Congresswoman releases support letter

 - 
Thursday, May 18, 2017

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. R-Wash., is circulating a sign-on letter asking HHS Secretary Tom Price to make significant changes to HME policy.

The letter, which is also addressed to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, asks for reform in four key areas: relief for non-competitive bid areas; reforms to the competitive bid program; relief for CRT accessories; and the restoration of oxygen rates in rural areas.

“CMS has continued to implement further reductions with very little regard to the input from providers and the intent of Congress,” said John Gallagher, VGM’s vice president of government relations “The reforms outlined in this letter would provide great relief for providers who are struggling to provide care to their patients and must be implemented immediately.”

HME providers have been especially hard hit by a reduction in reimbursement of about 50% since the rural roll out began in January 2016. That, in turn has led to a 38% decrease in the number of HME providers nationwide, according to CMS’s own data. A recently announced fee schedule update, required by a provision in the Cures Act to retroactively delay a second round of cuts that went into effect on July 1, 2016, fell short of what Congress intended, say stakeholders. That’s because CMS recalculated the rates based on the lower July 1 rates, rather than the Jan. 1 rates.

AAHomecare, VGM, and other industry stakeholders are asking providers to call their members of Congress and ask them to support the letter.