WASHINGTON, DC – The clock is ticking. We’re likely to see one more round of regulations governing CB Round 2021 this Summer as well as the release of rates produced from last year’s bids.
With those pending mileposts in mind, as well as Presidential and Congressional elections that will make Fall 2020 legislative action more difficult, it’s clear that we need to make the strongest case for rural relief/O2 reform and for keeping NIV out of the bidding program in the first three months of 2020. We won’t have a better opportunity than right now to make significant progress on these issues.
It’s critical that we raise the co-sponsor rolls on HR 2771 and HR 4945 to improve our chances at seeing provisions from these bills included in an omnibus legislative package. Stronger co-sponsorship on these bills can also help bring Congressional pressure on CMS to change course in potential additional regulations on Round 2021 – just as similar Congressional interest helped convince CMS to provide measures of relief for providers in rural areas and other non-bid areas in 2018.
AAHomecare will be working to mobilize our members and stakeholders throughout the HME community to make our strongest push yet for expanded, long-term rural relief/O2 reform and for keeping non-invasive ventilators out of the bidding program.
Personal Contact is Key
We appreciate the terrific efforts from HME advocates who have emailed, called, and personally visited with their legislators to help build support for these issues – but we have to turn up the intensity of these efforts.
If your representative on the House isn’t on these bills, we need you to email their offices and follow up with a call to the staffer who handles healthcare issues. If that doesn’t result in a legislator signing on within two weeks, it’s time to call again and request an in-district meeting – and to recruit other individuals in your area to also make contact. We need repeated contact until we get an agreement to co-sponsor – or a “no.”
A Lot to Ask; A Lot at Stake
We realize we’re asking a lot, especially for those of you who have devoted time and resources to Congressional advocacy in recent years. But there’s a lot at stake for our industry, and we won’t have a better chance than the next three months to secure these policy gains for HME!
Non-Bid Area Relief & O2 Rural Reimbursement
HR 2771 – Protecting HOME Access Act of 2019
Current Co-Sponsors (70)
New cosponsors since Dec. 16: G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.)
See our updated list of Reps. who co-sponsored rural relief legislation in the 115th Congress but are not yet co-sponsoring HR 2771; these should be top co-sponsor targets.
Keeping Non-Invasive Ventilators Out of Bidding Program
HR 4945 – SMART Act of 2019
Current Co-Sponsors (35)
New cosponsors since Dec. 16: G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.)
See this updated list of Reps. who joined a sign-on letter asking CMS to reconsider plans to add NIV to the CB program but have not yet cosponsored for best targets.
Please contact Gordon Barnes at email@example.com for contact information for House staffers who handle healthcare issues and for any other assistance needed in making your contacts. We would also like to hear about any agreements to co-sponsor, or any “no” responses, so our lobbying team can follow up.
Tom Ryan is president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare.