House Passes Coronavirus Stimulus Plan - HME Legislation Included! Heading To The President's Desk

Published in Member Communities on March 27, 2020

Today, the Coronavirus Stimulus Package, H.R. 748, passed the House. The bill will now head to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Much needed reimbursement relief will be coming to home medical equipment suppliers! The bill includes language from H.R. 2771, which provides relief for areas deemed rural and non-rural by CMS.

See the bill language here on page 383, Sec. 3172, Revising Payment Rates for Durable Medical Equipment Under Medicare Program Through Duration of Emergency Period.

Rural and contiguous areas: This will extend the reimbursement rates for beyond 2020, for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).

Non-Rural and noncontiguous areas will get the 75/25 blended rate. That is 75% of the regional competitive bid rates and 25% of the 2015 unadjusted rates. See the sample below with current reimbursement examples.

image

The rates will be will be retroactive as of March 6, 2020, through the remainder of the duration of emergency period. While we can’t predict the future, if we look at the history of other PHEs, like H1N1, it extended over a year long.  

Additionally, this bill will temporarily lift the automatic 2% Medicare payment cuts imposed by what is known as federal sequestration and will increase pay for hospitals treating Medicare patients with COVID-19 by 20%. Each of those measures are estimated to be worth about $10 billion, according to a Republican Senate Finance Committee aide. The bill also delays a scheduled cut in Medicaid funding to certain hospitals that was to have gone into effect on May 22.

Industry champions, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), both played a large part in getting this legislation included. Rose Schafhauser and the MAMES state association, along with VGM members, were directly reaching out to these senate offices encouraging the legislation. We also want to thank industry leader Jay Witter of AAHomecare who worked tirelessly on the hill to ensure this language was included. Thanks also goes out to other industry leaders like CQRC and NCART.

Grassroots activities were happening all throughout the country these past few weeks. There are too many to name. But thank you to all who encouraged your members of Congress and senators to include and support this language in the bill. 

Reach out to your member of Congess and ask for assistance with PPE!

You can now send a message directly to your member of Congress asking to make home medical equipment suppliers a priority when distributing Personal Protective Equipment. Click here to send an instant message. You can edit/customize the message to tell your own company’s story and need for PPE. Reach out today!


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

VGM Calls for Heartland Conference Speakers thumbnail VGM Calls for Heartland Conference Speakers VGM is now accepting proposals from prospective speakers for its annual Heartland Conference. SoClean Launches Device to Disinfect Phones, Keys, Household Items thumbnail SoClean Launches Device to Disinfect Phones, Keys, Household Items SoClean recently launched Device Disinfector, which allows for multiple small household items to be disinfected in 10 minutes. Using activated oxygen, it kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. 6 Ways to Make CPAP Repair Less Painful thumbnail 6 Ways to Make CPAP Repair Less Painful In this episode, we visit with Ronda Buhrmester, Sr. Director of Payer Relations & Reimbursement for VGM & Associates, and Dan Meyer, Chief Revenue Officer for Repair Authority, about providers' most pressing questions about CPAP repair and how Repair Authority has the solutions providers are looking for. Jurisdictions B and C: Claim Payment Alert 151 MUE Incorrect Processing thumbnail Jurisdictions B and C: Claim Payment Alert 151 MUE Incorrect Processing CGS Administrators recently sent out a news alert for Jurisdictions B and C. They aware of a claim payment issue in which some claims may have applied Medically Unlikely Edit (MUE) values incorrectly on the dates September 23, 2020 and September 24, 2020 only. Claims may have paid or denied in error as a result. CGS is correcting this issue and has indicated that it is a number 1 priority with them.  For more information, watch Ronda's vlog. HME - Past, Present & Future:  State of the Industry/Benchmarking Update thumbnail HME - Past, Present & Future: State of the Industry/Benchmarking Update I was honored to recently present at the 2020 HME News Business Summit, which was held Sept. 15-17, and, due to COVID-19, in a first-time “virtual” format. My session included a series of data, trends and analysis as to the state of the industry from 2010 to the present, and included financial and operational highlights from supplier submissions applicable to their 2019 results. Here is a summary of the presentation. Helping Your Employees Rebuild and Find Happiness thumbnail Helping Your Employees Rebuild and Find Happiness Every employee has a different set of circumstances coming at them, especially so far in 2020. While taking care of our employees, we still have businesses to run. To be successful, the best leaders will start with their employees. How do you help your employees to rebuild themselves and also find happiness? DMEPOS Warriors: Michael Tracey with Aspirus At Home Medical Equipment thumbnail DMEPOS Warriors: Michael Tracey with Aspirus At Home Medical Equipment VGM & Associates always enjoys highlighting our members who are a shining example of excellence in DME. The current business environment can be difficult to navigate and generating revenue can sometimes be a challenge. However, Michael Tracey shares with us how he helped lead Aspirus At Home Medical Equipment to success and provides tips for how Aspirus generates revenue. 10 Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged During a Pandemic thumbnail 10 Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged During a Pandemic In this episode, we sit down with Arienne Martinez, director of training and development for HOMELINK, a division of the VGM Group. Arienne chats with us about her recent article that was featured in the latest VGM playbook, “Protecting Your Most Important Asset: Your People,” about keeping your employees engaged during the pandemic, especially with much of the workforce working remote.