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Providers commend CMS on changes to Round 2021

Providers commend CMS on changes to Round 2021

WASHINGTON - CMS's decision not to push forward with the majority of Round 2021 of the competitive bidding program has been met with support from numerous providers.

CMS on Oct. 27 announced new payment amounts for off-the-shelf back and knee braces but not for 13 other product categories, including CPAP and oxygen therapy, because there were no expected savings.

In light of the ongoing public health emergency, it's the right thing to do, says Casey Hoyt, CEO of Viemed Healthcare.

“While the current pandemic is ongoing, we believe these types of program changes are big signals from CMS that our country must expand access to home care for a growing population of patients desperately needing to be treated out of harm's way from COVID-19,” he said.

The agency's decision means it's likely CMS has neared the reimbursement floor for these product categories, providing some measure of stability for the industry in the foreseeable future, says Greg Crawford, CEO of Protech.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must continue to build our capacity as an industry to provide the upmost level of care to the growing number of patients that require home-based healthcare solutions,” he said.

In a proposed rule also published on Oct. 27, CMS also seeks to finalize a previous interim final rule that resumed the transitional 50/50 blended rates for items furnished in rural areas and non-contiguous areas from June 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018.

“By setting the rural rates permanently at the 50-50 blended, CMS wisely recognized the need to maintain the sustainability of suppliers so that patients in these rural and sparsely populated areas can continue to receive uninterrupted access to care,” said Crispin Teufel, chairman of the Council for Quality Respiratory Care. “We commend CMS for taking this vital step and ensure vulnerable patients' continued access to home respiratory care in non-competitive bidding areas.”



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