URGENT - We Need YOUR Grassroots Efforts During the Lame Duck Session!
Update: Feb. 7, 2017: CMS Temporarily Delays CB Round 2019 to Allow New Administration Opportunity for Review
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to temporarily delay moving forward with the next steps of the Round 2019 Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program to allow the new administration further opportunity to review the program [emphasis ours]. As a result, CMS has removed all information that was released on January 31, 2017, including information on the CMS.gov website and the Competitive Bidding Implementation Contractor (CBIC) website. Please continue to monitor the CMS.gov and CBIC websites for updates.
Stay tuned for analysis and comments as it becomes available as this is great news for DME providers…this gives the new administration time to explore these regulations and programs.
Thank you Congresswoman Renee Ellmers
(R-NC) (pictured center with the North Carolina team) encouraged attendees, saying, “I know who you are, I know what you do…I am a huge proponent of Dr. Price’s bill.” And when asked advice on speaking with legislators, Rep. Ellmers told providers to concentrate on the bills you are in support of, when talking to members of Congress, and explain that if the cuts take place on July 1 it will end up effecting access to care and cost more in the end.
Though Mrs. Ellmers won't be in the new Congress, she truly was our HME Champion!
VGM Founder, Van Miller Passed Away Oct 18, 2015
NCAMES sends its deepest sympathies to the VGM Family in the loss of an industry icon and great leader.
Click here for more information.
Do You Need a Handy Medicare Reference Guide?
“This LCD Booklet is For You!
These pocket-sized booklets feature the current Medicare LDC (Local Coverage Determination) for the most commonly prescribed DME items. Use them as marketing tools and educational items for your prescribers and your referral sources. Make sure that your customer service and billing staff have the current guidelines in hand to ensure that your business is providing equipment to beneficiaries that always meets Medicare requirements.
Click Here for Booklet ORDER FORM
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers
Visits NCAMES Members
(Dunn, NC) – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) attended a meeting with North Carolina medical equipment suppliers who are members of NCAMES (North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services) on Tuesday October 7 at Family Medical Supply headquarters in Dunn, NC. Representatives from Brightree, MiraVISTA, MedGroup and VGM also joined the group.
The discussion at the meeting centered around the effects of Medicare policies like competitive bidding and the audit and appeals on medical equipment suppliers and Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina and around the country. Ellmers said, “the longer we can keep patients in the home and healthy, the better for saving Medicare dollars and the better for the patients overall well-being.”
NC Tracks - Problems Continue
NC Tracks, Even a YEAR later, still has Major Problems. NCAMES continues to work with our Lobbyist, the General Assembly and the Department to push for solutions.
Part 1... aired July 1 - Click Here to View
Part 2...aired July 2 - Click Here to View
NCAMES Summer Meeting
NCAMES is grateful for Congresswoman Ellmers' continued support and efforts to bring attention to the devastating effects of the audit burden. Please watch the video below of our Champion's questioning CMS regarding RAC and MAC audits.
NCAMES was honored to have Congresswoman Ellmers as our guest at the NCAMES Summer Meeting.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2014
CONTACT: Press Office
Medicare Program Official Confirms that Administration Failed to Meet Its Key Goals to Reduce Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Members Discuss Lost Opportunities to Eliminate Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Strengthen Medicare
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today held a hearing, “Medicare Program Integrity: Screening Out Errors, Fraud, and Abuse,” to discuss what steps need to be taken to eliminate the waste of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and strengthen the Medicare program. Members heard testimony from administration officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
During questioning, Deputy Administrator and Director at the Center for Program Integrity at CMS, Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., admitted to Murphy that the administration has failed to meet its target goal of a reduced improper payment rate for Medicare fee-for-service and that the improper payment rate had actually worsened over the last fiscal year.
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) underscored the problems with the systems currently in place to audit certain providers. “There is fraud, we all know that there is fraud and abuse of the system, but you are going after the good guys to make up the dollar difference. You are not addressing the real fraud issues. You are not taking recommendations and applying them, your own recommendations.”
WRAL-TV invites NCAMES as a Guest of
"On the Record" Show
David Crabtree, anchor with WRAL-TV, goes behind the headlines for a more in-depth discussion of the issues - current topics, political discussions and news events every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on WRAL-TV.
NCAMES' Members were guests on the program and spoke to the concerns with the NC Tracks Medicaid billing system. Ed Dressen, owner of Dressen Medical in Holly Springs and NCAMES president sat along side Mel Elliott, VP of NuMotion in Apex as they discussed cash flow problems, patient access and related issues with Crabtree. (photo attached) Dressen and Elliott followed NC State Auditor Beth Wood as she spoke to the results of an audit done by her office regarding the implementation date of the CSC system as it came after the old HP legacy system. (more info below)
Those of you in the Raleigh area can set your DVRs to tape the program (keep in mind, college football may preempt the program) but you can visit this site for a recording of the show that goes online by 2pm Saturday.
More info: Wood pointed to her office's May 22 audit of the new billing system, which warned that NCTracks had serious flaws and that DHHS should re-evaluate its decision to go live on July 1. Wood wrote that she met with Wos in March to talk about her concerns with the system. Also on Tuesday, DHHS Chief Information Officer Joe Cooper told lawmakers that testing done by DHHS and technology contractor CSC in advance of the go-live date indicated that the system had met all benchmarks. The May audit, however, warned that there were several shortcomings in the testing of the system. The audit found that out of 834 "critical" priority tests scheduled, NCTracks failed 123 tests and that 285 other critical test cases were not performed. Link to the full article - Click Here
Read more by clicking link here
NC Tracks Still has MAJOR Problems:
LET THEM HEAR FROM YOU
FIRST TWO OFFICES TO CONTACT:
GOVERNOR McCRORY - CALL (919) 814-2000 to register your complaints.
THEN CALL OR EMAIL:
They need to understand the SEVERITY of the issue rather than the thought that NC Tracks is operating as it should.
NCAMES Lobbied in DC to Save Patient Access
NCAMES Members lobbied DC this week to Save Patient Access, Business and Jobs but asking for DMEPOS Bidding to be STOPPED. Their message was passionate and clear…”we cannot survive with 45% and 72% cuts to the already deep cuts these last few years. Massive job loss and business closures will occur unless you stop this” The message has been heard and things are happening…stay tuned! Continue to call Congress with the same message – 202-224-3121.
Save Patient Access!
ALL HANDS ON DECK!
4 Easy Steps to Inform Congress
Step 1: Call your member of Congress
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and join in the efforts of expressing your frustration about the current bidding program. NC Representatives and Senator's office numbers are listed below. If you do not know who your representative is, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard and give your zip code to be transferred to your representative.
We are at that point where attention and support from legislators is critical in working to replace this flawed system. As an industry we need everyone's help! Even if you are not able to make the trip to DC, the same impact can be delivered through a passionate phone call. Mark your calendars and get your dialing fingers ready to call your legislator February 26-27!
Step 2: Tell others to "Shutdown the Switchboard"
Reach out to employees, referral sources, patients, caregivers, and competitors and urge them to call their member of Congress at 202-224-3121. Also, forward them the petition to and ask to add their name along with yours.
Step 3: Get your beneficiaries involved
The People for Quality Care has a brochure that explains the Medicare competitive bidding program in simple terms for beneficiaries. Whether you display them on the front cover or give them to customers during deliveries, it will help to educate beneficiaries about the situation and encourage them to speak out to Congress. The best part is they are free to you! Click here to be directed to the brochure. Or, you can contact Beth Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-544-7913 with your address and the quantity you need, and VGM will send them directly to you.
CMS Competitive Bidding Program Demands Attention
NCAMES Featured in NC Spin's Opinion Editorial
Opinions surrounding Medicaid expansion and the implementation of the state’s Health Insurance Exchange are garnering a lot of attention, as well they should. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently enacted and soon to expand competitive bidding program for certain durable medical equipment and services. Click here for the rest of the article.
Medicare Audits and Competitive Bidding
A Beneficiary Speaks Out
NC State Wheelchair Fan Assisted by NCAMES Member
Van Products Helps Out on The Big Day!
Triangle Home Medical Equipment Providers Rally for Jobs During President Obama Visit
Expansion of Disastrous Medicare Bidding System Costing Jobs, Threatening Patient Care
Dozens of stakeholders from the Triangle’s home medical equipment (HME) industry grabbed homemade signs and rallied for jobs around the corner from where President Obama touted his jobs bill at a local business that outsources jobs to Costa Rica.
Organized by the North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services (NCAMES), the rally was designed to bring attention to Obama administration policies decimating home medical equipment providers and their employees, such as expansion of the disastrous Medicare bidding system for HME providers.
Click here for Press Release
WSOC News Channel 9 Story on Competitive Bidding
Click here for full story and video
Medicare Bidding Fiasco Video
Please click on this video link for an animated picture of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Fiasco – a short clip that can be shared with interested parties. Please share freely!
CMS Announces Round 1 Rebid Contracts
For more information click on the DMEPOS tab under Legislative Issues
NCAMES featured in Medicare Bidding Story
Click on the image to watch the full story.
NCAMES is North Carolina's Leaderin
Medical Equipment Advocacy and Education since 1989!
"Strengthening our member companies, preserving quality care"
Read Bill Text Here:
Please read these Issue briefs for each bill and share with your Member ASAP:
HR 5210 Issue Brief
S 2736 Issue Brief
Click below to determine WHO YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS IS:
Senate Contact info: