Omnibus bill moves forward without industry’s interests

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON – Despite a mammoth push, two pairs of HME-related bills are not included in the omnibus spending package that lawmakers have on the table this week, according to AAHomecare.

“This result is not a reflection of the amount of effort that our industry has extended at both grassroots and Capitol Hill lobbying levels, and we should all be proud of the way the (industry) has come together to build support for these initiatives,” said the association in its announcement.

The industry had targeted the spending package as a vehicle for S. 2312 and H.R. 4185, which would soften the blow of the roll out of competitive bid rates in non-bid areas; and S. 2196 and H.R. 3229, which would prevent CMS from applying bid rates to accessories for complex rehab wheelchairs.

Both changes go into effect Jan. 1.

All four bills remain active into 2016 and sources on Capitol Hill have indicated there may be other Medicare-related legislation in play early in the year that could serve as a vehicle for the bills.

“We want to assure the industry that this fight is far from over, and that we will be working with our congressional champions on strategy to move these issues forward,” AAHomecare said.