Industry Continues Driving for H.R. 2771 Support

Advocates have convinced 81 lawmakers to back a bill extending rural and non-bid area relief, as well as protecting oxygen funding, but are calling on providers to help get more.

A push to get lawmakers to co-sponsor H.R. 2771 continues, and HME industry organizations such as the American Association for Homecare and VGM Government Relations are urging HME providers to contact their lawmakers and convince them to co-sponsor the bill. 

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) launched H.R. 2771, bipartisan legislation in the House that aims to extend rural and non-bid area relief, as well as protect oxygen funding.

Dubbed the Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act of 2019, the bill would:

  • Permanently implement the blended, 50/50 rural relief rate after 2020.
  • Provides additional relief for non-rural, non-bid areas with a 75/25 blended rate (75 percent competitive bidding rates and 25 percent unadjusted fee schedule rates).
  • Remove the budget neutrality offset for oxygen that was implemented in 2017.

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has reviewed and approved H.R. 8158, a bill that contains H.R. 2771’s provisions for protecting oxygen. That committee approval also helps H.R. 2771 through the legislative process.

H.R. 2771 currently has 81 co-sponsors, and VGM Government Relations, and there is a good avenue to help acquire more signatures:

In July, 101 lawmakers signed their names to a House “dear colleague” letter that called on HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CSM Administrator Sema Verma to delay implementing Round 2021 of competitive bidding for one year or for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, whichever lasts longer. VGM Government Relations examined the list of signers and saw that 55 of the signatories have not yet co-sponsored H.R. 2771. 

Click here to view a list of those lawmakers. To find your member of Congress via zip code, click here.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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