DMEPOS Providers Make Waves with SBA and Congress

Posted on in HME Government Issues

By VGM Government Relations

Charleston, W.Va., was the site for a Small Business Administration hearing on February 19, 2016, which gave small business owners the opportunity to discuss regulatory and legislative issues hindering their businesses. There were eight testifiers from the DMEPOS industry. The testifiers included Regina Gillispie of Best Home Medical, Kevin Milam of The Billing Center, Patti Todd of Allay Home Care, Eugene Weems of Boll Medical and president of WVMESA, Mike Rudge of Loop Pharmacy, JD Rogers of Kinetic Healthcare, Eddie Alley of Alley Healthcare and David Hansford of Mountain State Prosthetics. They spoke about DME access issues in rural areas, competitive bidding, audits and other regulatory obstacles.

Also in attendance at the hearing was congressional staff from the offices of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.Va.), Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.).

Additionally, there was an open conference line, allowing representatives from CMS the opportunity to participate in the discussion.

These hearings and roundtable discussions are a great opportunity for providers to share the difficult environment that the DMEPOS industry has dealt with for years. The SBA is scheduling more forums and hearings across the country. Do not miss your opportunity to make your voice heard before congressional offices, administrations of the federal government and your peers. VGM Government Relations and the SBA will be circulating information as it becomes available on upcoming events for your business to testify.

A significant highlight of the event was a letter read by Sen. Manchin’s staff. This letter urged HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, whose home state is also predominately rural West Virginia, to delay the pending round of reimbursement cuts scheduled to take effect July, 1. The letter also says, “If the second round of cuts goes into effect before we have the opportunity to fully understand the impact of the current reimbursement rates, we run the risk of losing many of these important providers, and seniors will lose access to the equipment they need from people they have come to trust.” This letter was signed by the entire West Virginia congressional delegation.

Click here to view this powerful letter.

This letter demonstrates the hard work and determination of West Virginia providers. They have done a fantastic job of engaging their legislators. VGM continues to hear strong feedback from congressional offices on issues that the industry faces, and it can be credited to our engaged members that work very hard to make a difference and fight against burdensome regulations.