Bid relief bill introduced in House

Friday, May 13, 2016

WASHINGTON – A highly anticipated bill in the House of Representatives that would delay an upcoming second round of Medicare reimbursement cuts in non-bid areas has dropped with a bang.

The bill, H.R. 5210, introduced Thursday by Reps. Tom Price, R-Ga., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, has 40 original co-sponsors, including a number of members on the influential Energy & Commerce Committee.

“We are extremely proud of our members who have remained determined and engaged to gather support for this legislation,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for the VGM Group, in a press release.

Like its counterpart in the Senate, H.R. 5210 would delay the second round of cuts for 15 months, from July 1, 2016, to Oct. 1, 2017.

The delay would give industry stakeholders time to work with a new administration in 2017 on a long-term solution that ensures patients in rural areas have access to quality medical equipment, Gallagher says.

Unlike S. 2736, however, the House bill has a “placeholder pay-for” to give House and Senate committees an opportunity to consider alternative approaches. The Senate bill’s “pay-for” would speed up plans to limit federal Medicaid reimbursement for DME to the Medicare payment rates from Jan. 1, 2019, to Oct. 1, 2018.

The first round of cuts went into effect in non-bid areas Jan. 1, 2016.

Each the first and second round cuts represent about 25% reductions in the prior fee schedule.