AAHomecare: Industry Enters 'Critical Period' for Advancing Legislation
HME industry advocates have a solid two months in which they must secure support for several bills and sign-on letters; providers urged to help effort.
- By David Kopf
- May 30, 2019
Now that industry advocates have returned from the Washington Legislative Conference and the Memorial Day weekend is done, the industry is entering a “critical period” to advance its legislative agenda, according to a statement from the American Association for Homecare.
Reason being is that, apart from July 4, the House and Senate will be in session until July 26 and Aug. 2, respectively, which gives industry advocates a solid window of opportunity to work with lawmakers.
“These next two months will be critical to our efforts to build upon the strong impression that HME advocates made at last week’s Washington Legislative Conference, visiting approximately 300 Congressional offices covering 44 states,” a statement from the association read. “… Please make it a priority to engage your legislators on whichever issues most directly impact your companies, patients and communities.”
The industry’s agenda includes:
- A House sign-on letter calling on HHS and CMS to walk-back their decision to include non-invasive ventilators in Round 2021 of competitive bidding. (A Senate companion to that letter is in the making.)
- H.R. 2771, which calls for reforms to competitive bidding in order to permanently provide rural and non-bid area relief, as well as eliminate the oxygen budget neutrality requirement.
- H.R. 2408, which would require Medicare to create a separate benefit category for complex rehab technology (CRT) wheelchairs.
- H.R. 2293 and S.1223, House and Senate bills that would permanently exclude manual complex rehabilitative technology (CRT) wheelchairs from the competitive bidding program and will delay Medicare from applying competitive bidding-derived reimbursement rates to accessories for manual CRT wheelchair for 18 months.
Providers wishing to assist these efforts can go to the AAHomecare Action Center at action.aahomecare.org to find advocacy resources on the industry’s various agenda items, as well as tools to help them contact their lawmakers.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.