Senate Gavels Out Before Concluding Rural Relief Bill

Posted on in HME Government Issues

Like each of you, we at VGM are deeply disappointed that the Senate last week did not come to a conclusion on the PADME Act, H.R. 5210 and S.2736. We were told late last Thursday evening that the hotlined bill was put on hold. Industry leaders scrambled last night to reach out to Senate offices in an attempt to get the bill passed and find out who placed the hold on the bill. Unfortunately, the Senate adjourned shortly afterwards leaving the bill unresolved.

Industry leaders plan to meet with the congressional champions to strategize next steps and prepare for action when the Senate and House return in September.

We appreciate all your grassroots efforts the past 12 months. The calls, personal visits and emails to your members of Congress did not go in vain. Both the Senate and House passed separate bills earlier this month. The fact that we had not one, but three, unanimous consent hotlined in the Senate is unheard of and an impressive feat! Unfortunately, it only takes one Senator to stop our efforts.

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, the July reimbursement cuts will go into effect. VGM’s Government Relations Team, AAHomecare, state leaders and other industry leaders are not giving up. Congress is out of session for the August recess, returning September 6. In that time, we plan to strategize with other groups as one cohesive industry. We also plan to attend many in-district events and fundraisers. We’re not giving up the fight and you shouldn’t either!

What can you do?

We need you, your employees and patients you serve to be very loud, very vocal. Now that the rates are in effect, we will begin to track issues like patient access, reduced coverage, hospital discharge/utilization and increased ABN usage. We will need to track this data to send to members of Congress and key committee staff showing the significant effects these rates are having on not only HME providers but also their beneficiaries. In the meantime, we need you to continue the grassroots efforts. During the August recess, please make plans to attend in-district town hall events and campaign events. Make the effort to get a few minutes to speak to your members of Congress. Let them know the effects these reimbursements have had on your business and your patients.

Please continue the fight with us!