If you currently use home medical equipment or supplies that are included in the Medicare competitive bidding program special rules may apply. First, you should understand that there is a difference between rental equipment and supplies. Rental equipment consists of devices such as oxygen concentrators, enteral nutrition pumps, and hospital beds. Supplies consist of CPAP masks hoses and headgear, diabetic testing strips, and enteral formulas. Under a provision called "grandfathering" your existing provider may continue to provide your rental equipment. However, grandfathering does not apply to items that are considered supplies.
How grandfathering works
If your existing supplier was not offered a contract from Medicare they may choose to grandfather their existing patients. This means that they will continue to provide service until the rental item is no longer needed.
Supplies and grandfathering
Under the new program supplies such as diabetic testing strips, CPAP headgear masks and tubing, and enteral formulas must be provided by a company this contracted with Medicare. There is no grandfathering provision for supplies.
Providers option to grandfather
If the company was not awarded contracts under the Medicare competitive bidding program it's there option to grandfather their patients. They must notify the patient writing within 30 days of the programs implementation regarding their decision.
Providers who do not grandfather
If your company chooses to not grandfather their existing patients you will be required to select a new provider. You can use the search function here to find providers in your area.
It's your decision
Regardless of your current providers decision to grandfather are not the choice of providers is ultimately yours. Provisions have been made in the rules of the program for patient to choose to switch to a contracted provider. You can find contracted suppliers in your area by using the search function here.