Skip to Content

Lobbying for reimbursement relief is urgent, stakeholders say

Lobbying for reimbursement relief is urgent, stakeholders say ‘There are decreases of 32% for oxygen and decreases of 37% for manual wheelchairs'

Tom RyanWASHINGTON – With lawmakers back in their home districts for the August recess, industry stakeholders are pressing for grassroots activity, which will help set the stage for a big push for reimbursement relief in the fall. 

The major ask at play: S. 1294, introduced in April by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., which would extend the 75/25 blended Medicare reimbursement rate for suppliers in non-rural, non-competitive bidding areas through the end of 2024. 

“We’re hoping our members make a real effort to get their members to sign on,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “It’s challenging. We need to count on (providers) tweaking the message and spending the next 30 days in the districts getting some more support.” 

S. 1294 has yet to pick up any additional sponsors beyond Thune and Stabenow. 

With the blended rates set to expire at the end of the year, that could serve as a reality check for providers as they work on budgets for 2024, says Ryan. 

“There are decreases of 32% for oxygen and decreases of 37% for manual wheelchairs,” he said. “If they just go along the line and just do the math, I think the motivation and opportunity will be there.” 

Stakeholders also continue to work behind the scenes, including regularly meeting with members of the Senate Finance committee, says Jay Witter, senior vice president of government relations for AAHomecare. 

“We’re working with our champions on getting the Congressional Budget Office score that’s been officially requested,” he said. “And we’re working with them on strategy in September on how to elevate (the bill) so a Senate sign-on letter is possible.” 

Stakeholders aim to harness all of this energy for the Washington Legislative Conference, an all-day virtual event on Sept. 20. Registration for the conference is open to both members and non-members. 

“The timing is great,” says Ryan.” There are some vehicles, like the Medicare extenders package or potentially an omnibus or minibus bill, so I think there’s a great opportunity with that event and I anticipate several hundred meetings.”


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.