AAH outlines 2006 priorities

Sunday, April 2, 2006

WASHINGTON - AAHomecare last week released its advocacy priorities for 2006, with both the 36-month cap on Medicare oxygen reimbursement and national competitive bidding (NCB) making the association's list.

AAHomecare pledged to work to repeal the oxygen cap and to hold a summit meeting to address long-term solutions to oxygen reimbursement issues. The association also pledged to support H.R. 3559, a bill the industry believes will lessen the blow of NCB, and to monitor the development of quality standards.

For each of its 11 priorities, AAHomecare plans to employ a variety of strategies: expand grassroots efforts, strengthen the industry's ties to patient and physician groups, and educate Congress.

Other priorities on AAHomecare's list are:

- Inhalation drug therapy dispensing fee: Collect data on the detrimental effects of fee cuts and submit data to CMS in advance of 2007 physician fee schedule.

- Rehab and assistive technology: Ensure that power mobility codes and the local coverage determination (LCD) preserve patient access to the most medically appropriate equipment, services and technology; educate Congress about gap filling; preserve first-month purchase option for power mobility devices (PMDs); ensure that the final rule for PMDs provides for greater documentation clarity, physician education and a 60-day timeframe for face-to-face exams; and exempt rehab from NCB.

- NSC/NPI issues: Continue to monitor provider issues with NSC and NPI, participate in comment periods and inform membership via the association's Web site and other communications.

- DMERC/MAC transition: Continue to monitor advance payments, proof of delivery and other issues.