Senate Sign-on Letter Launched; House Letter Deadline Extended

House letter up to more than 75 signers, with the deadline extended to Oct. 5; Senate letter calls for more relief for rural and non-bid providers.

Congressional HME advocates Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced a sign-on letter into the Senate that serves as a companion to the House sign-on letter asking the leadership of CMS, HHS, and OMB to expand the relief for HME stakeholders provided in CMS’s proposed ESRD/DMEPOS rule.

The deadline for Senators to sign the version for the upper chamber has been set at Oct. 4, and the deadline for Representatives to sign the House letter has been extended until Oct. 5. So far, the House version has gathered more than 75 signatures, according to VGM Government Relations.

The letter notes that the reinstatement of the initial transitional blended rate from June 1 to Dec. 31 “provides important relief for suppliers facing serious financial difficulty in the most rural areas of the country,” but adds that more must be done.

“We commend the proposal to further extend the transitional payment rate for rural and non-contiguous non-CBAs through Dec. 31, 2020,” the letter reads. “In the same proposed rule, CMS seeks feedback on whether this rate should be applied to the remaining non-CBAs. We urge CMS to apply the transitional reimbursement rate uniformly to all non-CBAs in its final rule.”

The full Senate letter can be read at bit.ly/2y1fhaK.

To help providers get their lawmakers’ support, AAHomecare has posted an issue briefing page, and created a pre-written letter they can automatically generate at bit.ly/2Qf0vF4. A similar letter is available from VGM DC Link at bit.ly/2xJyQoE.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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