H.R. 4229 Push Continues

AAHomcare calls for “all in” advocacy effort to drive home rural relief, O2 double-dip fix.

As reported last week, H.R. 4229 (the Protecting HOME Access Act), which provides relief for providers suffering from the expansion of competitive bidding to rural and non-bid areas, as well as address the so-called “oxygen double dip,” was launched in the House, and the industry’s leadership is now calling on providers to support the bill with a concerted, industry-wide advocacy effort.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), started in a strong position with 53 original co-sponsors, and Tom Ryan, the president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare says that the industry needs to capitalize on that position.

“We need to build additional co-sponsor support for this legislation over the next few weeks to send an unmistakable message to Congressional leadership that these fixes are an urgent priority for HME providers and the patients we serve,” he wrote in a public statement. “If your Representative isn’t on the list, you need to contact the individual who handles healthcare in their office, and ask that the legislator sign-on as a cosponsor for H.R. 4229 … If your legislators have already signed on, please don’t forget to send a sincere note of thanks for their support.”

Ryan added that the industry must especially work to recruit Democratic co-sponsors for the bill. A good place to start, he advised, was with the 49 Democrats (a full list is at http://bit.ly/2yl4mHX) who joined June’s sign-on letter on HME policy priorities (which included rural relief and the O2 fix). He also recommended that the industry’s lobbying push target Representatives from either party who serve in the influential Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees as key supporters.

Full text of the legislative language is available as a PDF at http://bit.ly/2gZ5rOD  and the bill can be monitored on the Library of Congress site at http://bit.ly/2znFN0j.

Providers lobbying their lawmakers on behalf of the bill can obtain issue briefs on rural reimbursement relief at bit.ly/2AbhAsh and the O2 “double dip” cuts at bit.ly/2z9rdtI. 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.

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