Eighty-three members of the House of Representatives signed on to a letter urging CMS to rescind the interim final rule to implement round one of competitive bidding before it’s April 18 implementation date.
Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) was the chief author of the letter, according to AAHomecare, which added that Sutton’s staff informed AAHomecare that more Representatives contacted the Congresswoman to sign the letter after the correspondence had been sent to CMS, HHS, and the administration.
The April 15 letter was addressed to Mr. Charles Johnson, Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Ms. Charlene Frizzera, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and Ms. Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director, White House Office of Health Reform.
“We are deeply concerned that CMS has rushed implementation of this rule counter to Congress’ intent when it delayed the competitive bidding program as part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients Act of 2008 (MIPPA), As such we urge you to rescind the rule so that all affected parties will have an opportunity to comment on it as a proposed regulation,” the letter reads.
The letter notes that the more than 4,000 providers in the initial bidding areas, only 376 met the program’s requirements.
“As growing numbers of seniors enter the Medicare program, it is important that we take care to maintain an adequate number of qualified and capable providers to address demand for care in the home, especially in rural areas,” the letter continues.
An adobe acrobat version of the complete, signed letter can be found at the AAHomecare site. The letter was similar to an April 13 letter sent by AAHomecare and 27 regional and state homecare associations earlier this week, calling for CMS to “utilize traditional notice and comment rulemaking ensuring a collaborative and transparent process, and program success.”
That letter can be downloaded from the AAHomecare site, as well.