Senators circulate sign-on letter

 - 
Thursday, June 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – A letter urging HHS Secretary Tom Price to use regulatory authority to provide bid relief in non-bid areas is now circulating in the United States Senate.

The letter, which is spearheaded by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and also addressed to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, states: “We are concerned that CMS did not fully consider the costs of providing DME in non-competitively bid areas or the length of time needed by providers to adjust to the change.”

A House letter, spearheaded by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., collected 154 co-signers earlier this month. That letter also asked the secretary to permanently protect accessories for complex wheelchairs from bid-related reimbursement cuts and CMS on June 23 announced it would preserve reimbursement for accessories for Group 3 or higher complex rehab power wheelchairs.

“Providers are seeing a much more receptive HHS and CMS that are willing to listen to the concerns of providers and industry stakeholders,” said John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for The VGM Group, said in a bulletin. “This new dialogue has led to quick action with CRT, and now providers have to keep the wheels turning for DME.”

Providers are urged to contact their senators and ask them to sign the letter which is available through the July 4 recess.