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‘CMS has got to do something’

‘CMS has got to do something’

Tyler RiddleTIFTON, Ga. – Tyler Riddle, a second-generation provider and “elder millennial,” says it’s never been a more important time to advocate for the HME industry. 

"Things change and we’re constantly being challenged, (but) we’re highly adaptable,” said Riddle, president of MRS Homecare, a full-service provider with 12 locations covering mainly rural Georgia. “Coming out of COVID has been exciting – supply chain issues have started working themselves out – but we’re barreling headlong into what appears to be a recession.”   

The CPAP recall, rising fuel prices and inflation add additional layers of challenges to being a small provider. 

It’s against this backdrop that Riddle made the trek to Washington, D.C., to meet with his members of Congress to advocate for sustainable Medicare reimbursement, which he discussed on a recent episode of the HME News in 10 podcast.  

The ask 

Medicare rates – set by the competitive bidding program – have been unsustainable for years, says Riddle. 

“As we come into 2022, all of these things are negatively affecting the bottom line and the one thing we cannot control or pass onto consumers are these increases,” he said. “CMS has got to do something about that. We talked to the Georgia (members) about what they can do to help us. Even if they do not directly sign on to a bill, they can reach out to CMS and ask for accountability.” 

The visits 

For Riddle, educating staffers is his biggest priority, but he was also heartened by the feedback he received. 

“I heard a lot of positive things about our industry and that’s exciting,” he said. “For years, the response was we are full of fraud and abuse and that needle has started to move. It’s a powerful time in our industry for advocacy because the importance of what we did during Covid is on the tip of everybody’s tongue. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., immediately signed on to H.R. 6641.” 

The challenge 

Riddle challenges other providers to make the trek to D.C. 

“As providers, we need to be doing more of this,” he said. “In-person advocacy is so important. I’m grateful that there are so many other independent providers out there still willing to do this work and if anyone wants to follow up with me (on how to lobby), I’m happy to have that talk.” 

Listen to the full podcast here


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