DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Bill Introduced in Senate

Posted on in HME Government Issues

Last Friday, the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act of 2016, S. 2736, was introduced in the United States Senate. Led by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), this legislation offers a 15-month delay of the July 1 cuts to reimbursement rates in non-bid areas. Click here to view bill language.   

If passed, the delay would push the cuts into late 2017 and would allow the industry to focus on the highly viable, long-term solution of the Market Pricing Program (MPP) introduced in the past by Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).

S. 2736 would not change the Jan. 1, 2016, cuts to non-bid areas but would delay the upcoming July 1 cuts by 15 months. The pay-for with this bill would move the Medicaid cuts to reimbursement rates from calendar year 2019 (Jan. 1, 2019) to fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018).

This legislation would also remove the bid ceiling for items that are furnished through competitive bidding contracts that begin on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Additionally, this legislation would also instruct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take into account the costs of providing services and equipment, such as the travel distance and associated costs, when comparing CBAs and non-CBAs.

“Accessing medically necessary equipment should be just as easy for someone living in a rural state like South Dakota as it is for anyone else living in the United States, which is why passing this legislation is so important,” said Thune in an official press release.

“All seniors should be able to live with dignity and the support they need,” said Heitkamp. “Our bipartisan bill will enable a smoother transition for this program so North Dakota seniors continue to have access to needed medical equipment, without any interruptions.”

The bill has already gathered 15 additional lead co-sponsors in just a few days. Click here to view the list of co-sponsors.

“Over 1,200 messages were sent to members of Congress since last Thursday,” said John Gallagher, VGM Group, Inc.’s vice president of Government Relations. “We are expecting the House bill to be released this week, but we need to keep this momentum in order to move forward. If you haven’t messaged Congress yet, do so today.”

To get involved, message your elected officials through the VGM Action Center.

Click here to take action now!