Message to the Georgia House of Representatives, Healthcare Appropriations Committee from Charlie Barnes IV, Barnes healthcare Services, GAMES President-elect.

Sent via email, January 17, 2018

Good Morning,  

Thank you all for your service.

Due to Federal Law the Durable Medical Equipment benefit is being reduced for GA Medicaid starting 01/01/2018. CMS released their first direction to the State Medicaid directors  in Mid-December 2017 and clarified which codes would be affected on 12/27/2018. Our state association has met with Blake Fulenwider and other members or DCH, and although empathetic to challenge there is nothing he can do without a legislative fix.    

Our industry has been ravaged by specific rate reductions from Medicare ranging from 40% to over 50% in reduced reimbursement. The current rates are unsustainable and efforts have been underway for a federal fix. It may be too late. The number of HME business owners, nationwide, has been reduced by almost 50% in the last 3 years.  

The current Medicare rates are unsustainable and GA Medicaid assuming these rates is even less sustainable.   Needless to say access will become an even bigger problem and not only for rural GA but for the entire state of GA.    

The State is guaranteed to spend more money on acute care admissions. Due to the late nature of CMS giving direction to the State Medicaid Directors, we do not have a number for the budgetary shortfall. The preliminary analysis without the required information from DCH/Medicaid is 10.1 million. A new analysis is underway to get the real number which will be less.  We hope to have this number soon.  

GAMES, The Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers, alongside many DME organizations are currently working on draft language for the legislative fix.

I ask for your support. 

If you have any questions please reach out to my cell phone,  229-563-8062.   

Thank you for your service  Best of luck during in the 2018 legislative session.   

Charlie Barnes IV

Chief Executive Officer
Barnes Healthcare Services
Office:  229-245-6001  ext# 401
Cell:  229-563-8062