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Stakeholders stay busy as year ends

Stakeholders stay busy as year ends Budget neutrality, sequestration cuts, relationship building all on agenda 

WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders are making a final push to get H.R. 8158 included in an omnibus package that must pass before the 116th session of Congress convenes. 

The bill, spearheaded by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, would remove the budget neutrality requirement for home oxygen therapy in rural areas. 

“We’re doing our best to convince the committees of jurisdiction that this make sense and we are hearing good things about it,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare 

In September, H.R. 8158 was approved by the House Energy & Commerce Committee. 

AAHomecare has also joined a coalition of major medical groups, including the American Medical Association, asking Congress to extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. They’re currently set to expire at the end of the year. 

“Republicans in the Senate had questions,” said Ryan. “We are doing a focused grassroots effort so they understand how the cost of doing business has increased. Now is not the time to take money away.” 

Stakeholders have also begun to look ahead to January when more than 60 new members of Congress take their seats. 

“We’ll have to get in there and educate them on the DMEPOS world before CMS does,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for VGM. 

Committee assignments are also being shuffled, with industry champion McMorris Rodgers becoming the ranking chair on the Energy and Commerce Committee and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, replacing Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. 

“We’ve got a good relationship with his office,” said Gallagher. 


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