Bid bill on its way to House floor, VGM says

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

WASHINGTON – Longtime HME champion Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., will introduce a bill in early May to delay a second round of Medicare reimbursement cuts in rural areas, according to The VGM Group.

The “Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act of 2016” will join a bill already introduced in the Senate that also seeks to push back the date of the cuts, which will usher in reimbursement based 100% on the competitive bidding program, from July 1, 2016, to Oct. 1, 2017.

Unlike S. 2736, however, the House bill does not seek to speed up plans to limit federal Medicaid reimbursement for DME to Medicare reimbursement as a “pay for.” A draft of the bill states: “This act should not be enacted unless the increase in federal expenditures under this act is fully offset through a decrease in other federal expenditures.”

The “pay for” for a bill in the House has been a sticking point for lawmakers there.

Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced S. 2736 back in March.

The first round of cuts in rural areas—a 50/50 blend of current and adjusted reimbursement—went into effect Jan. 1.