Bid relief update: House applies pressure on OMB

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., has launched a congressional sign-on letter that asks the Office of Management and Budget to clear a competitive bidding-related interim final rule currently under its review, AAHomecare reports.

In the letter to Director Mick Mulvaney, McMorris-Rodgers specifically asks the OMB to extend the payment rates that were in effect in non-bid areas on Jan. 1, 2016, through the end of 2018.

“We strongly urge you to take quick action and clear this rule to provide relief in (these) areas,” the letter states.

The IFR has been sitting at the OMB since Aug. 24, according to AAHomecare.

The details of the IFR, titled “Durable Medical Equipment Fee Schedule, Adjustment to Resume the Transitional 50/50 Blended Rates to Provider Relief in Non-Competitive Bidding Areas,” are still unknown, but AAHomecare says it could provide “welcome relief.”

“We would expect these higher rates would also help bolster rates from other payers that use the Medicare fee schedule as a guideline for reimbursements,” the association stated in a bulletin to members.

AAHomecare is asking providers to contact their representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter. The deadline for adding signatures: Sept. 26.

It’s not the first time McMorris-Rodgers has stepped up to bat for the HME industry. She also launched a sign-on letter earlier this year that asked CMS to, among other things, provide relief in non-bid areas.