AAHomecare: “Keep the Pressure on”

Industry urges providers to lobby hard on behalf of bidding, audit bills during congressional recess.

The American Association for Homecare released a statement urging HME providers to “keep the pressure on during congressional recess” in order to drive support for key industry legislation.

The two bills on whose behalf the industry is lobbying are H.R. 5083, known as the Audit Improvement and Reform Act (aka, the AIR Act), which aims to reform key problems with Medicare’s unchecked audit system, and H.R. 4920(known as the binding bids bill), would make all bids binding and would require providers to obtain bonds before bidding in order to end the practice of suicide bidding. As Congress entered the recess, the Air Act had 14 co-sponsors and the binding bids bill had 29 co-sponsors.

The recess presents the industry with a critical opportunity to advance the industry legislation, because lawmakers will be closer to home during the current recess period, which runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 8. The association encouraged providers to take advantage of the golden opportunity to arrange meetings with their Representatives and staff while they are in their district office.

To help providers advocate on behalf ot he legislation, the association listed a number of online legislative resources:

  1. An issue brief on H.R, 4920, the binding bids bill.
  2. An issue brief on the H.R. 5083 audit reform bill.
  3. Additional detail on the audit issue available at FixMedicareAudits.org.
  4. Tips on effective meetings with your Congressional representatives.

Also, the association advised providers to use the the AAHomecare Action Center to quickly send a letter to their legislators in support of key legislative priorities and to find contact information for their offices.

Taking advantage of the recess is also critical in terms of timing. The 113th Congress has until the next election, and then any legislation launched during its term will lapse. Because, as industry legislative experts point out, these very specific bills — especially the binding bids bill — have a good chance as getting passed as standalone legislation, providers don’t want to miss this crucial opportunity.

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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