Lawmakers introduce new cuts for HME

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives approved a healthcare reform amendment late Thursday that calls for cutting the consumer price index-urban update (CPI-U) for DME by .5% for 2010 through 2013.

That means whatever CPI-U updates are slated for home medical equipment in the years 2010 to 2013, this provision would reduce those updates by one-half of one percent, according to AAHomecare.

Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Gene Green, D-Texas, proposed the cut to pay for Medicare changes related to adult day health services for seniors and prompt-pay discounts for drugs and biologicals. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the cut Thursday.

AAHomecare stated that it does not object to the policy aims of the Matsui-Green amendment, but it strongly opposes using an HME cut to pay for the amendment. AAHomecare will work to have the HME reimbursement cut stripped from the larger House Energy and Commerce health reform bill. 

In related news, the House’s draft reform bill does not include language from the home oxygen reform bill, H.R. 3220, introduced by Congressman Mike Ross (D-Ark.) last month.

The Ross amendment was one of the more than 50 amendments that the Energy and Commerce Committee, because of time constraints, was unable to consider before leaving for its August recess. Ross told AAHomecare that he’s committed to the bill and will bring it up again when the House returns to Washington in September.