM provides talking points on vent proposal

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group has pulled together suggested talking points for providers who plan to comment on CMS’s proposal to include vents in its next round of competitive bidding.

“There are major concerns with life-sustaining equipment such as ventilators being restricted to contracted suppliers given the instability that the program has caused within the DMEPOS industry,” VGM stated in a bulletin.

CMS has proposed adding the following codes to the program: E0465 (invasive), E0466 (non-invasive) and E0467 (multi-functioning). The agency expects to roll out the next round of the program in 2021, after a two-year gap period.

VGM encourages providers to use real examples in their comments.

“Providing real examples of patients who suppliers serve can effectively demonstrate the need to keep this product category out of the competitive bidding program,” VGM stated.

VGM’s talking points include:

•    This market serves a highly vulnerable patient population with life-sustaining equipment.
•    Vent patients require highly skilled respiratory therapists beyond the average oxygen patient.
•    Ventilation is a small market with few suppliers in certain areas having proper resources.
•    The negative impacts from competitive bidding on the DME community should not be replicated to life-sustaining equipment such as vents.

CMS will accept comments on its proposal until Dec. 3. Send comments to DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov.