Yesterday I had a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make a request regarding the negative impact of that agency’s regulations on payments to small businesses providing durable medical equipment (ex. wheelchairs) and other items to Medicare patients.
The meeting was set up at the request of the SBA Office of the National Ombudsman (ONO) Regulatory Fairness Board on which I serve. Attending the meeting from CMS was the Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare, the Director of Program Integrity, and the Director of the Division of Recovery Audit Operations. Attending the meeting from ONO was the National Ombudsman, the Deputy National Ombudsman plus the Region VII representative of the SBA Office of Advocacy and my fellow Regulatory Fairness Board member Kevin Maloney from Connecticut.
Since 2012 the ONO has received 127 complaints about the Recovery Audit Contractors Program and competitive bidding practices from small businesses providing durable medical equipment and services to Medicare patients.
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce objected back in 2002 to legislation being considered, and subsequently passed, by Congress that has resulted “urban” areas having only one vendor approved to supply durable medical equipment under Medicare. Rural areas have been spared this competitive bidding disaster but have had the approved Medicare costs for durable medical equipment sales and service benchmarked to the rates approved in the urban areas.
For several good reasons, this process has created hardship for both the providers and Medicare patients. This concern has been the overwhelming complaint ONO has heard about any federal regulation. Thus the need for the meeting on Friday.
Our request was for CMS to both delay yet another round of price cuts for durable medical equipment and services scheduled for July 1st and for the establishment of a working group to review the regulations and hopefully find solutions to the problem for small businesses.
With less than a week for the new cuts to go into effect, let’s hope that our message was heard and motivating to CMS.
If you have a complaint about a federal regulation, join me this Tuesday at the below event in Spartanburg:
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable
A Conversation with the National Ombudsman for Small Business
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Concerned about a level regulatory playing field for your small business?
Join Spartanburg, SC, and Ashville, NC, area small business owners for this unique opportunity to share your concerns directly with National Ombudsman Earl Gay, Regulatory Fairness Board Members Leo James, Frank Knapp and other SBA Representatives.
- Learn how the Office of the National Ombudsman, SBA Resource partners and other federal agencies can help your small business save time and money in resolving difficult regulatory compliance and enforcement issues.
- Join other small business owners to voice your ideas on federal regulatory challenges facing your business.
At the Roundtable you’ll also be able to:
- Provide real-time input on regulatory fairness issues impacting your small business and ways the government can best support small business success.
- Learn more about resources and assistance available through the SBA, the Office of the National Ombudsman, and other federal agencies.
- Meet local SBA leaders and resource partners.
Spartanburg Community College
Tyger River Camus room 354C
1875 E Main St.
Duncan, SC 29334T
The National Ombudsman promotes a level playing field for small businesses by working directly with federal regulators to facilitate practical and timely resolutions of regulatory fairness matters. The Office of the National Ombudsman, part of the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides small businesses a neutral and confidential way to report and help resolve federal regulatory problems.To learn more about the National Ombudsman, visit www.sba.gov/ombudsman or call 888-REG-FAIR.