Congress is Back – Few Weeks Remain to Pass Rural Relief Legislation

Posted on in HME Government Issues

By: Collin Brecher, VGM Government Relations

Congress is officially back in Washington, D.C., leaving a few short weeks for the HME industry to pass rural relief legislation in response to the July 1 reimbursement cuts. 

Strong advocacy activities took place during the month of August. Providers and stakeholders had face-to-face meetings with their elected officials, and many new providers became highly involved in grassroots activities. As a result, the VGM Government Relations team heard positive feedback from staffers.

The dog days of summer may be winding down, but the industry’s advocacy activities cannot. 

Passing legislation in this small time frame will prove to be challenging as October marks the beginning of the next fiscal year, and budget talks can become highly partisan in addition to numerous other legislative demands on Capitol Hill. However, on a positive note, the grassroots advocates at the state and district level have gathered strong, bipartisan support of Republicans and Democrats alike. This greatly increases the chances of seeing rural relief legislation get across the finish line and on to president’s desk.

Ramp up your advocacy efforts now!

In order to get rural relief legislation passed, we need your help.

Call your elected officials in Washington, D.C.

Taking the time to make phone calls to the offices of your elected officials is critically important to building the support needed to get this legislation passed in such a narrow window.

Calling Instructions

  1. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and give the operator your zip code to be directed to your representative.
  2. After reaching the proper office, ask to be directed to a health policy staffer; this will ensure that your call is taken by someone with expertise of the health industry. Whether your specific elected official has supported legislation in the past or not, it is crucial to reach as many offices as possible.
  3. Discuss the highly concerning impacts that your business and Medicare patients face because of the reimbursement cuts, and ask that the House and Senate come to an agreement on legislation that has only cleared the individual chambers (H.R. 5210 and S. 2736). Also, ask each office to reach out to leadership and make this problem a priority during the September session!
  4. After completing your call, please reach out to VGM Government Relations by phone or email and let us know about your phone call. VGM will be compiling these actions in order for our industry champions to strengthen the case for action! Contact Collin Brecher by phone at (855) 345-3469 or by email at [email protected].

Get your patients involved in the fight

It is very important that legislators hear from patients about how the cuts have impacted their access to medical equipment and related services. If you haven’t yet done so, direct your patients to People for Quality Care’s Medicare Complaint Hotline at 800-404-8702 and pass out this handout to them explaining the issue. The organization will catalog the patient’s complaint and connect them with their legislators in Washington, D.C.

VGM Government Relations is here to help

VGM and industry stakeholders will continue to fight for the reforms necessary to keep providers in rural and urban areas in business and keep patients in the comfort of their own homes. VGM is here to assist you in any way possible. If you have questions, please contact any member of the Government Relations team at (855) 345-3469. We would be happy to guide you through the advocacy process.