AAHomecare Asks HHS to Include HME in Medicaid-Based COVID-19 Relief
WASHINGTON, DC – AAHomecare has asked the Dept. of Health & Human Services to make sure that HME suppliers are included in any future rounds of healthcare provider relief that uses Medicaid billing in determining payments. AAHomecare’s letter to HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan notes that:
“There are many HME suppliers who do not participate in Medicare but do serve a substantial number of Medicaid beneficiaries; these suppliers did not receive any of the Medicare-based relief from the initial disbursement of CARES Act funds. We believe that any additional allocation that focuses on Medicaid providers should take into account HME suppliers.”
AAHomecare will continue to monitor provider relief efforts to ensure that any future disbursements include HME suppliers. See AAHomecare’s letter here.
California Suppliers Fighting Back
WASHINGTON, DC – California HME stakeholders achieved a measure of success last year in pushing back against a Medi-Cal proposal for Medicaid reimbursement rates based on 80% of non-rural Medicare rates, convincing the Agency to use higher rural rates, instead. The new rates went into effect in April 2020 and will be applied retroactively to January 2019; Medi-Cal is anticipated to begin recoupments soon.
AAHomecare has joined the California Association of Medical Product Suppliers (CAMPS) in seeking to limit the retroactive cuts. In a letter to the CMS Regional Administrator, AAHomecare notes that the California State Plan Amendment (SPA) seeking the cuts was amended and changed in November 2019, and urges the Agency to adjust the plan approval date to October 2019 to meet requirements that an SPA cannot go into effect sooner than the quarter it was submitted.
AAHomecare’s letter also notes the severe impacts that 15 months of retroactive recoupment will have on HME providers currently dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the resulting threat to patient access to HME during the public health emergency.
On top of these significant new cuts, California has taken an additional 10% off of Medicaid reimbursements across the board since 2011 – and the new 80%-of-Medicare rates will still be subject to that reduction, as well. Given these steep cuts, California HME leaders are gearing up to advocate for eliminating this longstanding 10% cut, as well as fighting January 2019 retroactivity for the new reductions.