Louisiana House Passes Ventilator Protections

Legislation preventing insurers, MCOs and other payers from capping reimbursement for ventilators moves to Senate.

In an 84-14 vote, Louisiana’s House of Representatives passed H.B. 594, legislation to prevent payers such as private pay insurance and managed care organizations from capping reimbursement for ventilators.

Louisiana HME stakeholders and the American Association for Homecare advocated on behalf of the legislation to convince state legislators to remove proposed amendments that could have capped costs for non-invasive ventilators and restricted HME suppliers’ ability to provide important service and maintenance for these specialized products. 

Not protecting ventilators would “create access problems because some providers won’t take on the risk of supporting additional patients going further,” David Chandler, Senior Director of Payer Relations for the American Association for Homecare, noted in testimony before the House Insurance Committee to advocate for these measures on May 12. 

Chandler noted that Louisiana has seen a 37 percent decline in DME providers since 2013, and out of the state’s 64 parishes, there are 29 parishes that don’t have a traditional DME supplier, and 47 parishes don’t have a ventilator provider.

“That means that residents in 83 percent of the 64 parishes in the state do not have the choice of a local ventilator provider,” Chandler said. “We’re going to see the continued erosion of DME [providers] in the state if we don’t ensure adequate reimbursement.”

(Click here to view a video of Chandler’s testimony.)

Louisiana respiratory stakeholders, patient groups and AAHomecare will take their advocacy efforts to the Louisiana Senate, where they will continue pressing lawmakers to pass H.B. 594.

“This is a very positive development for Louisiana respiratory providers and patients who depend on what are, in many cases, life-support systems,” AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan said. “HME leaders in Louisiana have done a terrific job moving this bill forward in a challenging legislative environment. We’re gratified that we could help support these efforts.”

Legislative text for the bill can be found here.

 

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