Senate joins House to preserve access to vents

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., amd Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are spearheading a sign-on letter asking HHS and CMS to drop non-invasive vents from Round 2021 of the competitive bidding program.

The letter suggests looking at other options to address potential over-utilization issues.

“The Medicare program has many tools at its disposal to effectively balance and maximize cost, quality, and access,” it reads. “For example, rather than moving forward with an abrupt effort to include all non-invasive ventilators in the DMEPOS competitive bidding program, CMS could evaluate other options to help address increased utilization of the products, such as considering possible changes to criteria for coverage. We urge you to evaluate alternative ways to address the increase in utilization prior to finalizing any proposal in this space.”

Industry stakeholders are uging providers to contact their senators and ask them to sign on to the letter, which is expected to close June 26.

A similar letter in the House of Represenatives, led by Reps. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., recently closed with an unofficial count of 180 signed on.

CMS announced in March that non-invasive vents were one of the 16 product categories to be included in Round 2021. The bid window for the program opens July 16.