Home infusion stakeholders on temporary payment: ‘We need to get this done’

Friday, January 5, 2018

WASHINGTON – The National Home Infusion Association is rallying its members with a virtual lobbying day on Jan. 9, as it seeks to pass a bill that would create a temporary payment for home infusion services.

“We need to double down on our efforts and make sure lawmakers hear us loud and clear,” said Ken van Pool, vice president of legislative affairs. “We want to get everybody calling into the Hill. We need to get this done.”

The Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act of 2017, S. 1738, would address a payment gap created by a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act. The act requires Medicare to pay for services associated with providing Part B home infusion drugs, but not until 2021. Introduced Aug. 3 by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., it currently has 27 co-sponsors.

The Legislative Call to Action Webinar and Lobbying Day, scheduled for 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST, will update NHIA members on the legislation, provide talking points and offer tools to contact lawmakers.

“Sometimes people feel intimidated, so we are hoping this will engage them,” said Marilyn Tretler, vice president of communications.

With both chambers back in session as of this week, stakeholders are eyeing the Jan. 19 deadline for Congress to pass legislation to continue funding the government and act on key government programs and services.

“We are probably going to be part of a larger package of bills they are going to be working on and that they are already talking about,” said van Pool. “They’ve got so many things that are already past their deadline I think the urgency is more ratcheted up than the December deadline.”

It’s especially urgent for home infusion providers: CMS has said it would need a year to implement the temporary payment, and with the calendar turned to 2018, it’s time to move, say stakeholders.

“I think if we get something done here in January we will be OK,” said van Pool.