No rest for the weary in the HME industry


No sooner does the industry escape Medicare reimbursement cuts to oxygen and power wheelchairs, than more cuts are back on the table.

AAHomecare reported Wednesday that: “Senior staff from two key congressional committees confirmed at a conference in Washington today that oxygen therapy and durable medical equipment items and services are at the top of the list for Medicare reimbursement cuts this year.”

This revelation coincides with news reports that “the budget President Bush will release next month might include a proposal to fix a scheduled Medicare physician fee cut.”

A 10.6% cut to Medicare physician reimbursement is scheduled to occur July 1. Lawmakers will look to avoid that by cutting other benefits, including HME. As you recall, they considered doing that in December but bought themselves more time by delaying the doctor cuts six months.

If you haven’t participated in industry efforts to educate lawmakers to cost-effective patient-preferred nature of home care, now would be a good time to start.