VGM objects to bid program including vents, orthoses

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WATERLOO, Iowa – With the complex care required for vent patients and with few suppliers serving the market, it’s best to keep the product category out of Medicare’s competitive bidding program, VGM says. In recently submitted comments to CMS, the company pointed out that: Vent patients are highly vulnerable and require care from highly skilled RTs, and can’t be subject to delays in care or access issues. It also pointed out that the market for vents is small and niche, with fewer than 400 providers. On orthoses, VGM acknowledged the increase in utilization for off-the-shelf knee and back braces, but drew a distinction between the mail-order suppliers that it says are driving much of that increase and certified practitioners. “We don’t believe it is in the best interest of the beneficiary to competitively bid these products to reduce over utilization,” it stated. “Orthoses, if not properly fitted, have the potential to have lasting negative effects.” The deadline for commenting on CMS’s proposals to include vents and orthoses in the next round of bidding is Dec. 17. Send comments to DMEPOS@cms.hhs.gov.