Stabenow, Lankford back bid bill

Thursday, April 7, 2016

WASHINGTON – HME stakeholders have added two co-sponsors to a bill in the Senate that would delay a second round of Medicare reimbursement cuts slated for July 1.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and James Lankford, R-Okla., signed on to S. 2736 on April 6. They join 15 other senators, a mix of Democrats and Republicans.

The bill, introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.C., on March 17, would delay the cuts slated for non-competitive bidding areas from July 1, 2016, to Oct. 1, 2017. A first round of cuts went into effect in these areas on Jan. 1.

A companion bill in the House of Representatives is still a work in progress, stakeholders say.

The bill also states: The ceiling for a bid submitted for applicable covered items may not be less than the fee schedule amount that would otherwise be determined for such items on Jan. 2, 2015.”

As a “pay for,” the Senate bill seeks to speed up plans to limit federal Medicaid reimbursement for DME to the Medicare payment rates from Jan. 1, 2019, to Oct. 1, 2018.