Congressional Letter Introduced to Support DMEPOS and CRT Reforms

Posted on in Billing/Reimbursement, HME Government Issues

By Collin Brecher, VGM Government Relations

A letter authored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), and Diana Degette (D-Colo.) is calling for reforms to policies and regulations involving durable medical equipment and complex rehab technology. The letter is to be sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. The congressional offices are looking to get broad bipartisan support from their fellow representatives, which is where your colleagues and patients can play a huge role! Call your members of Congress, and visit our VGM Action Center today!

The letter outlines four specific reforms that need to be addressed by CMS in regards to the competitive bidding program for DME and CRT in addition to oxygen reimbursement cuts. Providers have faced unsustainable reimbursement cuts of DME, with approximately 50 percent due to the rural rollout of competitive bidding. In addition to these cuts, providers have faced reductions in oxygen reimbursement when CMS applied a budget neutrality regulation that has reduced reimbursement for rural providers by another 11-14 percent.

Please click here to view the letter.

These reductions have led to a 38 percent reduction of medical equipment providers nationwide, causing great concern of Congress and industry stakeholders. The letter shares, “Over numerous years, CMS has made significant policy and regulatory changes that have resulted in significant reductions in reimbursement. We are concerned that these reductions may have caused access issues for Medicare beneficiaries and shifted costs to other areas of Medicare.”

VGM has been at the forefront of efforts to reverse these reductions and burdensome regulations coming from CMS since the inception of competitive bidding. VGM’s Vice President of Government Relations John Gallagher said, “CMS has continued to implement further reductions with very little regard to the input from providers and the intent of Congress. 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.”

VGM urges its membership to share this letter with their members of Congress and to ask them to support these reforms by signing onto the letter. This letter will play a crucial role in pressuring CMS to make these changes. It is imperative to gather as many supporters as possible to effectively communicate the urgency of these reforms.

Please share this with employees, patients, family, and friends, and encourage them to call on their representatives to support this letter. Advocates may also visit the VGM Action Center to send a message to representatives to urge them to support the letter to Secretary Price and Administrator Verma.