U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan visits Mercy Health Mall

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan visits Mercy Health Mall

Friday, Mercy Health System executives, along with other state providers, welcomed U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to the Mercy Health Mall in Janesville to discuss challenges faced by the durable medical equipment industry, according to a release.

The release said that multiple health providers across Wisconsin, including Mercy Assisted Care Durable Medical Equipment (DME), Agnesian Health, Home Health United, Home Care Medical, Home Care Pharmacy, Oxygen One Inc., Knueppel Healthcare Services and VGM, met to ask for Ryan’s support of a three-year reimbursement rate freeze from the nationwide rollout of the competitive bidding program.

The program could potentially leave thousands of Wisconsin Medicare and Medicaid patients without proper medical equipment, such as oxygen, semi-electric beds and mobility devices, due to those cuts in reimbursement rates, the release said.

“Access to oxygen, nebulizers, apnea monitors and other DME equipment is critical for patients who have been hospitalized or suffer from serious illness,” said Denise Schrader, vice president Care Continuum, MercyRockford Health System.

“Congressman Ryan quickly recognized the barriers and broad negative impact the competitive bidding current process has on care and health of patients and the entire health care delivery system, causing delayed discharges and avoidable readmissions.”

“Congressman Ryan is very much aware of issues that medical equipment providers face,” said Tom Powers, VGM, a member service organization for medical equipment companies.

“He understands how Medicare’s competitive bidding program hindered suppliers from providing necessary equipment (to) seniors and people with disabilities. Mr. Ryan agreed that the bidding program is a real problem and wants to be helpful where he can to fix this legislation so DME suppliers can continue to serve those who need these services.”

The release went on to say that o­­ther issues discussed focused on how the cuts and subsequent lack of access to needed medical equipment affects hospital discharge, employment, services and inventory reductions.

Formed through the merger of Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System, Mercy Assisted Care Durable Medical Equipment (DME) in Janesville, along with the Visiting Nurses Association Durable Medical Equipment (DME) in Rockford, provides quality and professional home care services to referred home care clients in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Every month, our DME locations processes over 2,800 new orders, provide services to over 3,900 recurring rentals in patient’s homes and make on average of over 1,200 home deliveries. Combined, our DME locations employ over 50 staff.