WASHINGTON, DC – While the budget impasse and government shutdown continue to dominate the headlines, AAHomecare is continuing our engagement with our champions on Capitol Hill and staffers on House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over Medicare and healthcare-related issues.
Our discussions with these Members of Congress and staff have shown that there is still significant interest in working on further reforms and improvements for the bidding program, addressing outdated budget neutrality provisions affecting oxygen rates in rural areas, and ensuring that access to CRT and ventilators is not diminished for the vulnerable patient groups who depend on these products.
The HME community made a strong impression on Capitol Hill in the last Congressional session, generating impressive co-sponsorship rolls for bidding reform and CRT legislation as well as sustained outreach from Senators and House members to CMS, HHS and OMB in support of regulatory relief for our industry.
Without this engagement from Capitol Hill, it’s possible that we may never have seen the relief and reforms achieved in the IFR, the ESRD/HME Final Rule, and a policy change permanently exempting group 3 CRT accessories from the bidding program.
The suppliers, manufacturers and other industry stakeholders will need to build on these efforts in the 116th Congress to bring home more relief and reforms – and move us closer to a sustainable business environment for HME!
Membership Set on Committees of Jurisdiction
Congressional leaders have finalized committee assignments for the three committees that oversee Medicare and healthcare legislation. If you are represented by any of the members of the Senate Finance Committee, House Energy & Commerce Committee, or House Ways & Means Committees, we especially urge you to make a commitment to engage these legislators on our advocacy priorities this year. See committee of jurisdiction rosters here.
If you haven’t previously been active in HME public policy and advocacy efforts, please consider attending our 2019 Washington Legislative Conference, May 22-23.