An amended version of H.R. 5555, the DMEPOS Relief Act of 2023, has been approved by the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) has announced.
In a Dec. 6 announcement to stakeholders, AAHomecare said the amended version of the bill “extends the 75/25 blended rate in non-CBAs [competitive bidding areas] through 2024, but does not include the 90/10 blended rate adjustment for suppliers in former CBAs.”
Despite the omission of the 90/10 blended rate from the bill, AAHomecare called the bill’s progress “a positive development” because of the 75/25 blended rate’s inclusion “as part of expected appropriations bills early next year.”
Tom Ryan, President/CEO of AAHomecare, said in the announcement, “This is a very positive development for getting 75/25 blended rate relief extended for another year, but we need to keep the pressure on to make sure 75/25 relief is included in one of the upcoming appropriations bills. AAHomecare will continue to engage key legislators and committee staff who will be negotiating what gets into those bills, and we’ll be letting HME advocates know when we need them to contact specific Senators and Representatives.”
The association expressed gratitude for “the determined efforts of Energy & Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), E&C Health Committee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), and H.R. 5555 lead sponsors Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) for their support of the bill. We understand that our champions fought to keep the 90/10 components in the bill until the very end. Unfortunately, opposition from some Democrats on the Committee and difficulty getting a favorable Congressional Budget Office score on the bill proved intractable.
“I know that a lot of suppliers will be disappointed that 90/10 rates for CBAs aren’t moving forward now, and I share in that disappointment,” Ryan said. “Suppliers in all areas deserve Medicare rates that reflect rising product and operational costs. Working with CMS and Congress to align rates with market reality will certainly remain an area of focus for AAHomecare in 2024 and beyond.”