Price now has letters from both Senate, House

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON – HME stakeholders collected 48 signatures for a letter from Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., asking HHS Secretary Tom Price to use his regulatory authority to provide relief from competitive bidding in rural areas, VGM reported this morning.

Stakeholders rallied in the last hour, lifting the number of signatures for the letter from 14 on Friday to 48 on Tuesday, the day after the deadline.

Now Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma have received letters from both the House of Representatives and Senate. The House letter drew 154 signatures.

“These letters detail much needed reform within the competitive bidding program and act as continued pressure for the governing agencies to fix the highly flawed program,” VGM wrote in a bulletin.

Stakeholders in 13 states—Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming—were all to get all of their senators to sign on to the letter, VGM reported.

As proof that the letters have an impact, CMS announced June 23 that it would no longer apply bid-related pricing to accessories for complex power wheelchairs, an “ask” in the House letter.