Forty-nine Senators Back Rural Relief Letter

Lawmakers in the upper chamber back Congressional call on HHS, CMS leadership to use regulatory authority to completely comply with CURES Act.

Forty-nine Senators signed their name to a Congressional sign-on letter urging HHS and CMS leadership to make regulatory reforms to competitive bidding that would protect HME providers and patients in rural and non-bid area.

The letter, introduced into the Senate by Sens John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), the letter calls on CMS to “swiftly” use its regulatory authority to come into compliance with all of the provisions of the CURES Act, including those that require CMS to study the full impact of national bid expansion on rural and non-bid areas, as well as to take into consideration factors such as travel costs, supply and service volume, and the number of providers in an area, when calculating reimbursement.

"This call for relief for non-bid area providers from nearly half of the Senate follows on last month's successful House sign-on letter in support of that issue and other HME policy priorities," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. "Taken together, these letters send a clear signal that Congress wants prompt action to address unsustainable Medicare reimbursement rates."

Support for the letter was fairly bi-partisan, with 31 Republicans signing, joined 17 Democrats and one Independent. Nearly all the Senators hailed form states that had sizable rural areas.Ryan lauded Sens. Thune and Heitkamp for their efforts in driving the letter.

"HME patients and their caregivers are lucky to have such passionate and effective advocates in their corner," he said.

A signed copy of the letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2tlGDEY.

A list of the Senators that signed the letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2ugummx.


About the Author

David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.

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