Senate presses HHS, CMS on vents

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Monday sent a letter signed by 38 senators asking HHS and CMS to drop non-invasive vents from Round 2021 of competitive bidding, according to AAHomecare.

The letter highlights the critical role that vents play in supporting patients with severe health issues, including individuals with neuromuscular diseases and terminal respiratory conditions.

“Rather than moving forward with an abrupt effort to include all non-invasive vents in the competitive bidding program, CMS could evaluate other options to help address increased utilization of the products, such as considering possible changes to criteria for coverage,” the letter reads. “We urge you to evaluate alternative ways to address the increase in utilization.”

The House of Representatives has also sent a similar letter to CMS signed by 180 representatives.

AAHomecare praised members and stakeholders for working diligently to collect signatures for the Senate letter in such a short time frame.

“This is an exceptional showing for a letter that was only open for one week,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare.

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