Ways and Means weighs in on proposed bid changes

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives has sent a letter to CMS asking the agency to provide broader relief from competitive bidding during an upcoming transition period. “It is crucial to any fresh start that the playing field be set in a fair manner to avoid the over-correcting and re-correcting required through both regulatory and congressional action over the last seven years,” the letter states. In a recent proposed rule, CMS outlined plans to extend 50/50 blended reimbursement rates in rural and non-contiguous areas from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2020, but not in all non-competitive bidding areas. It has no plans for relief in bid areas. The committee also commends CMS for its plans to move to lead item pricing but cautions the agency not to be “overly restrictive” in the amount of lead items and not to tie the pricing rations of these items to older fee schedules into perpetuity. “(That) may in the end undermine the great efforts to reduce burdens and increase access in this rule,” the letter states.