AAHomecare Calls for Final, 30-Day Advocacy Push

As July 1 cuts loom large, industry association urges providers to lobby on behalf of S.2736 and H.R. 5210.

With fewer than 30 days remaining before national bidding expansion’s full cuts are implemented on July 1, the American Association for Homecare is calling on HME providers and other industry members to urge Congress The Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Acts.

The two bills, H.R. 5210 and S.2736, aim to reform national bidding to provide relief for rural providers and change the way the bid ceiling is calculated for competitive bidding.

Last week, industry advocates made a concerted lobbying push on behalf of the bills at the association’s Washington Legislative Conference. Those efforts helped bring H.R. 5210’s number of co-sponsors to 72 Representatives, and S.2736’s backers to 29 Senators.

However the association says more co-sponsors for both bills are needed before they can advance, so it is urging providers to reach out to their lawmakers and lobby them to support the bills.

Three recent developments could help those lobbying efforts considerably, AAHomecare noted:

  • A joint letter from national and state associations in support of PADME highlighted the fact that little independent analysis of the competitive bidding program has been done to evaluate whether the program has “restricted the types of products available for patients or compromised physician decisions to prescribe specific products…” 
  • The HHS OIG also released an eye-opening report confirming that CMS awarded unlicensed bidders to receive contracts in Round Two.

“We encourage you to share these letters with your Congressional members as examples of support from patients and industry associations,” a statement from the association read. “Each of these are powerful tools in your arsenal to fight for rural relief legislation and help swell Senate and House co-sponsor rolls. We encourage you to use everything at your disposal in these final days to help us push legislation into a vote.”

Some additional resources from AAHomecare providers can use to lobby their Congress members:

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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