Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers

May 18 | 2017

In this issue:

  1. DME Licensure is Now Law in GA
  2. Take it to the Hill!
  3. Need Your Rep to Sign-on!!
  4. PA Bill includes Audit Exemptions
  5. Healthcare in the News
  6. Save these dates!

GAMES Platinum Members!

GAMES Associate Members
Support the associate members who support GAMES. If your vendors aren't on the list, ask them why!


Airgas Puritan Medical !
Christa Forrester
Mark Bradshaw

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare
Joe Gessner
Steve Wakser

Philips Respironics
Susan Yenney
Kimberly Williamson

VGM Group
Gil McCall
Pat Aydelott


Todd Tyson

Melinda Mahoney


Lanier Hogan

Fisher & Paykel
Gregg Stahl

Cryogenic Inventory Solutions
Anne Holcombe
Travis Caulk

Michelle Caldwell

Jamie Griffis

The Compliance Team, Inc.
Jack Haire
Sandra Canally

The MED Group
Ted Metcalf


Allegiance Group
Bruce Gehring

Barbara's Billing & Consulting
Barbara Penzien

Compass Health
Joe Toth

Linde Healthcare
Clay Stalnaker

McKesson Medical Surgical
Chip Wooten

Medical Specialties Distributors
Pat Burke


Brian Topchik

Chris Arapoff

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance
Hutton Madden

Verus Healthcare
Rachel Dobyns



Keving Gaffney

Pride Mobility Products
Steve Joyce

DME Licensure in Georgia

On May 9, 2017 Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 41 into law. After July 1, 2017 the Georgia Board of Pharmacy will have the authority to begin administering the licensing statute for suppliers of durable medical equipment. The bill requires that anyone who wishes to participate in the DME industry in Georgia must apply for a license and have a physical location within the state.

The Georgia Board of Pharmacy is just beginning the rule-making process. Members of GAMES and other interested parties will have the opportunity to offer comments during a public comment period (dates not set yet).

GAMES will keep members updated as information becomes available. The Pharmacy Board also has an "interested parties” email list. If you would like to be added to this list, please CLICK HERE and GAMES will forward your name. (Be aware though that you will receive messages regarding pharmacy and dentistry also, not exclusively DME.)

GAMES leadership looks forward to working with the members and staff of the Georgia Board of Pharmacy as they begin the rule-making process to put SB 41 into operation.

Washington Legislative Conference

May 24- 25, 2017

Join other GAMES members in D.C. next week!

Now is the time to step up and get involved with the legislative process. We need our members of Congress to understand what is at stake for the HME community, and we need members of that community to help explain it to them.

AAHomecare will work with you to schedule the right appointments. You'll have access to homecare's top experts, who will help you understand the details of the key issues during a day-long series of seminars. You will be provided with tips on the best ways to establish working relationships with your members of Congress, provided with handouts to leave behind in Hill offices after your appointments, and then follow-up with those offices to reinforce your message.

CLICK HERE for more information and to register now!

Call to Action:We Need Georgia’s 14 Representatives to Sign this Letter!

AAHomecare, VGM, and other industry stakeholders have been working with representatives in DC to create a congressional sign-on letter addressed to HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The purpose of this letter is to ask for reforms to policies and regulations involving durable medical equipment and complex rehab technology in four key areas:

Relief for Non-Competitive Bid Areas
Reforms to the Competitive Bidding Program
Relief for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Accessories
Restore Oxygen Rates in Rural Areas

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) released a Congressional sign-on letter yesterday asking HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to use their authority to make significant changes to HME policy.

This letter contains a very important ask that most believe is within the Secretary’s authority to implement: extend relief in non-CBAs by extending CURES rates until 2019.

While it is believed that this move is within Sec. Price’s authority, he needs the assurance that he has the support of congress! Contact your representative today!

After you contact your Rep, please email the GAMES office and let us know of your progress.We need at least 150 signatures on this letter. Let’s do our part to get Georgia’s 14 representatives on! (This letter is for members of the U.S. House of representatives; do not contact Senate offices at this time.)

CLICK HERE for a copy of the sign-on letter.

CLICK HERE for a list of Georgia’s US Congressional offices.

Not sure who your rep is? CLICK HERE to search by zip code.

Want to send a pre-written note? CLICK HERE for AAH Action Center.

Blackburn Introduces Prior Authorization Legislation

DATA Act of 2017 Would Help Prevent Medicare Audits for HME

From AAHomecare, May 17, 2017


We have just received confirmation that Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has formally introduced legislation that would require prior authorization for certain home medical equipment items in higher price ranges. The formal title for H.R. 2445 will be the DMEPOS Access and Transparency Act of 2017, and may also be referred to as the DATA Act of 2017.

The new legislation builds upon previous prior authorization legislation championed by Rep. Blackburn, and includes new provisions that require medical necessity for respiratory equipment. Other key provisions of the bill include (italicized text is taken directly from a final draft of the legislation):

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary shall develop and implement a prior authorization process for certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies. A claim for an item of durable medical equipment, a prosthetic, an orthotic, or a supply that has received prior approval through the prior authorization process shall be exempt from subsequent pre- and post-payment audits and only subject to audits for systematic fraud and abuse.

The Secretary shall consider the following factors in developing and implementing the prior authorization process:
(I) Beneficiary access to timely care.
(II) Alignment with the best practices of commercial managed care plans and Medicare Advantage plans under part C that have expertise in prior authorization processes.
(III) Implementation of standard medical necessity evaluation prior authorization requests for physician and hospital referral agents and non-physician practitioners.
(IV) Accounting for same day delivery expectations by providing for expedited emergency review for certain items.


Healthcare in the News

These news clips were shared with GAMES by our state lobbyists, Southern Strategy Group:

Insurer Harken Health shutting doors
Insurer Harken Health is closing its doors in Illinois and Georgia, ending an experiment to combine health insurance and care.

Medical school picks Moultrie
Moultrie and Colquitt County will be the home of a medical college with an economic impact on the area that could be near $90 million annually - pending accreditation approval.

Re-entry program brings former nurses back into the profession
Pickens County High School is a sprawling campus on the outskirts of Jasper, the largest town in the county.

Georgia GOP lawmakers push health care overhaul
Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may fan an uncertain future in Washington, but for many Georgians health insurance in a problem that needs immediate attention.

Struggling hospital in Milledgeville OKs purchase deal
Oconee Regional Medical Center, a financially troubled Milledgeville hospital has agreed to be sold to a California-based organization.

The odds of a drug having a significant safety issue after winning FDA approval are nearly 1 in 3, study finds
Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected - sometimes-life threatening - side effects or complications, according to a new analysis in the Journal of American Medical Assn.

A little-known star of hospital safety in Georgia
The safest hospital for patients in Georgia, according to a well-recognized measure, probably isn't the first one most people would guess - assuming they've even heard of it.

Tom Price: Senate Will Produce Obamacare Repeal Bill 'This Summer'
Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price was optimistic that a Senate Obamacare repeal bill would be coming soon, telling Hugh Hewitt on Friday that he believed the "Senate will produce a bill this summer," with a vote before the August recess.

Senate GOP examining ways to repeal ObamaCare insurance rules
Senate Republicans are looking into repealing ObamaCare regulations on what services an insurance plan must cover, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Thursday. 

Save These Dates!

AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference
May 24 - 25, 2017
Washington, DC

VGM Heartland Conference 2017
June 12-15, 2017
Waterloo, IA

GAMES 2017 Annual Meeting
August 27 - 29, 2017
Jekyll Island, GA