On July 1, 2009, DSHS will enact the second of three proposed changes to the Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies program (DME). Products in this category include Wheelchairs, Walkers, Bathroom Equipment, Incontinence Products, Oral Nutrition and others. On January 1, 2009, DSHS adopted the reimbursement cuts of 9.5% that Medicare did. This affected Power wheelchairs, Hospital Beds and supplies, Nutrition and Ambulatory products like walkers and canes and has put at risk the ability of providers to offer a choice of quality products. On July 1, 2009, DSHS has proposed the following cuts to their program: Eliminating coverage for Bathroom Equipment, Blood Pressure Monitors, Compression Hosiery, Oral Nutrition. In addition, they have dropped amounts of coverage for the following: Incontinence supplies, Gloves, and Diabetic supplies. At this time, DSHS is also considering sole source contracting for all of its Incontinence supplies- this will effectively put hundreds of providers and their employees out of business. If this is enacted, all DSHS clients can expect to see their choice of provider eliminated as well as a decrease in the quality of products and the choice of products that they currently receive. It is very unfortunate that these cuts will target our most vulnerable populations at a time of need.
It is our dream that every American will receive affordable, quality health care. However rising costs and declining reimbursements are forcing many providers to make a difficult choice. Likewise, even more limitations on supplies and lack of product choices put a heavy burden on clients.
We urge you to get involved with this issue and to voice your concerns.
Write to your Congressperson today. Click here to contact your Representative.