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Game plan: Get to know H.R. 6641

Game plan: Get to know H.R. 6641

Lest you think a reporter’s work life is all glamour and press junkets, think again. It’s often a dull retread through accumulated information to provide context and updates while we wait for the next big story. 

Take that old staple we here at HME News refer to as the legislative update.

Every month (every week, if she could get it), Editor Liz Beaulieu pesters me for a legislative update, even when it feels like there’s nothing new to report. 

I, in turn, pester Gordon Barnes at AAHomecare to get me on a call with Tom Ryan and/or Jay Witter to see what’s happening on the Hill and find that fresh angle to keep legislative priorities top of mind for our readers, even when those priorities move with glacial slowness. The last several months have been about the DMEPOS Final Rule and the work stakeholders have been doing to lay the groundwork for new bid relief legislation. 

So, it was very exciting to hop on our most recent call to discuss the new DMEPOS Relief Act, H.R. 6641, which dropped Feb. 8. 

“H.R. 6641, that’s the new number everyone needs to get familiar with,” Tom Ryan told me. 

Ryan was already fielding calls from “charged up” manufacturers, providers and state leaders ready to push this bill over the finish line.  

The bill is pretty simple – there’s no time to mess around. It would implement a blended reimbursement rate in competitive bidding areas based 90% on bid pricing and 10% on the 2015 fee schedule, representing about a 10% to 15% increase, to help address rising costs from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. 

There are no plans for a Senate companion bill. The game plan is to get this thing passed quickly. 

Speaking of game plans and finish lines, the other thing Editor Liz likes to do is check our web stats each week, especially when there’s breaking news like a long-awaited bill. She was quite disappointed by early results for the Feb. 14 HME Newswire with this update as the lead story. 

“Pretty bummed with 2,603 pageviews for the website for yesterday's HME Newswire - with a new bill and everything?!” she posted on our company Slack channel. 

However, as someone else pointed out, Wire traffic was bound to be down on the Monday after the Super Bowl. 

So shake off those post-game hangovers and get to work, everyone.

H.R. 6641. Remember it. Repeat it. Get it passed.


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