AAH: Letter to delay bid program needs signatures

Reps. Rodgers, Loebsack worry about pandemic’s impact on capacity
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Monday, July 20, 2020

WASHINGTON – Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, have released a “Dear Colleague” letter urging CMS to delay its competitive bidding program for one year or through the duration of the public health emergency, whichever is longer, AAHomecare reports.

Rodgers and Loebsack, long-time HME champions, are asking their fellow members of the House of Representatives to join them in signing the letter, which highlights the role of HME providers in caring for COVID-19 patients and helping to alleviate surges in hospitals.

“Limiting suppliers in the competitive bidding areas is appropriate under normal circumstances, but it is not during a pandemic when the number of Medicare beneficiaries who will likely require DMEPOS is continuing to increase,” the letter states. “We need to ensure that we can meet the growing need of home care products and the agency should not take this time to shift cost to institutional and clinical care.”

AAHomecare is asking providers to ask their representatives to sign the letter before July 29.

CMS is scheduled to: announce single payment amounts for Round 2021 this summer, announce contract suppliers this fall and kick off the program on Jan. 1.

“During (a pause), CMS and the DMEPOS industry should work together to understand the patient need and potential impact that COVID-19 may have on certain product categories, such as home respiratory therapies,” the letter states. “This understanding is important to ensuring that there will be enough capacity to treat patients once the CBP is launched.”