Meek Week a Success
Bill nixing competitive gains cosponsor commitments during winter break.
The industry wrapped up a week-long push to gain additional co-sponsors for Rep. Kendrick Meek’s (D-Fla.) H.R. 3790, which calls for the elimination of CMS’s competitive bidding program.
In an effort that was coordinated between AAHomecare, NAIMES, VGM, The MED Group, and the state associations, providers met with their House representatives while they were in their home districts in order to encourage them to co-sponsor the bill.
Officially, the Meek bill has 118 co-sponsors, but AAHomecare reported that “several HME providers received commitments from their legislators that they would cosponsor H.R. 3790, Rep. Kendrick Meek’s bill to eliminate the bidding program,” when the House resumes its business on Capitol Hill on Jan. 12.
“Reports of HME meetings with members of Congress and staff have been coming in daily to the Association staff,” a statement from the association read. “The reports indicate that members of Congress are getting the message.”
Providers still have time to meet with their Representatives or at least call them to share their views on competitive bidding and to encourage them to cosponsor H.R. 3790 Providers can find the phone number and location of every legislator’s district offices in the “Contact Me” section of each Member’s website at www.house.gov.
Earlier this week, Reliable Medical Supply in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota hosted a site visit for Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) to explain how the bid program would affect their homecare operations. After the tour, Congressman Paulsen met with senior staff from Reliable Medical as well as a representative from the ALS Association, Rose Schafhauser of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES), and several patients.
The two patients “very bluntly expressed their concerns with this ill-conceived competitive bidding program and the problems it would create,” said a public statement from MAIMES.
“Congressman Paulsen came into this visit asking, what would be wrong with competitive bidding?” said Jeffrey Hall, owner of Reliable Medical Supply, in the MAIMES statement. “After detailing the bid program and talking with our two patients who would be impacted by the program, Congressman Paulsen seemed to begin to understand the concern for the continuity of care.”
For talking points about the competitive bidding program, please visit www.aahomecare.org <http://www.aahomecare.org/> . You will find details on the home page and also in the Advocacy and Government Relations sections.