Medical Supply Company Layoffs
A medical supply company in Fletcher says medicare changes forced them to lay off eight employees.
All-States Medical Supply says medicare cut reimbursement rates by 45-percent and increased audits by 250-percent.
In a release, the company's president says the layoffs were necessary in order to "keep our head above water."
FLETCHER, NC February 27, 2014. All-States Medical Supply (ASM) had to lay off eight employees this week after being unable to sustain Medicares recent changes including a 45% cut in reimbursement rates and a 250% increase in audits.
Less than a year ago, ASM was one of only nineteen suppliers who won a national bid for mail-order diabetic supplies through Medicares Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Bidding Program. This caused a bottleneck of six million diabetics scrambling to change suppliers and required ASM to hire fifty employees in July of 2013 to handle the increased demand. Now, the same program is devastating businesses in communities across the country and Medicare beneficiaries are being endangered because of delays in obtaining critical homecare equipment.
The layoffs were a devastating decision for us, but one we had to make to keep our head above water. Medicare cut its reimbursement rates by 45% and it is impossible to sustain the numbers, said Jason De Los Santos, President of All-States Medical Supply. This, in addition to the onslaught of Medicare audits holding hundreds of thousands of dollars in limbo, have taken its toll on us.
Medicare currently has a two and a half year backlog for court review of audits before they can be released. Legally, they are only supposed to take 90 days to review. In addition, they have increased the number of audits to an average of 900 every two weeks.
Marcus Suess, the CEO of the company, is actively lobbying for changes to Medicare to stop the suicide reimbursement rates for DME businesses. Public policy changes failed last year, but hes hoping it will be different this time around. In an economy where job growth is needed and the aging population is growing, this program hurts more than just DME companies.
ASM is diversifying their business away from mail-order supplies by expanding locally into HME retail stores, therapeutic shoe fittings and with an on-site pharmacy that can accept private insurance to cover diabetic supplies.
During the recent lay off, ASM had representatives from the Department of Workforce Solutions, JobLink at Blue Ridge Community College and Goodwill Career Center in attendance to offer outgoing employees services to help them with the transition. Services included helping to apply for unemployment benefits, offering workshops to help build their resume or computer skills and proactively connecting them with job leads based on their job skills.