EXETER, PA – As Congress begins to focus on its next must-pass piece of legislation to avert a 24% cut in physician Medicare payments on April 1, the primary industry focus has been on the need to contact Representatives and Senators to advocate for more comprehensive reform of the Medicare bidding program that builds on the Sen Portman (R-Ohio) licensure amendment.
While that remains the best opportunity for industry relief early this year, another amendment is expected to be offered during the legislative process to assist complex rehab stakeholders that also requires legislative support.
The amendment would include HR 942/S 948, the Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) Separate Benefit legislation, to the larger sustainable growth rate (SGR)/Doc Fix legislation. This CRT legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate and is largely viewed as bipartisan.
Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY), the democrat sponsor of the Senate version, has drafted an amendment to attach to the SGR bill when it comes up for a vote in late February or March. The good news is the amendment has been drafted and is ready to go.
Now more than ever, the industry is positioned to advance this priority of CRT stakeholders. Collectively as an industry we need to focus on increasing the level of awareness and support for this bipartisan legislation to help increase the likelihood that the amendment will be included in the larger SGR bill.
Congress is back in session this week, and the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees will be having discussions to determine what provisions to include in the final package. Whether your top priority is competitive bidding relief or the CRT Separate Benefit, it is imperative that we reach out to our Reps and Senators to let them know we strongly support the need to strengthen the SGR bill with these much needed provisions. Don’t delay. Call (202) 224-3121 to speak to your legislator’s office today.
Seth Johnson is vice president of Government Affairs for the Pride Mobility Products Corp, Exeter, Pa.