AAHomecare Leads Pre-Thanksgiving Push For Ventilator Legislation
The SMART Act’s number of co-sponsors has grown from 15 since it was introduced in late October; association urges providers to drive more backers ahead of Congressional recess.
- By Haley Samsel
- Nov 14, 2019
Ahead of Congress’ Thanksgiving recess, the American Association for Homecare is urging providers to contact their representatives to support the SMART Act, which would exclude ventilators from Round 2021 of competitive bidding.
AAHomecare said the movement to quickly build support for the legislation is meant to “position the bill for inclusion in any potential healthcare omnibus legislation” that will take shape in December or January 2020.
Earlier this year, the HME industry, respiratory stakeholders and patient groups were successful in getting 180 House members to sign a letter asking CMS to rethink its plans to include non-invasive ventilators in competitive bidding.
In turn, AAHomecare urged its members on Wednesday to check if their representative signed the letter and call healthcare staff in the congressional office prior to the recess, which lasts from Nov. 22 through Dec. 2. Callers should remind the staff member of the legislator’s support for the June sign-on letter and ask them to co-sponsor the SMART Act, also known as H.R. 4945.
Since the bill was introduced on Oct. 31, the number of co-sponsors has grown from four to 15 as of Nov. 13. The legislation has earned bipartisan support, with 8 Democrats and 7 Republicans signing on to co-sponsor the bill.
In its email newsletter to members, AAHomecare also included a number of talking points for stakeholders who plan to call and email their representatives. Callers should mention that the SMART Act will allow patients to benefit from advances in ventilator technology and that no other “frequent and substantial servicing” items are currently included in bidding, according to AAHomecare.
More resources about the bill and the co-sponsor push can be found here.
Haley Samsel is the Associate Content Editor of HME Business and Mobility Management.