Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

Fight for Rural Relief Continues

June 6, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – It’s 24 days until the July 1 cuts take effect, and AAHomecare is asking for the HME community to make every last effort to encourage Congress to support legislation for rural relief—specifically The Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Acts, H.R. 5210 and S. 2736.

“You’ve done a great job building momentum, but we are now headed toward the critical final weeks that will decide the issue,” wrote AAHomecare officials in a note to members. “As the Industry descended on Capitol Hill and lobbied hard for Congressional support of Competitive Bidding reform last week, our consumer and industry partners bolstered our endeavors with letters of support. A joint letter from national and state associations in support of PADME explains that little independent analysis of the competitive bidding program has been done to evaluate whether the program has “restricted the types of products available for patients or compromised physician decisions to prescribe specific products…”

The ITEM Coalition has endorsed H.R. 5210, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses has weighed in with letters supporting both the Senate and House bills. AAHomecare encourages providers to share these letters with Congressional members as examples of support from patients and industry associations. Providers can also share maps showing rural, regional, and CBA areas in your state.

The HHS OIG also released a chilling report confirming that CMS awarded unlicensed bidders to receive contracts in Round Two (more details in next story), that can also help you make the case that current Round 2 rates that helped determine bidding prices for some rural and non-bid regions are based on winning bids from unqualified bidders.

Each of these are powerful tools in your arsenal to fight for rural relief legislation and help swell Senate & House co-sponsor rolls. We encourage you to use everything at your disposal in these final days to help us push legislation into a vote. “These are changing times,” said Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “Educational sessions at Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 31 – Nov 3 in Atlanta, will reflect what is happening in the industry.”

Are your Senators and Representative on the list?

New House co-sponsors in the last week:
Rep Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb)
Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Ore)
Rep Pete Visclosky (D-Ind)
Rep Ed Whitfield (R-Ky)
Rep Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

New Senate co-sponsors in the last week:
Sen Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc)
Sen Mark Kirk (R-Ill)

www.aahomecare.org