AAHomecare Prioritizes Extending Rural and Non-CBA Relief

The CARES Act’s reimbursement provisions helped rural suppliers and those in other non-bid areas, but they expired when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.

After stating its reimbursement and legislative priorities earlier this month, the American Association for Homecare is pursuing its top item: extending the relief April 2020 CARES Act gave to providers in rural and other non-bid areas.

For the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the CARES Act extended the 50/50 blended rate for rural suppliers, and implemented a 75/25 blended rate (using 75 percent current adjusted rates and 25 percent unadjusted rates) for suppliers in other non-bid areas.

While the PHE will end someday, key factors impacting HME providers won’t fade as easily:

  • Supply chain constraints. 
  • Continued transportation and raw material costs, and higher equipment prices
  • Higher demand for respiratory products 
  • An expected surge in the U.S. and international economy will compound these factors’ impact.

Because of those factors, extending the relief granted to rural and non-CBA suppliers in the CARES Act will be a major focus of AAHomecare’s advocacy along with appropriate rate adjustments for former CBAs, the association statement noted.

“We have urged CMS to continue these rates and are also laying the groundwork for legislation to continue this relief if it is not part of the pending DME Rule,” AAHomecare stated. “As the delay in releasing the DME Rule rolls on, the need to develop a ‘Hill-forward’ approach is increasingly clear. The HME industry needs to protect and extend this hard-won relief, and AAHomecare is preparing for this fight.”

 

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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