This is absurd

 - 
10/22/2007

The Whole Wide World hd Here’s a statistic I cannot get out of my head: Of the 276 providers who responded to our October HME NewsPoll, 51% said that most of their Medicare beneficiaries cannot afford the 20% copay for durable medical equipment. I know seniors live on fixed incomes, but don't tell me that 51% can’t afford the co-pay. That’s absurd. This kind of behavior feeds into CMS’s belief that Medicare pays too much for durable medical equipment. And if you can regularly write off 20% of your Medicare reimbursement, maybe CMS is right. I mean, what else is there to think? What am I missing here? You tell me.

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Spies Like Us rip Before my grandfather died a few years ago at the ripe old age of 94, he lived on his monthly social security payments. He even saved money. He could do this because he’d paid off his mortgage years ago, had minimal utility and food expenses, and lived like most old people do, frugally. According to a lawyer friend, my grandfather is a typical senior. He owned his own house, had about $150,000 in the bank, and lived on social security or social security and a pension.

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If you regularly let the co-payment slide, which, let me remind you, is in most cases illegal, here’s something else to think about. A good friend of mine is over 65, has been involved in the DME industry for years, and he estimates that 85% of seniors can easily afford the 20% co-pay. In fact, he said, for many items, seniors don’t mind paying cash. They are more concerned with how a product looks than how much it costs. Sounds like there may be a retail opportunity here.

Rather than not being able to afford the co-pay, I think most seniors would prefer not to pay it. I’d also prefer not to pay my healthcare co-pays, but you know what? I pay them. Just like you do.

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Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers film So unless you know a Medicare beneficiary is a hardship case, collect that co-pay. Otherwise, you are doing yourself and the industry a disservice.