Here's my two cents on application fee


By now you've heard that HME providers will have to pony up an application fee when they enroll in Medicare. The current amount is $505. That's a chunk of money for the typical small business, and I have some sympathy for providers who must pay this fee on top of all their other expenses.

I just learned that there is a hardship exception to this fee (be warned, it looks like CMS plans to drown you in paperwork if try to file for this exception).

I gotta play devil's advocate here for a sec. If a company can't afford a $505 fee, are they financially viable at all? Can they pay their employees? Care for patients?

We've all heard about bankrupt companies winning bids; and there are rumors afloat that many bid winners are barely hanging on by their contracts. Broke and bankrupt companies are a natural concern: Patients will suffer if their provider suddenly shuts his doors.

But if you need an exception because $505 could make or break you, I am not so sure you should be doing business.

Theresa Flaherty