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Stakeholders: ‘Timing couldn’t be better’

Stakeholders: ‘Timing couldn’t be better’

Jay WitterWASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders head to the Hill next week armed with new reimbursement relief legislation in the Senate, and they’re angling to have legislation in the House of Representatives, too. 

“Our goal was to get (the bill) accomplished in the first four months of the new Senate, so the timing couldn’t be better,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. 

AAHomecare is hosting 50 industry stakeholders from around the country in Washington, D.C., on May 9-10 for a fly-in. 

S. 1294, introduced April 27 by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., would extend the 75/25 blended Medicare reimbursement rate for suppliers in non-rural, non-competitive bidding areas through the end of 2024. An omnibus bill passed in late 2022 extended the rate through the end of 2023.   

“The bill’s very focused – Sen. Thune has never been one for a message bill,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy for AAHomecare. “We’ve talked to the Senate Finance Committee; we’ve talked to other members. They were onboard pretty quickly and agreed that this is something that’s needed and obtainable, and supported by the Senate.” 

The strategy is slightly different in the House, with stakeholders actively working to get legislation introduced to address both the 75/25 blended rate and a 90/10 blended rate in former bid areas, similar to last year’s bill, H.R. 6641, which was introduced by Markwayne Mullin, who has moved over to the Senate. 

“We’re pursuing a new Republican lead in the House,” said Witter. “But we’ve talked to Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., (now chair of the Energy & Commerce Committee), and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. Our champions realize what a great opportunity we have (with the fly-in). We’re just going through the process right now to make sure everyone is comfortable with the language.” 

With AAHomecare also planning to launch an industry priority survey on May 1, it’s shaping up to be a busy summer for the association as it works to create a strategic plan for the next two or three years, says Ryan. 

“We want to get the most robust response we can get,” he said. “We’d also like to hear from non-members to find out what their priorities are, so we can move in the direction the industry wants us to go. It’s overdue and I’m excited about the possibilities."


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