Search Menu

Are you having trouble accessing quality home medical equipment and services? Call us at: 800-404-8702

HME Suppliers Press on Amid a Mountain of Issues

Home Blog HME Suppliers Press on Amid a Mountain of Issues

COVID-19, regulatory burdens, supply shortages, natural disasters, and product recalls are just the tip of the iceberg (or mountain) of issues facing the home medical equipment (HME) industry this past year. These past couple years have not been easy on anyone, yet the workers remain dedicated to ensuring that individuals receive the equipment and services they need.

Medical Equipment is Not Immune to Supply Shortages, Sadly

We’ve all seen on the nightly news with images of cargo ships with containers of goods sitting and waiting to be received and distributed throughout the country. The discussion was around Christmas gifts, and if we would be able to get our gifts to families in time for the holidays. But it’s not just Christmas toys and home goods on those boats. Critical home medical equipment is also waiting to be distributed.

Here is just one of many stories of how the supply chain shortages are having a harmful effect on those in severe need of HME:

The Forgotten Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

HME providers are working tirelessly to help COVID-19 patients heal at home with necessary equipment such as home ventilators, oxygen, CPAP/BiPaps, and hospital beds. They are working early in the morning and late at night, making deliveries out of their normal scope of services to take care of patients, all while continuing to provide necessary supplies and equipment to the elderly and ill without the coronavirus diagnosis.

Sadly, HME suppliers were not considered a priority in receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccines as was the case with hospital workers.

Reimbursement Concerns and Regulatory Burdens

Ask any HME supplier what they wanted for Christmas, and almost all would respond with increased reimbursement and relief from regulatory burdens. Prices of goods continue to soar, but Medicare reimbursement for home medical equipment has been in the same state for many years. In fact, reimbursement rates have been slashed due to regulatory burdens like Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

HME suppliers are also subjected to excessive and sometimes an unreasonable amount of audits for past services provided. It takes months and sometimes years to recoup these dollars. Suppliers are losing crucial cash flow for years while they fight to appeal these audits that are usually overturned in the end.

Decreasing Number of HME Suppliers

Many HME suppliers have thrown their hands in the air and called it quits because of issues like these. They just can’t keep going like this. Since 2010 there has been a 40% decrease in HME suppliers, leaving remaining HME suppliers overwhelmed and not able to meet the immediate needs of those they serve.

How can you help?

Patients healing at home is more important than ever right now. This allows patients to heal in the comfort of their own home, it limits the number of people they come in contact with, it opens up hospital bed availability for severe COVID-19 cases, and it saves millions of dollars when calculating the cost of a hospital stay. It also decreases the number of skilled nursing facility admissions, another significant cost savings. Plus, the mental health of healing at home versus being alone in a hospital is incalculable.

Throughout the next year, we will continue to ask you to speak up about these concerns, protect the integrity of medical industry, and support legislation that will provide some much-needed reimbursement relief to keep home medical equipment suppliers open and working. There will always be a need for HME. Please join us in 2022 in improving the lives of those who rely on home medical equipment and services.


Back to Top
Take Action Now