Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers
NEWS & NOTES


September 28 | 2017

In this issue:

  1. 104 Signatures!
  2. CMS on Medicaid & CURES 
  3. Annual Meeting Question
  4. Sec. Price in Hot Seat
  5. Healthcare in the News
  6. The Results are In!
  7. Medicaid Fair
  8. Medtrade coming soon!
  9. 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!


Platinum


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


Gold

BREAS
Todd Tyson

Brightree
Melinda Mahoney

CAIRE

Lanier Hogan

Fisher & Paykel
Gregg Stahl

Cryogenic Inventory Solutions
Anne Holcombe
Travis Caulk

Mediware
Michelle Caldwell

ResMed
Jamie Griffis

The Compliance Team, Inc.
Jack Haire
Sandra Canally

The MED Group
Ted Metcalf

Silver

ACHC
Randy Hughes

ACU-Serve
John Stalnaker

Allegiance Group

Bruce Gehring

ABC Plus
Marcus Kruk

Barbara's Billing & Consulting
Barbara Penzien

Compass Health
Joe Toth

GCE Healthcare
John Lewis

IMS
Bo Lanier

Linde Healthcare
Clay Stalnaker

McKesson Medical Surgical
Chip Wooten

Medical Specialties Distributors
Pat Burke

Medline

Brian Topchik

Medtronic
Chris Arapoff

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance
Hutton Madden

Quality Medical Inc.
Jim Worrell

TestSmarter
 Brad Womble

Verus Healthcare
Rachel Dobyns


Bronze

Medtrade

Keving Gaffney

Pride Mobility Products
Steve Joyce

GAMES Members Rally Congress to Sign on to Letter!

With somewhat short notice, GAMES members began burning up the phone lines and flooding email in-boxes just a few days ago, asking their representatives to sign onto a Congressional Letter spearheaded by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.). The Congressional sign on letter asks the Office of Management and Budget to clear an HME-related Interim Final Rule (IFR) currently under review at the Agency titled, "Durable Medical Equipment Fee Schedule, Adjustments to Resume the Transitional 50/50 Blended Rates to Provide Relief in Non-Competitive Bidding Areas”

DME providers across the country were able to get 104 signatures on the letter! The letter officially closed yesterday and is currently being circulated for the actual signatures of the Representatives before being forwarded to the OMB. AAHomecare is following this process and will share a final copy of the letter with all the signatures once it is released.

These Georgia Representatives are co-signers to the letter. Please be sure and thank them if you serve patients in these districts!

Representative Rick Allen (GA-)

Representative Sanford Bishop (GA-2)

Representative Buddy Carter (GA-1)

Representative Doug Collins (GA-9)

Representative Drew Ferguson (GA-3)

Representative Tom Graves (GA-14)

Representative Austin Scott (GA-8)

CLICK HERE for a copy of the letter. (Not the final copy yet with all of the signatures, but the exact text.)


CURES Medicaid Provisions to Apply to All HCPCS Codes

From AAHomecare

AAHomecare has been working to get instruction from CMS on how the implementation of Medicaid-related provisions in last year’s CURES bill will be communicated to the states. We have received guidance that these provisions will apply to all HCPCS codes covered by Medicare and Medicaid, not just the codes included in the competitive bidding program. We have also been informed that the direction will allow states to continue to set the allowables as they choose to ensure access to care; the CURES provisions will only impact the Federal match.

GAMES has reached out to Georgia Medicaid asking for more information and possible collaboration. We will keep members posted.


GAMES Annual Meeting Survey

Traditionally GAMES Annual Meetings are late summer / early fall, after the school year has begun. For 2018, GAMES Board of Directors is considering holding this meeting in June, allowing for families to attend if they choose to do so.

CLICK HERE to tell us what you think!


HHS Secretary Price in the Hot Seat over Private Jet Use

From Kaiser Health News:

When asked if Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price would be fired over his use of a private jet that has cost taxpayers more than $400,000 since May, President Donald Trump said, "We'll see." Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee is requesting information on Price's travel.

Wow! We have always known Dr. Price as somewhat of a budget-hawk, from as far back as his time at the State House. We wish him the best as he responds to the investigation.

Healthcare in the News

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

State accepts big hikes on 2018 exchange; now it's up to the feds
State insurance officials Wednesday gave approval to premium increases of more than 50 percent for the four insurers participating in next year's insurance exchange in Georgia.

Washington uncertainty spells big price hikes in Obamacare premiums
There is now a clear price tag for Washington's dysfunction of health care and many Georgians could soon begin paying it.

Young People With Severe Autism Languish In Hospitals
Teenage and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals, sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mess-tented beds, a Kaiser News Investigation shows.

'Hipster' health insurance, linked to a surprising name, may come to Atlanta
Mario Schlosser is used to giving tours of his company's headquarters, and he's used to the visitor's reaction to it.

John Barrow aims for comeback with bid for Georgia secretary of state
Former Georgia congressman John Barrow, who was the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress, will end a three-year absence from politics with a statewide Democratic bid to become secretary of state in 2018.

Group of state Medicaid chiefs clarifies stand against GOP bill
The National Association of Medicaid Directors emphasized Monday that its attention-getting opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health reform legislation was a consensus view of the board, and not a unanimous decision by all Medicaid directors.

Amid a last GOP push to repeal, the plight of Georgia hospitals is overlooked
Late Friday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., threw an adjustable spanner into Senate Republican plans for a last ditch attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Atlanta conference puts accent on health care collaboration
Health care leaders from across the Southeast will gather this Thursday in Atlanta for the fourth Health Connect South summit.

Rural Georgia hospitals see few benefits, so far, from tax credits
State lawmakers thought they'd found a way to help struggling rural hospitals by offering $180 million in tax credits to Georgians willing to donate to them, but the program has gotten off the a slow start.

GOP health care bill appears doomed as Collins, Cruz express doubts
Two Republican senators indicated Sunday they are unlikely to support the latest Republican bill to replace Obamacare, making it likely that GOP leaders' last-ditch effort to pass a key campaign promise will fail.

A hospital crisis is killing rural communities. This state is 'Ground Zero'
If you want to watch a rural community die, kill its hospital.


Survey Demonstrates High Level of Frustration!

Several Georgia DME Providers, patients, and case managers participated in the recent healthcare research firm Dobson DaVanzo patient access survey commissioned by AAHomecare. Altogether an overwhelming 428 patients, 358 case managers, and 266 suppliers participated!

While the full report is still being finalized, Dobson DaVanzo has put together a 2-page summary including findings that demonstrate a high level of frustration from survey participants. The summary includes powerful graphics showing the widespread issues in accessing DMEPOS since July 2016 with 52% of beneficiaries reporting problems.

Thanks to GAMES members who participated!

CLICK HERE for the summary of report highlights. You are welcome to use this tool when speaking with elected officials and others.


Georgia Medicaid Fair

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
The Classic Center
300 N. Thomas Street
Athens, GA 30601

Register now! Admission is free!The opening session will highlight news from the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) including an overview of current initiatives and program and policy updates. The day will feature break-out sessions focused on relevant topics for our provider community along with time for questions and answers. 

To register online and for details, including the facility layout, map to the facility, parking locations, and an agenda, visit http://www.cvent.com/d/55qvmw.

 Medtrade is Next Month in Atlanta!

Medtrade is the largest Home Medical Equipment Expo and Conference in the US. Connecting the HME industry for over 38 years, Medtrade features a large expo floor filled with the leading home medical equipment manufacturers and their HME/home health products. 

Medtrade is Oct 23-25, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. For more information about Medtrade, go to www.medtrade.com.

Get FREE ACCESS to the expo floor by using code "STASSOC17” when registering!


Save These Dates!
 
Medtrade
October 23-25, 2017
Atlanta, GA

GAMES Day at the Dome
January 29, 2018