Rural Relief, ‘Double Dip’ Fix Bill Hits the House

H.R. 4229 would provide relief to non-bid area providers, as well as reform oxygen double dip expected to hit House this week.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) have introduced into the House the Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Access Act, a bill that would provide relief to rural and non-bid areas that had been impacted by the national expansion of competitive bidding, as well as rectify the “double-dip” cuts on oxygen.

The bill, catalogued as H.R. 4229, was launched with 53 original co-sponsors, and has two key thrusts:

  • It would effectively roll back the second round of cuts for non-bid area suppliers, effective retroactively to January 1, 2017 and through 2018.
  • It would address rate cuts caused by the misapplication of a 2006 budget neutrality offset balancing increased utilization for oxygen generating portable equipment with lower reimbursement for stationary equipment.

Full text of the legislative language is available as a PDF.

“The strong original co-sponsor support for this legislation demonstrates Congress’ appreciation of the urgent need to get back to a sustainable reimbursement schedule for suppliers serving patients in rural communities,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. “I hope that HME suppliers and other stakeholders in our industry will let their Representatives in the House know how important this legislation is for their ability to serve patients in rural America.

“There’s no getting around the fact there are a lot of other issues competing for attention on Capitol Hill as we enter the last two months of the year,” he added. “It’s critical that the HME community makes its voice heard in support of this bill over the next few weeks to build support for this bill.”

Providers lobbying their lawmakers on behalf of the bill can obtain issue briefs on rural reimbursement relief and the O2 “double dip” cuts. If they need additional help contacting their lawmakers, such as contact information for Representatives’ healthcare legislative assistants, they can reach AAHomecare’s Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.

Comments

Fri, Nov 3, 2017 Not the solution Competitive Bid City

While many may cheer that this is the solution...it actually does nothing to help those of us "still trapped" in the non-working and structurally flawed competitive bid situation. It would be much better to illustrate to those uninformed in Washington that Hurricane Obama hit nationwide in BOTH the rural and competitive cities across our nation. We need workable wages (fee schedules) and lift the access restrictions to DME. In our metro patients, therapists, physicians...are fed up with a program that was flawed...and no change in the horizon...from dems, reps or independents. But Congress does want a one payer system....that will be hospital based care...and the heck with independent providers as we once knew existed.

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