Printer Friendly

NAMES TELLS HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE OF HME INDUSTRY'S OPPOSITION TO ADMINISTRATION'S FY 1993 MEDICARE BUDGET AND HME PAYMENT PROPOSALS

NAMES TELLS HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE OF HME INDUSTRY'S OPPOSITION TO ADMINISTRATION'S FY 1993 MEDICARE BUDGET AND HME PAYMENT PROPOSALS
 ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Testifying today before the House Ways & Means Committee, Corrine Parver, president of the National Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAMES), said the home medical equipment (HME) services industry strongly opposes the administration's FY 1993 Medicare budget and HME payment proposals, particularly as they further reduce and erode the HME benefit.
 Stated Parver: "HME plays an integral role in the home health care component of our nation's health care system. As a proven cost-effective and efficient mechanism providing needed health care to millions of Medicare beneficiaries in their homes, HME enhances the quality of life for recipients and their families. This fact should be recognized, particularly in light of increasing concern over spiraling costs of health care in this country," she added.
 The NAMES president told the committee: "Any health care reform package should build upon the strengths of our current American system. Over the past 25 years, HME and related services have become an integral part of America's health care delivery system and an extremely cost-effective manner in which to complete an individual's acute care episode."
 She said HME as a part of home health care meets virtually all principles and policies inherent in any sound health care reform proposal:
 Cost-Effective
 Lewin/ICF concluded in a 1991 research study that the home health care system could realize substantial savings for certain diagnoses if used in conjunction with earlier discharge from the hospital. A federally funded study in 1987 found that, in 18 states where home health care was substituted for institutional care in the Medicaid program, savings achieved were 68 percent. As recently as last year, the Department of Commerce reported that one approach toprovide services and reduce costs. Home health care combines the skills and services of hospital discharge planners, HME suppliers, visiting nurses, physicians, family and volunteers to provide equipment, service and training at substantial savings over institutional care.
 Market-based System
 Over 2,100 NAMES members, 80 percent of whom are local businessmen and women, comprise a highly efficient, private sector, delivery and educational system across the country. Most suppliers provide these services 24 hours a day, seven days a week in large cities and small towns and often in medically underserved urban and rural communities, although this high level of service is becoming increasingly impractical because of excessive payment cuts in recent years.
 "Despite the critical role which home health care and HME play in the entire health care spectrum, and the fact that needed industry reforms currently are being considered by Congress," said Parver, "HME continues to be singled out by the administration for budgetary reductions to such a severe level that I am concerned the ultimate effect may well be the dismantling of the entire HME services industry.
 "In fiscal year 1990, reimbursement for HME was cut $80 million; in fiscal year 1991, Medicare expenditures for HME again were cut by $215 million," she explained. "Now, in FY 1993, the administration proposes yet again another round of 'payment reforms' fashioned in such a way that the entire structure for coverage and provision of quality HME services may be harmed irreversibly.
 "Particularly disturbing in the administration's FY 1993 budget," Parver pointed out, "is the extremely broad discretionary authority granted to the secretary of health and human services (and thereby, HCFA) to make payment determinations for HME items, ostensibly to reflect 'current market factors.'
 "If this provision is enacted, Congress in essence will have abrogated its proper legislative authority to regulate HME reimbursements levels, allowing HCFA virtually unlimited power to effect whatever HME payment reforms it deems proper, with no further guidance from or consultation with Congress," said Parver.
 She told the House Ways & Means Committee the HME industry's concern remains that, cumulatively, repeated HME payment reductions will have a severe impact on access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. "The outcome is undeniable," said Parver, "provision of needed care, equipment and services will be limited further or eliminated altogether for some Medicare beneficiaries."
 In conclusion, the NAMES president urged Congress to reject outright the administration's proposed changes to the Medicare HME benefit, and to study proposals, such as H.R. 2534, the NAMES- initiated "Ethics and Treatment of Home Medical Equipment Act of 1991," to provide a needed mechanism to assure quality control within the HME industry.
 NAMES, headquartered in Alexandria, is the national trade association representing a diversified membership of more than 2,100 home medical equipment (HME) suppliers with some 4,500 sites, over 100 HME manufacturers and 38 state and regional HME associations. Its mission is to promote access to quality home medical equipment services as an integral part of our nation's health care system. In 1992 NAMES is celebrating its 10th anniversary -- a decade of service and commitment to the HME industry.
 -0- 3/4/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Haracznak of the National Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers, 703-836-6263/ CO: National Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: LEG


TW-SB -- DC005 -- 4923 03/04/92 11:35 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1992
Words:854
Previous Article:MGM GRAND REPORTS YEAR 1991 RESULTS
Next Article:BUFFTON ANNOUNCES MAJOR CONTRACTS FOR MANUFACTURING SUBSIDIARY
Topics:


Related Articles
NAMES ISSUES POSITION PAPER ON KEY ROLE OF HME IN NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM
NAMES URGES INCLUSION OF HOME MEDICAL EQUIPMENT IN ANY FUTURE HEALTH CARE REFORM PACKAGE
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ADVOCATES BETTER ACCESS TO HOME CARE SERVICES
Internists' president urges sparing primary care from Medicare cuts.
ADVANTAGES OF HOME CARE USING HOME MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SERVICES POINTED OUT BY NAMES NATIONAL ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
NAMES Issues Its Proactive Legislative Plan For 1997
Housecall Medical Resources Inc. Announces Sale -- Committed to Being Premier Provider of Home Healthcare and Hospice.
Competitive bidding: an update.
FY 2010 budget includes funds for health reform.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters