AAH, VGM respond to Price’s resignation

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

WASHINGTON – While the HME industry has lost a strong advocate in former HHS Secretary Tom Price, AAHomecare and VGM say they won’t be deterred in their fight to reform the competitive bidding program and address other issues.

They point out that in his short time in office Price, who resigned on Friday, has cleared the way for reform by, among other things, submitting a bid-related interim final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance.

“We will build upon the strong engagement we have had with leadership and other professionals at these agencies since the start of the year,” the association stated.

Price resigned Friday amid growing criticism of his use of charter flights instead of commercial flights to travel to government engagements. He has been at the helm of HHS since February.

Regardless of who is HHS secretary, VGM pointed out the HME industry still has a number of champions in Congress that stand ready to help. Most recently, more than 100 members of the House of Representatives signed on to a letter pressuring the OMB to clear the bid-related IFR.

“While the DME industry has lost a strong advocate within the department, there are countless legislators on Capitol Hill that the industry can count on to craft policy that strengthens access to DME,” VGM stated. “The industry has strong support within the legislative branch of government.”

Both AAH and VGM said they look forward to developing relationships with acting HHS Secretary Dr. Don Wright, the deputy assistant secretary for health, and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.