AAHomecare Underscores Ventilator Concerns

Association meets with White House Domestic Policy Council on CMS’s addition of non-invasive ventilators to Round 2021.

Representatives of the American Association for Homecare met with members of the White House Domestic Policy Council regarding CMS’s addition of non-invasive ventilators to the recently announced Round 2021 of the competitive bidding program.

Last week, Tom Ryan, the president and CEO of AAHomcare; Jay Witter, senior vice president of public affairs for the association; Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare; and Cara Bachenheimer of industry law firm Brown & Fortunato, who serves as AAHomecare’s general counsel, met with the Domestic Policy Council to have “an open and frank discussion” concerning the issue, according to a statement for the association.

“AAHomecare’s delegation reiterated the potential impacts on the patients who depend on these highly specialized and service-intensive respiratory products if access is diminished,” the statement read. “AAHomecare offered alternative solutions to improve the benefit, including strengthening Medicare coverage criteria for non-invasive ventilators, an approach that the Association and stakeholders in the pulmonary/respiratory medical community have advocated for since 2009.”

AAHomecare is seeking meetings on ventilator policy with CMS and HHS leadership, as well, the association noted.

The meeting was followed by a statement from Ryan, in which the association chief said the issue was a “critical concern” for respiratory providers, various healthcare professionals, and the patients and caregivers that rely on non-invasive ventilators. Ryan said he had heard from leaders at respiratory companies, clinician groups, and patient organizations, and all were motivated to aggressively advocate against CMS’s move.  

“For the larger HME community, this announcement is a fresh example of why we need to remain committed to building strong relationships on Capitol Hill and continuing to grow our industry’s advocacy capability,” Ryan noted. “It’s yet another reminder that policymakers at both Federal and state levels are certain to continue to look for new avenues to limit Medicare and Medicaid expenditures even as the populations served by these programs grow.”

Ryan called on providers to attend the association’s May 22-23 Washington Legislative Conference to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate on this issue and other industry concerns.

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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