AAHomecare Preps for Washington Legislative Conference

Registration is currently underway, and the association is urging providers to register right away so that they can prepare for training and the actual meetings with lawmakers and staff.

The American Association for Homecare is gearing up for another virtual edition of its Washington Legislative Conference on Sept. 21 and is urging HME professionals to join the effort to advocate for HME policy priorities with members of Congress and staffers via video-enabled meetings.

The association implemented the virtual version of the event last year due to Covid-19 and Congress’s lockdown measures. During the meetings, industry advocates share their experiences and recommendations with lawmakers and staff via video conference. This year, Zoom meetings will take place on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. The week prior, all registrants are invited to participate in the Legislative Training Session on Sept. 14 to receive tips for effective meetings.

The registration can be made online or using a PDF registration form, and the deadline is Sept. 14. That said, AAHomecare stressed in a public statement that providers should register as early as possible.

“The earlier you register, the more time our team has to secure you the best meeting schedule possible,” a statement from the association read. “Please register today. You will receive a brief survey to fill out following registration, which provides details for our scheduling partners.”

Both AAHomecare members and non-members can participate in the 2022 Virtual Washington Legislative Conference. The cost is $129 for members and $149 for non-members.

“The question isn’t ‘should I get involved?’ but ‘how should I get involved?’ and the AAHomecare virtual legislative conference is the answer,” said Kam Yuricich, Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association Executive Director. “Grassroots advocacy is simply a must in healthcare. I miss the days on the Hill with in-person meetings, but AAHomecare’s virtual event creates a super affordable and convenient format, and it’s effective. It allows more voices to be at the table, including our manufacturing/distribution allies who play a critical role in today’s challenges that weren’t as prevalent prior to the pandemic, and legislators and Hill staffers appreciate that partnership.”

To Yuricich’s point, the 2021 virtual event saw 140 advocates engage more than 220 Congressional offices.

This year, the Virtual Washington Legislative Conference will see HME providers advocate for such industry priorities as:

  • Making a long-overdue meaningful adjustment to Medicare reimbursement for suppliers in former CBAs and continuing additional relief for suppliers in rural/non-bid areas. We need reimbursement rates that reflect the market realities and supply-chain issues facing HME suppliers.
  • Advocate for measures to stabilize reimbursement for HME and not move forward with competitive bidding in its current form, with CMS able to reject bidding results.
  • Protecting beneficiary access to respiratory therapy and continuous glucose monitors after the end of the COVID-19 PHE.
  • Preventing potential 4 percent Medicare sequester cuts in 2023 triggered by the application of 2010 Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) legislation to COVID-19 relief deficit spending. Letting these drastic automatic cuts stand would essentially finance expansive coronavirus relief through deep cuts on Medicare reimbursement rates for HME and other healthcare segments; we need to make sure Congress doesn’t let that happen.
  • Ensuring that members of Congress understand how rising product and operational costs, as well as supply chain issues, are impacting HME providers and patients.

 

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