WASHINGTON, DC – We’ve seen important progress on HME public policy over the first seven months of 2018, and I believe there’s a lot of opportunity ahead to build on these successes.
- The HME community raised the visibility of theInterim Final Rule on HME to produce a volume of Congressional interest on the Rule that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney cited as producing “more calls about this than any other rule put together.” While the final version of the IFR did not go as far as we had hoped, it did provide significant relief for suppliers in rural communities.
- TheProposed ESRD/DMEPOS Rule extends relief for rural providers, and also makes an important change for future rounds of the bidding program by introducing a market-clearing pricing methodology that leading economists and AAHomecare have long advocated. Here’s the latest economic expert to weigh in on market-clearing pricing, lauding CMS for including that change in the Proposed Rule.
- On the regulatory front, we’ve worked with CMS tofix problems related to physician enrollment in PECOS, convinced the Agency to reverse course on oxygen CMN guidance that would have created significant burdens on suppliers, successfully advocated for new modifiers that allow providers to submit an oxygen claim when a patient doesn’t qualify and get an accurate PR denial, and have begun efforts to accelerate the adoption of e-prescribing technology.
- We’ve developed resources and worked with state and regional association leaders to educate state Medicaid officials to prevent reimbursement cuts based on provisions in the recent CURES bill, convincing 13 of them to leave their rates as is for now and minimizing the impact of cuts in some others. Work is ongoing in many states, thanks to our efforts to convince CMS to allow states more time to determine how they would comply with CURES.
We’re proud of these accomplishments and are working to add to them in the months ahead. You should be proud, too – because none of this happens without the resources and leadership that comes from a dedicated membership base.
These wins for HME are the result of your efforts to build relationships and establish credibility on Capitol Hill, whether through lobbying at our Washington Legislative Conference, meeting with your legislators back home, following up with calls and emails, and encouraging your peers to get involved.
They are also the result of the service and expertise that hundreds of leaders provide to our Association through service on our Board, Councils, and Work Groups. The growing involvement and effectiveness of these leadership groups has helped AAHomecare make a stronger impact on HME policy issues while keeping staffing levels consistent.
And finally, our partnership with Medtrade, your financial support through dues, sponsorships, support of Stand Up for Homecare, or participation in our corporate partners program, provides the fuel that keeps us up and running. It keeps us serving as your advocate in Washington and in state capitals, and bringing our industry together to fight for a better tomorrow.
Thank you for your support of AAHomecare. Together, we are making a difference for HME.
Tom Ryan is president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, Washington, DC.