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Government relations: Stay engaged

Government relations: Stay engaged

Ike IsaacsonQ. What government topics should we be focusing on in 2024? 

A. There are several “big ticket” topics to track this year and, of course, there will be more that pop up at the federal level, as well as state-by-state challenges and opportunities. Here are some of the key topics and what to expect. 

Medicare coverage for lymphedema compression treatment items: Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Medicare will pay for lymphedema compression treatment items, like compression garments and bandaging systems. 

Future of the competitive bidding program (CBP): All Medicare Round 2021 CBP contracts for off-the-shelf back and knee braces expired on Dec. 31, 2023. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, there will be a temporary gap in the program during which any active/approved/accredited Medicare provider can provide these products to Medicare beneficiaries regardless of whether they were a previous contract winner. CMS could announce a new round of the CBP during 2024. 

National coverage determination (NCD) for seat elevation equipment on power wheelchairs: CMS published a final benefit category determination and NCD for seat elevation equipment on power wheelchairs on May 16, 2023. This determination finds that power seat elevation equipment on Medicare-covered power wheelchairs falls within the benefit category for DME. It also provides for national coverage of power seat elevation equipment on Medicare-covered complex rehabilitative power-driven wheelchairs, as defined in 42 CFR 414.202, under the criteria specified in the NCD.  

DMEPOS fee schedule: CMS has updated the DMEPOS fee schedule for 2024. The purpose of this update is to implement fee schedule amounts for new and existing codes, as applicable, and apply changes in payment policies. Stay on this topic, as additional changes can be expected. 

More than ever, it is imperative that we stay educated, stay active and stay engaged together to create a successful 2024. 

Mike “Ike” Isaacson is senior vice president of government relations at VGM & Associates. Reach him at [email protected].

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