WASHINGTON, DC – Legislation to permanently exclude manual CRT wheelchairs from the bidding program and exempt manual CRT accessories from bidding derived pricing from the bidding program has taken positive steps this summer, but the road to final passage remains uncertain.
The promising part of the equation is that provisions similar to those in HR 2293, the Protecting Access to Wheelchairs Act, have been included in two different bills that have successfully passed through committees of jurisdiction. The Ways and Means committee approved HR 3429 on June 26, legislation that also covers healthcare access for former military service members as well as payment transparency for ambulatory surgical centers. Three weeks later, the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved HR 2328, legislation covering multiple public health and Medicare-related initiatives.
Since DME Medicare legislation falls under jurisdiction of both the Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees, each of these bills would likely have to be considered by the other committee to move forward in their current state. In addition, provisions related to the high-profile medical “surprise billing” issue were included in HR 2328 during its mark-up session, which may further slow its progression through the House. Another factor to consider is that the Senate has its own bill, as well.
As is often the case, provisions from one or both of these bills may end up in an omnibus bill covering an even broader range of healthcare related issues. AAHomecare is working with stakeholders and congressional champions to find a path forward for final passage of this much-needed legislation.
This process may seem daunting and complex, but there is a way for you to support this effort. The best way to improve the chances of having CRT-related policy priorities included in a healthcare legislative package is to continue to build support for HR 2293, which now shows 70 co-sponsors on board (40 Democrats, 30 Republicans), as well as for it’s Senate companion, S. 1223, which currently has 9 Senate co-sponsors (5 Republicans, 4 Democrats).
See our issue brief for additional perspective on the issue or use our Action Center to send an email to Congress in support of these bills.