The Decline of Medical Equipment Providers Across the U.S. Affects Beneficiary Access to Equipment

Published in Government Relations on January 24, 2020

Over the last ten years, there has been a significant decline in the number of medical equipment providers across the country. This is due to reimbursement cuts, regulatory restrictions, and excessive and unreasonable audits that (primarily) smaller durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers are facing. 

decline of medical equipment providersBy clicking here, you can see the exact number of DME suppliers that have closed across the country. The highest percentage of DME business closing are the states colored in dark blue. These states have lost the most of providers by nearly 50%: 

  • California
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut

When DME suppliers are forced to close their doors, beneficiaries are directly impacted because their ability to receive their much-needed home medical equipment becomes even more difficult to access. They may be forced to travel long distances for their equipment, which would cost them extra time and money.  

What can you do to help? 

Currently, there is a bill circulating that can help with this issue. The Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act of 2019 allows for increased reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment and oxygen equipment and supplies in areas of the country where reimbursement has been slashed. Take action today by visiting https://people-for-quality-care.rallycongress.net/ctas/ask-your-member-congress-to-support-protecting-home-oxygen-medical-equipment-act. This website allows you to send a pre-written message to your member of Congress asking for their support of this legislation that will ultimately protect beneficiaries’ access to the equipment and services that are critical to their well-being. 

It is especially important for residents of the “dark blue” states (as indicated above) to reach out to their members of Congress and let them know of the urgency to protect the DME suppliers and the beneficiary. Ask for your members of Congress’ support by clicking here

From Our Experts

The PHE Will End May 11 thumbnail The PHE Will End May 11 President Biden has announced that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will officially end on May 11, 2023. Tom Powers Visit Washington D.C. thumbnail Tom Powers Visit Washington D.C. With the start of the 118th Congress and all members of Congress returning to D.C., VGM Government Relations' Tom Powers headed to Capitol Hill. OIG Recommends 'High/Low Reward' Strategy on Intermittent Catheters thumbnail OIG Recommends 'High/Low Reward' Strategy on Intermittent Catheters In this episode of Industry Matters, Alan Morris, Director of Research and Strategy for VGM Government Relations, and John Gallagher, VP of VGM Government Relations, talk with Brian Leitten from Leitten Consulting, about a new study, "OIG Recommends 'High Risk/Low Reward' Strategy on Intermittent Catheters." The study looks at concerns and costs associated with reducing access to urinary catheters. Additional HCPCS Codes Added to F2F/WOPD Required List thumbnail Additional HCPCS Codes Added to F2F/WOPD Required List On Jan. 14, 2023, CMS released a public notice CMS-6088-N, adding 10 more HCPCS codes to the F2F/WOPD Required List. Ronda Vlog: Recent Updates to the New Oxygen Policy thumbnail Ronda Vlog: Recent Updates to the New Oxygen Policy Listen below as Ronda Buhrmester, Sr. Director of Payer Relations and Reimbursement gives the latest update on the new oxygen policy. Republicans Announce New Members on Key Committees thumbnail Republicans Announce New Members on Key Committees On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, the United States House Republican Select Committee met to announce the new Republican members appointed to various committees in the House. For the DME industry, there are three key committees of justification to work with. PHE Renewed for Another 90 Days Pushing it to April 2023 thumbnail PHE Renewed for Another 90 Days Pushing it to April 2023 On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced an extension of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extension will take us to April 2023. Be sure to read how this will effect the industry. President Biden Signs Omnibus Bill Two Days Before The New Year thumbnail President Biden Signs Omnibus Bill Two Days Before The New Year Yesterday, Dec. 29, 2023, President Biden signed the end-of-year omnibus bill. Within this bill, there is a language for the DMEPOS industry.