Grassley Presses OMB's Mulvaney on Rural Relief IFR

Iowa Senator wants to know what steps OMB director's office is taking to release rural relief IFR.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) told Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that he wanted to know what steps the office was taking to release an Interim Final Rule that could bring competitive bidding relief to rural providers and patients.

Grassley made the point during this week’s Senate Budget Committee Hearing. In the closing moments of his time during the hearing:

“I don’t expect you to answer this question, but I want you to know that it’s important to me,” Grassley said to Mulvaney. “… As you know, the Senate has been working to try and stabilize the durable medical equipment Medicare benefit. This benefit is important because it allows patients to remain in their homes, avoiding hospitalization. The Obama administration put into place a rule that would expand competitive bidding into rural and other areas that were expressly excluded from the competitive bidding program. In some cases these changes resulted in rates below the costs providers incur to provide services and equipment.

“I was encouraged in August of last year when CMS sent an Interim Final Rule to OMB that would mitigate these changes,” he continued. “However, this rule has been pending since then. I want you to tell me in writing the specific steps you’re taking to make sure that the OMB reviews and releases that rule.”

A video of the exchange is available on C-SPAN.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher HME Business, DME Pharmacy and Mobility Management magazines. He was Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy from 2008 to 2023. Follow him on LinkedIn at and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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