Meal ticket for healthcare reform?
Bangkok Dangerous divx Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee, released his highly anticipated draft healthcare reform bill yesterday, and HME, as expected, makes more than a fleeting appearance.
- Competitive bidding: Baucus seeks to have the number of areas included in Round 2 of the program increased from 79 to 100.
- Power wheelchairs: He seeks to have the first-month purchase option eliminated for standard but not complex wheelchairs. (There's no mention of front-loading payments.)
- Medical device tax: He seeks an annual tax on manufacturers and importers of medical devices for sale in the United States.
The mainstream press reports that Baucus has his work cut out for him (pretty much all Republicans and some Democrats criticized the draft bill yesterday), but so does AAHomecare and the rest of the HME indsutry. There are five draft healthcare refom bills pending in Congress, and, if I remember correctly, they all contain HME-related provisions of some sort.
I'm starting to think HME, which represents only 2% of the Medicare budget, may be one of the meal tickets for healthcare reform.