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Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers
NEWS & NOTES


March 2 | 2017

In this issue:

  1. We need your rep's support!
  2. AAH sends letter to HHS.
  3. Meeting was a success!
  4. Meet your Medicaid CMOs
  5. Healthcare in the News
  6. More $$ for DME?
  7. We need your name on this letter!
  8. New Medicaid DME Specialist

GAMES Platinum Members!




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


Platinum


Airgas Puritan Medical Renewed 2017!
Christa Forrester
Mark Bradshaw



Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare
Renewed 2017!
Joe Gessner
Steve Wakser




Invacare Corporation
Mark Gram
Harris Bridgforth



Philips Respironics Renewed 2017!
Susan Yenney
Kimberly Williamson



VGM Group Renewed 2017!
Gil McCall
Pat Aydelott


Gold

Accurate Biomed Services
Kyle Williams

Brightree Renewed 2017!
Melinda Mahoney

CAIRE Renewed 2017!

Lanier Hogan

Fisher & Paykel Renewed 2017!
Gregg Stahl

Cryogenic Inventory Solutions
Renewed 2017!
Anne Holcombe
Travis Caulk

Mediware Renewed 2017!
Michelle Caldwell

ResMed Renewed 2017!
Jamie Griffis

Supreme Medical
Colton Mason


The Compliance Team, Inc.
Renewed 2017!
Jack Haire
Sandra Canally

The MED Group
Ted Metcalf

Silver

Allegiance Group Renewed 2017!
Bruce Gehring

Barbara's Billing & Consulting
Barbara Penzien

Compass Health Renewed 2017!
Joe Toth

Linde Healthcare Renewed 2017!
Clay Stalnaker

McKesson Medical Surgical
Renewed 2017!
Chip Wooten

Medical Specialties Distributors Renewed 2017!
Pat Burke

Medline
Renewed 2017!
Brian Topchik

Medtronic
Chris Arapoff

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Renewed 2017!
Hutton Madden

The Service Center

Mark Miller


Bronze

3B Medical
Jeff Shields

AcuServe
John Stalnaker

ARI
Patrick Miller

Adaptive Engineering Lab
Jill Patty

CMI Health
Bob Wilson

Cheshire Group
Wayne Richards

Comfort Company
Tommy Mandala

Healthcare Delivery Solutions
Bo Ferguson

Jeyaram & Associates
Kimberly Sheridan

Leap Payments
Rick Nunez

Medical Supplies Depot
Charles Simpson

Medtrade Renewed 2017!

Keving Gaffney

Patient Care Pharmacy
Susan Guthrie

Pride Mobility Products
Renewed 2017!

Steve Joyce

Salter Labs
Eric Jacobson

Simple Sheets
Krissy Toth

Verus Healthcare
Steve Goode


Urgent Need to Contact Your State Rep.

GAMES Members - Please call your State Representative and ask them to support SB 41, the GAMES Durable Medical Equipment Licensure Bill!

SB 41 passed the State Senate 40-8 and is now before the House of Representatives’ Health & Human Services Committee. GAMES has worked to pass this legislation for several years and it is close to becoming a reality, but we need your help to let your House member know how important SB 41 is to your business.

If you do not know who your State Representative is, you can look them up here: http://www.house.ga.gov/mediaServices/en-US/FindYourLawmaker.aspx

Out-of-state manufacturers are organizing opposition to the bill, so it is critical that your voice be heard in favor of SB 41. Tell your legislator how they can protect Georgia patients and businesses by voting YES on SB 41.

If you have any questions, please contact GAMES president, Tyler Riddle at 229-402-0206 or CLICK HERE to send Tyler an email.


AAHomecare Asks HHS to Set Rural/Non-CB Rates at Jan.-June 2016 Levels

From AAHomecare March 1, 2017

On Tuesday, AAHomecare asked HHS Secretary Tom Price to take immediate action to provide relief to DME providers and patients in non-CBAs by issuing an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that would repeal the full phase-in of the adjusted fee schedule rates in non-CBAs that was applied on July 1 (and are currently in place), and freeze rates at the blended rate that were in effect for Jan.-June 2016.

 AAHomecare’s letter details the disruption that drastic reimbursement cuts for rural/non-CB providers has caused for both suppliers and beneficiaries, points out deficiencies in CMS’ original rulemaking that led to the new rate structure, and notes the Agency’s failure to provide a Congressionally-mandated report on the effects of the new rates in making the case for HHS action.

The letter also outlines the statutory authority for HHS to implement these changes through an IFR, and also points out that this action would align with current Administration policy to ensure that regulations are not so burdensome they hinder businesses’ ability to create and sustain jobs.

CLICK HERE for AAHomecare’s letter to HHS.

GAMES Winter Meeting a huge success!

On Friday, February 17, more than 80 of your peers and colleagues gathered in Atlanta to hear from expert speakers, engage in peer-to-peer dialogue, and network with vendors.










Be sure to mark your calendar now for May 11! Registration for GAMES Spring Meeting, Soup To Nuts-Building Your Compliance Program so you can still eat your soup and not go nuts!, is opening soon!

Georgia Medicaid CMO Meet and Greet this Friday!

The Georgia Department of Community Health is pleased to provide an opportunity to Georgia providers, provider associations, and other interested parties to meet the Georgia Care Management Organizations (CMOs).

Beginning July 1, 2017, CMOs serving Georgia Medicaid will include Amerigroup, CareSource, Peach State Health Plan, and WellCare. Come meet representatives from these CMOs on Friday, March 3, 2017at the Georgia Department of Community Health, 2 Peachtree St., NW, 5th FloorBoard Room, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

CLICK HERE for more information.
 

Healthcare in the News

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

Georgia House Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion
The Georgia Houses of Representatives approved a measure Tuesday that would allow more medical conditions to be eligible for treatment by medical cannabis oil.

In a notoriously tough job, Grady chief survives and thrives
Five years ago, Grady Health System in Atlanta was racking up a $27 million loss.

Determining Georgia's health care needs
Controversy surrounding Georgia's 38-year commitment to certificate of need laws continue after Senate Bill 123 was introduced less than two weeks ago.

Patient choice vs. choosing patients
The American Cancer Society has predicted that 1,688,780 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2017, and though the majority would agree that the research and treatment of the disease is invaluable, it is clear that cancer is a multibillion dollar industry.

Second CTCA hospital bill before Georgia lawmakers
A second bill easing restrictions imposed on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) hospital in Newnan when it opened for business in 2008 is before the General Assembly.

Optometrist bill advances despite physicians' concerns
The frequent "scope of practice" bills in the Georgia General Assembly typically cause commotion within the medical industry, pitting health care professional groups against one another.

Senate passes stringent opioid treatment program regulations
Georgia has become the opioid treatment program capital of the South as loose regulations have led to an explosion of new clinics opening around the state. 


More $$ for DME?

From VGM February 24, 2017

Updated Study Illustrates Value of DME within Health Care System

Leitten Consulting released its latest findings on the economic impact Medicare spending has on health care as it relates to durable medical equipment.

Leitten’s study, "The Case for Medicare Investment in Durable Medical Equipment,” shows that the health care system and beneficiaries save on long-term costs if the government invests in durable medical equipment services up front.

"This study continues to reaffirm the true value of DME within health care and the savings that it offers,” said John Gallagher, vice president of Government Relations for VGM Group, Inc. "DME providers have been able to save the health care system millions of dollars annually by taking care of patients in their homes.”

In the study, Leitten determined that for every dollar Medicare spends on durable medical equipment to beneficiaries, CMS could save from $11 to $29 in direct treatment payments. Overall annual savings range from $23 to $41 for every dollar invested in DME. The study also notes that since the 2014 update, "CMS has continued to expand its attacks on DME pricing, applying the pricing model to rural areas not covered by the earlier versions of the program. This has all led to a dramatic drop in DME providers serving the Medicare population, profit margins that are often thin or non-existent and reduced access to beneficiaries.”

CLICK HERE to read the white paper of the study.


 Can we add Your Name Here?

The 21st Century Cures Act instructed CMS to reprocess DME claims of those items that are included in competitive bidding items for the last 6 months of 2016, restoring the reimbursement rate to the rate as of January 1, 2016 in non-bid areas. CMS has directed the DME Macs to begin this process and providers will be receiving a refund this summer (if not sooner)

AAHomecare attorneys and experts considered the situation and determined this reprocess should also apply to Tricare as it’s rates are tied to (or pegged to) Medicare rates. You will have seen this letter in a previous News & Notes. To see Tricare response to date, CLICK HERE and scroll down to the heading "Tricare News"

GAMES has formed a small tasks force to consider how we might apply this same principal to other payors within our state that contractually base their fees off of Medicare rates. Please understand the association cannot discuss specific rates or individual contracts. CLICK HERE for the first of such letters that will be specifically targeted to Medicare Advantage plans operating within our state.

We are asking each GAMES member company to sign-on to this letter alongside the association. If you have not already done so, please CLICK HERE to email the association letting us know it is OK to include your company. 

New DME Specialist

Martha Moore has joined the Georgia Department of Community Health as DME/O&P Program Specialist! She started on March 1st. You can
CLICK HERE to email her to say welcome aboard! Or reach out by phone at (404) 657-9126.

Save These Dates!
 
Georgia Medicaid Fair
Tuesday, May 2
Cobb Energy Centre

GAMES Spring Meeting
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Atlanta, GA

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