from the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services (MAMES)
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) providers who do business in Minnesota have been in a massive fight to protect Medicaid recipients over the last year.
It started in 2019 when the Blue Ribbon Commission on Health and Human Services (BRC) developed nine cost saving strategies, including two cuts to DME. Of those two, one was included into the Governor’s 2022-2023 budget to modify certain Medical Assistance DME payment rates to match Medicare rates.
Senate Health and Human Services (HHS) didn’t carry the governor’s proposal forward in its budget, but the House HHS Policy & Finance Committee did. Details emerged that the proposed cuts included payment methodology that would have drastically affected Medicaid recipients who use complex wheelchairs, incontinence supplies, compression garments and more.
The House held a hearing where the MAMES executive director and four advocates testified. In addition, the House Committee received written testimony from advocates, providers, and other organizations.
Members of the House HHS Committee heard loud and clear that Medicaid recipients would be harmed if the DME cuts proposed were to move forward. They took action to make sure they weren’t. Included in an amendment for HF2128, the entire DME proposal was deleted from the bill.
This is a huge legislative victory for the Medicaid recipients who rely on medical equipment and supplies that they need! Two more tasks remain for MAMES in a special session, fixing the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics/Orthotics & Supplies (DMEPOS) tax law and stopping s recoupment of DME providers from 2018/2019. Stay tuned.