Non-Invasive Vent Letter Launched in Senate
Newly unveiled companion to House letter calls on CMS and HHS to pull back from including non-invasive vents in competitive bidding. Providers urged to enlist their Senators’ support.
- By David Kopf
- Jun 20, 2019
Providers and HME stakeholders have until June 26 to convince their Senators to support a Senate sign-on letter calling on CMS and HHS to reverse the decision to add non-invasive ventilators to the competitive bidding Round 2021.
Introduced into the upper chamber by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the letter joins a House version launched in late May by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The House version received approximately 180 Representatives’ signatures before being send to CMS and HHS.
“While we appreciate CMS’s efforts to balance program costs with efforts to improve access and quality care in the home, we were surprised to learn of the Agency’s intent to include noninvasive ventilators in the next round of competitive bidding,” the letter reads. “Given the highly specialized nature of non-invasive ventilators, which many medically complex and vulnerable individuals rely on for care in order to remain in the home, we want to ensure CMS has taken the time to thoroughly evaluate alternative ways to address increased utilization prior to moving forward with this proposal.”
While CMS opted to include non-invasive ventilators in Round 2021 due to increased utilization of the devices, the letter suggests that CMS has other means to address the issues, such as changing the criteria for coverage.
The Senate letter can be downloaded as a PDF at bit.ly/2Ksm2uX, and providers can use the American Association for Homecare’s Action Center to send a letter to their Senators asking them to sign the letter. Additionally, AAHomecare also provides an online Congressional Directory to find basic contact info for individual Senators, and offers three endorsement documents to help providers bolster their case:
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.