Letter to CMS: Drop vents from bid program

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

WASHINGTON – Reps. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., are leading a congressional sign-on letter asking CMS and HHS to drop non-invasive vents from Round 2021 of competitive bidding.

Industry stakeholders and their champions in Congress argue that vents are life-supporting, service-intensive medical devices and that including them in the program will negatively impact medically fragile patients.

“Congress has never specifically directed the secretary to competitively bid ventilators and Medicare has never attempted to bid any items within its entire DME category of devices requiring frequent and substantial servicing,” the letter states. “CMS has never proposed including ventilators in the program through rulemaking and we would encourage you to solicit such input on the record before doing so. We urge you to reconsider these plans.”

CMS announced in March that non-invasive vents were one of the 16 product categories to be included in Round 2021. The bid window for the program opens July 16.

Stakeholders expect the letter to be released in the next few days, in time for AAHomecare’s Washington Legislative Conference on Wednesday and Thursday.

“HME leaders at this week’s conference will have the opportunity to ask their representatives in the House to add their names to the letter,” the association stated in a bulletin.