Thank you for expressing an interest in helping the WOCN Society in its effort to prevent the inclusion of ostomy supplies in the Competitive Bidding (CB) program. Please read on for an update on how the situation has progressed in recent months.
As you may recall, President Obama released his proposed FY 17 budget in March 2016 a provision to expand Medicare's CB program to new product categories. The budget proposed that inhalation drugs; all prosthetic and orthotics; and ostomy, tracheostomy and urological supplies all be listed as products subjected to competitive bidding. The Society has expressed serious concerns with this proposal, as ostomy supplies and urological supplies are not well-suited for a competitively bid program because of their highly customizable nature. The Society has fought to exclude these products from the program in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
We are hopeful that the new administration will not continue to pursue the expansion of the CB program in the future. In response to the flawed policy approach, Society leadership has developed an advocacy action plan to keep ostomy products excluded from Competitive Bidding. To date, the Trump Administration has not moved forward with expanding the CB program to include ostomy supplies. In fact, CMS has now delayed the latest round of new CB programs for 2019. The 2019 expansion would have included CPAP devices and insulin pumps. In a statement CMS explained that "CMS has decided to temporarily delay moving forward with the next steps of the Round 2019 DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program to allow the new administration further opportunity to review the program."
The Society will continue to monitor the CB program and keep members informed. The Society will continue work with like minded stakeholders to safeguard quality access to care and lifesaving ostomy supplies.
Thank you again for your support.
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Kate Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN
Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
Chris Rorick, MPA
Director of Government Relations