The House of Representatives voted to approve, H.R., 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, which delays NCB implementation by at least 18 months.
The legislation includes components of H.R. 6252, which was bundled into H.R. 6331. H.R. 6252 sought to delay implementation of round one.
Passed by 355 votes to 50, H.R. 6331 could delay NCB by as much as 24 months via a 9.5 percent cut to prices on DME and services under NCB. However, oxygen payments and power wheelchairs are not included in those cuts.
H.R. 6331 is a companion to Senate bill S. 3101, which is almost identical to the House bill, but would extend cuts to oxygen and power chairs.
“While the House vote is a positive development, it may not be enough to influence Chairman Baucus and Senator Grassley, who are rumored to be close to reaching a bipartisan agreement on a Medicare package that would be acceptable to the White House,” said a public statement from the Medical Equipment Suppliers Association released in the wake of H.R. 6331’s passing.
Both MESA and the American Association for Homecare are encouraging providers to contact their Senators urging them to pass a delay to NCB that does not impact oxygen or power wheelchair pricing.