AAH issues call to action

'We want everyone to become zealots'
Friday, October 19, 2012

ATLANTA – Even though a good number of attendees at the AAHomecare Washington Update at Medtrade raised their hands when asked if they’ve contacted their congressmen about the market-pricing program (MPP), the association’s lobbyist said: “That’s not enough.”

“I encourage you to do it, I cajole you, I beg you,” said Alex Vogel, a partner at Washington, D.C.-based Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, during the association’s Oct. 17 session.

Right now, H.R. 6490, a bill that would replace competitive bidding with the industry-backed and economist-approved MPP, has 16 co-sponsors. The goal: Get the bill passed as part of a larger piece of legislation, like the doc fix, before the end of the year.

The pressure is on to ramp up support for the bill, Vogel said, because Congress has only a small window, after the elections, to take care of a “huge to-do list.”

“If they don’t hear anything, it won’t happen,” he said. “There are too many other people fighting for space in the lame-duck session.”

The opening of the bid window for the Round 1 re-compete on Oct. 15 served as a good reminder of what’s at stake, said Jay Witter, senior director of government affairs for AAHomecare.

“This process is well underway and we need a fix,” he said.

While the update also covered audits (something Walt Gorski, vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare said is just as important, if not more important, than competitive bidding) and other industry issues, competitive bidding dominated the conversation.

“These updates are where we present information to you, but we hope this time you give us something back—enthusiasm for MPP,” said Tyler Wilson, president of AAHomecare. “We want everyone to become zealots about this, because we have to redouble our efforts.”