The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) and VGM & Associates are partnering on another Congressional event to support the home medical equipment (HME) industry.
In an Oct. 11 bulletin, AAHomecare announced a Virtual Hill Day on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, “to bolster awareness and support for active Medicare reimbursement legislation as Congress enters final legislative weeks of the year.”
While the association confirmed that the new event “will reinforce the virtual advocacy effort from just a few weeks ago,” the Nov. meeting will be structured differently. AAHomecare described the new event as having “a focus on reaching targeted members on committees of jurisdiction for federal healthcare finance issues.”
Taking a Targeted Approach
With that ultimate goal in mind, the two organizations “are in the process of developing a list of approximately 100 House and Senate offices to reach for this more tightly targeted virtual Hill day and are reaching out to HME advocates represented by these legislators to take the meetings.”
Tom Ryan, AAHomecare’s CEO/President, said in the announcement, “We’re at a critical juncture for what Medicare rates are going to look like in 2024, as well as for numerous payers those rates influence. We have the prospect of 75/25 rates in non-CBAs [non-competitive bidding areas] coming to an end on Jan. 1, and we have active legislation in both chambers for Congress to keep that relief in place, and even to add 90/10 blended relief for CBAs in the House bill. With those kinds of stakes, we feel the urgency to make one more concerted push to get provisions from H.R. 5555 and S. 1294 into an end-of-year legislative package.”
Ryan also expressed appreciation to VGM for sharing the cost of the event and for partnering in the process of creating the event. “Their participation allows us to make this a free-of-charge event for our advocates and will also be critical in helping us to identify and invite constituents for the meetings. We couldn’t ask for a more committed and effective partner in advocacy than the VGM team.”
Finding Advocates for the Meeting
The virtual meetings with Congress will take place all day Nov. 13 and will use the Advocacy Associates platform used in previous AAHomecare virtual legislative events.
AAHomecare and VGM are reaching out to industry advocates who are constituents of the targeted Congressional offices, “as well as state and regional HME association leaders to recruit participants,” the announcement said.
“If you have previous advocacy experience and live/work in a state with a member of the Senate Finance Committee, or a district represented by a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee or Ways & Means Committee, and are available for meetings on Nov. 13, please contact Gordon Barnes at email@example.com for more details,” the announcement said.
Michael Isaacson, VGM’s Senior Vice President of Government & Regulatory Relations, said, “It is imperative that the industry comes together to act on these pieces of legislation. VGM and AAHomecare continue to work together to ensure that our collective members’ voices are heard, and we are excited to be partners on this important event.
“This Virtual Hill Day is another opportunity for our members to unify their voices so that our elected officials understand the valuable service they provide to individuals and to their communities. We look to the industry to stand up and be champions of change.”
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