Heartland Speakers: Providers Must Comment on IFR
In addition to limited rural relief, the IFR provides a platform for public comments, which industry advocates are calling on providers to post by July 9.
- By David Kopf
- Jun 21, 2018
Industry advocates are urging HME providers to submit comments on CMS’s recently released Interim Final Rule by July 9, to provide “critical” help for industry legislative and regulatory efforts.
The main thrust of CMS’s recently released IFR was to provide limited relief for rural providers and non-bid area providers in Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. territories (but not non-bid providers in the contiguous states) from the application of bidding-derived reimbursement rates. However, the IFR also provided an opportunity for public comments, and that opportunity is one providers should not skip, according to John Gallagher, vice president of Government Relations for VGM.
“This is so critical,” Gallagher told attendees of this week’s VGM Heartland event. “… If you read the IFR, [CMS] referred to public comments all the time. And if they don’t get any comments, guess what? There is nothing for them to relate policy to. … Please, take time to participate in the comment period. Reach out to people and ask them, ‘Hey, did you send in a comment on the IFR?’ We need to push this hard.”
Providers have until 5 p.m. Eastern Time on July 9 to submit comments on the IFR at regulations.gov (they should make sure to refer to file code CMS-1687-IFC).
Additionally, Gallagher and Jay Witter, senior vice president of Public Affairs for the American Association for Homecare, noted in the Heartland presentation that both VGM and AAHomecare have and information providers can use in their comments as well as comment templates at vgmdclink.com and aahomecare.org, respectively.
“Anything we can do to make [submitting comments] easier, we will, because it does make a true impact,” Witter noted.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.