Stakeholders pitch bid reform

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Friday, March 16, 2018

WASHINGTON – Stakeholders met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other key lawmakers last week to make their case for including language from H.R. 4229 in an omnibus spending bill.

“We met with McConnell and laid out all the issues,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, who attended the meeting—one of several with the Kentucky congressional delegation last week—along with Jason Orr, president of the Kentucky Medical Equipment Suppliers Association, and Thad Connally, former KMESA president. “The Kentucky folks have got a lot of good contacts—it’s all about politics being local and they’ve been working that relationship with McConnell over a long period of time.”

In meetings held with lawmakers in Washington State last week, staffers were tuned in to the issues, said John Gallagher.

“The staff has been hearing from a lot of patients that have access issues and they are hearing from hospitals that have discharge issues, so the temperature is rising,” said Gallagher, vice president of government relations for VGM.

With everything from immigration to funding for Planned Parenthood on the table, getting into the omnibus bill— scheduled for a vote March 23—is a heavy lift, says Ryan.

“Getting into an omnibus is a challenge so I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but we’re not giving up the fight,” he said. “There’s not going to be many other vehicles to get this done.”

Focusing on H.R. 4229, which currently has 135 co-sponsors, is a shift in gears for the industry, which has spent the past several months pressing for the Office of Management and Budget to release a competitive bidding-related interim final rule.

That’s looking “increasingly unlikely” to happen, say stakeholders.

“I don’t think the IFR is dead by any means but nobody knows what’s in it or where it is,” said Gallagher. “I think it’s appropriate (that focus has shifted) because we’ve got such a short window of time on the omnibus bill.”

http://www.hmenews.com/article/stakeholders-press-inclusion-spending-pac...

http://www.hmenews.com/article/stakeholders-unrelenting-ifr