Stakeholders rack up ‘impressive’ list of co-signers for bid relief letter

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – The HME industry has met its goal of at least 150 co-signers for a letter calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to provide relief from Medicare’s competitive bidding program.

Thanks to a few late additions, stakeholders were able to secure 154 co-signers for the letter, spearheaded by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo.

“This is an impressive number considering only two weeks were given to gain supporters and much of that time was when Congress was out of session,” VGM stated in a bulletin to members.

AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan had called on stakeholders to secure at least 150 co-signers for the letter at the Washington Legislative Conference on May 24-25. The letter remained open through June 9.

The letter asks Price, along with CMS Administrator Seema Verma, to consider more long-term fixes to the competitive bidding program; to permanently protect accessories for complex wheelchairs from bid-related reimbursement cuts; and to reverse a recent “double dip” cut to oxygen concentrators.

A similar letter spearheaded by the House Small Business Committee and Rep Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Miss., a committee member, has received support from four other members. That letter will remain open until this Friday, June 16.

Both letters will be sent to Price and Verma, sending a clear message that they need to make DME policy reform a priority, stakeholders say.

VGM gave a shout-out to stakeholders in Alabama, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming and Rhode Island, who were able to get all of their representatives to sign on to the Rodgers letter. Stakeholders in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut and Massachusetts were able to secure all but one or two of their representatives.