Stakeholders call for ‘immediate action’ on sign-on letter

Monday, February 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has released a congressional sign-on letter asking lawmakers to include H.R. 4229 in upcoming legislation to keep the government funded.

“Immediate action on this letter will enhance our opportunity for signatories, improve our prospects to include HME provisions in the coming legislation due March 23, and show strong support of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ efforts on our behalf,” AAHomecare stated in bulletin to members late on Friday. “Our Hill sources have indicated that provisions in the omnibus legislation are expected to be finalized by March 14.”

The deadline for signatures is March 1 at 12 p.m. EST.

Industry stakeholders are asking providers to reach out to their representatives and demand they sign on to the letter. They suggest explaining how H.R. 4229 would partially roll back drastic Medicare reimbursement cuts in rural areas that have closed businesses and impacted access to care.

“These cuts fail to consider the unique attributes of health care in rural America, which have distinct cost difference from their urban counterparts and are stripping communities of DME resources,” Rodgers writes in the letter. “It’s estimated that over 40% of traditional DME companies nationwide have either closed or are no longer taking Medicare patients due to these unsustainable payment cuts.”

Currently, H.R. 4229, which would delay a second round of reimbursement cuts in non-bid areas from Jan. 1, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2019, has 122 co-sponsors.

Rodgers introduced H.R. 4229 on Nov. 2. She has previously spearheaded a sign-on letter to pressure the Office of Management and Budget to release an interim final rule that would provide relief from the bid program in rural areas.