Infographic: Keeping Health Care Local Through State Licensure

Posted on in HME Government Issues

By: Collin Brecher, VGM Government Relations

With the implementation of competitive bidding to rural America in the beginning of 2016, CMS has made it quite clear that competitive bidding is not going away without a fight. While industry stakeholders, state associations and providers are fully engaged on the elimination of the flawed program, we must pursue alternative solutions to the problem. The goal of implementing DME licensure in all 50 states is lofty, but it can be done. VGM has produced an easy to follow infographic (see the end of this article) to show the strong progress that state licensure has made thus far.

State licensure is highly important to the DME industry in order to create safeguards for our industry and maintain a strong, local care foundation. This foundation is crucial to the protection of access for patients, especially in rural areas, to the vital equipment they need. A DME licensure bill helps ensure your business is protected and that your patients will be served through a minimum set of requirements. A state licensure bill would require all DME providers within a given state to meet all of the following requirements:

  • Brick and mortar requirements - A DME licensure bill would require providers to have a brick and mortar location in your state, a staff and regular office hours.
  • Accreditation - DME providers would have to be accredited with this DME licensure bill.
  • Reciprocity - Reciprocity with surrounding states, 50 to 100 miles.
  • DME involvement in policy - A DME licensure bill would allow a DME to have a seat on state boards and commissions.

In order to protect local health care and reduce the negative side effects of suicide bidding and artificially lowering impractical reimbursement rates, state licensure is a high priority for the VGM Government Relations team. We’re looking for DME providers to get involved, too. Lobbying for state licensure starts with building a grassroots strategy with other DME and health care advocates in your region. This can include DME providers, consumers, state association leaders and ancillary health care professionals who understand our issues. Here’s what you can do next:

  • Clearly identify leadership roles.
  • Form talking points and collect any data that shows that need for licensure in your state. This may include beneficiary access issues, operational problems or statistics to show how local or in-state business is harmed by the current policy.
  • Identify your legislative goal based on the current legislative environment in your state.
  • Research the process about how a bill passes in your state.
  • Recruit a bill sponsor and form your communications strategy.

Don’t be intimidated by the grassroots strategy process; the VGM Government Relations team is here to guide you. For the complete 12-page, grassroots strategy guide, click here. Contact [email protected] when you’re ready to get started.

See where your state stands on state licensure in the infographic below.