Vent reform now has support in both House, Senate

Friday, September 16, 2016

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives has followed the Senate and introduced a bill this week that would increase Medicare reimbursement for ventilators by 20% on Jan. 1, 2017.

H.R. 6012, known as the BREATH Act, would also establish policies and standards for determining appropriate use for ventilators.

The bills are in response to CMS’s decision late last year to reduce the number of codes for ventilators from five to two, and to reduce reimbursement by about 33%. The agency has been concerned with the drastic increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries using ventilators—from 60,000 in 2010 to 178,000 in 2014.

The House bill was introduced by Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., on Sept. 13.

A similar bill in the Senate was introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy, D-La., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in July.