They wanted bi-partisan support and they're going to get it


I just got off the phone with Seth Johnson for our weekly chat.

The "dear colleague" letter in the House to delay the elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs was expected to be sent to the chairs and ranking Republicans of the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees this week. "No later than this afternoon (Friday)," Johnson said.

The Senate letter will be sent early next week (the week of Sept. 27), he said.

Johnson didn't have an official count of the number of signers to the letters on Friday, but he believes the House letter will have about 40  signers and the Senate letter will have about 10. More important than numbers, Johnson said: Both letters have signers that are Democrat and Republican.

"They both convey bi-partisan support for this and that's what the key committees said they were looking for to get this done this year," Johnson said.

Industry stakeholders hope to get a provision to delay the first-month purchase option included in a "doc fix" bill that members of Congress are likely to take up some time after the elections. If they don't pass a bill by Nov. 30, a 20% reimbursement cut goes into effect for physicians on Dec. 1.

Stakeholders seek to delay the first-month purchase option for one year in exchange for a 1% reduction in the consumer price index-urban scale (CPI-U).

Liz Beaulieu