Industry Preps for H.R. 6641 Advocacy Push

AAHomecare aims to leverage a resurgence in grassroots lobbying to drive support for the DMEPOS Relief Act in hopes of attaching its provisions to an omnibus spending bill.

The American Association for Homecare is anticipating an opportunity to advance H.R. 6641 at the end of the year and is calling on providers to urge their lawmakers to co-sponsor the bill.

Also known as The DMEPOS Relief Act of 2022, H.R. 6641 was introduced into the House by Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). H.R. 6641 would apply 90/10 blended Medicare reimbursement for items in the 13 product categories CMS did not award contracts for in Round 2021 of competitive bidding. The increased rates would apply to claims from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023.

The association reported that its Capitol Hill contacts are expecting the 117th Congress will close at the end of this year with an omnibus legislative package that could support the bill’s provisions. The key is to drive co-sponsors for the bill before that time. (The Congress.gov site has a list of current co-sponsors.)

“Our lobbying team has been working to set the stage for including provisions from HR 6641 in an omnibus package with members of Congress and key staffers on committees of jurisdiction for healthcare finance issues, especially the House Energy & Commerce Committee,” a public statement from the association read. “Growing co-sponsorship support for the legislation is critically needed to improve the prospects for a meaningful increase for Medicare reimbursement in CBAs to be included in a final package.”

Providers wishing to help secure co-sponsors can find resources on AAHomecare’s Medicare Reimbursement Legislation Campaign Central page. The association added that the list of 95 Representatives who joined the October 2021 House sign-on letter asking CMS to engage with HME stakeholders on Medicare reimbursements are “especially good prospects” for co-sponsoring H.R. 6641.

The association added that the industry is in a good position to advance the nascent legislation, given the support and record number of meetings it recently enjoyed during the Sept. 21 virtual edition of its annual Washington Legislative Conference.

“We’ve received a lot of good feedback on the meetings, with many attendees being impressed with the legislator or staffer’s awareness of our issues, especially with regards to our Medicare reimbursement priorities,” the AAHomecare statement noted. “It’s clear that our industry’s renewed commitment to persistent grassroots engagement has strengthened the understanding and support for HME on Capitol Hill.”

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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