Providers Urged to Help Drive H.R. 2771 Support
Bill that would extend rural and non-bid area relief, as well as protect oxygen funding, currently sits at 79 co-sponsors — and needs more.
- By David Kopf
- Sep 10, 2020
The effort to drive support for H.R. 2771 continues, with HME industry advocates such as the American Association for Homecare and VGM Government Relations calling on HME providers to convince their lawmakers to co-sponsor the bill.
Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) launched H.R. 2771, bipartisan legislation in the House that aims to extend rural and non-bid area relief, as well as protect oxygen funding.
Dubbed the Protecting Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Act of 2019, the bill would:
- Permanently implement the blended, 50/50 rural relief rate after 2020.
- Provides additional relief for non-rural, non-bid areas with a 75/25 blended rate (75 percent competitive bidding rates and 25 percent unadjusted fee schedule rates).
- Remove the budget neutrality offset for oxygen that was implemented in 2017.
The bill currently has 79 co-sponsors, and there is a very easy opportunity to help acquire many more signatures: In July, 101 lawmakers signed their names to a House “dear colleague” letter from Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) that called on HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CSM Administrator Sema Verma to delay implementing Round 2021 of competitive bidding for one year or for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, whichever lasts longer.
VGM Government Relations examined the list of signers and saw that 55 of the signatories have not yet co-sponsored H.R. 2771.
“Congressional leaders who supported this letter should also be supporting H.R. 2771,” a statement from VGM read. “We ask that you reach out to your member of Congress today if they have not yet signed on to H.R. 2771, especially if they are one of the 55 representatives that signed the letter to CMS/HHS.”
Click here to view a list of those lawmakers. To find your member of Congress via zip code, click here.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.