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

Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN thumbnail Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN A major part of business development is understanding your payer mix and which products and services should be reimbursable versus cash sale items. What could you bundle together in your offering to expand business—specifically items that can be sold for retail alongside your reimbursable items? You might not necessarily offer everything right now, but these are the areas you can look to expand into. This resource outlines how to navigate reimbursement to help grow your business. U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience thumbnail U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience Complex rehab providers attending VGM's 20th Heartland Conference will have the opportunity to increase their expertise in repairing and programming complex rehab wheelchairs as part of U.S. Rehab's Tech Training. VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook thumbnail VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook VGM & Associates has released the third installment of their 2021 quarterly playbook series, which contains insight and best practices for making your business customer-centric. Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow thumbnail Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow Get great advice and more during the Heartland Conference Panel: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow moderated by Gerry Finazzo. During this session, attendees will learn how to identify ways to improve purchasing practices, mitigate inventory liability, identify ways to increase cash flow and lower activity costs. An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government thumbnail An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government President of VGM & Associates, Clint Geffert, sat down with John Gallagher, vice president of VGM Government, to discuss how VGM Government helps VGM members navigate the complexities of the legislative process and the importance of grassroots advocacy in the HME industry. Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC thumbnail Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC Vets First DME began at the intersection of preparation and opportunity, with a dash of circumstance. Read more about the amazing Hoover family as they combined the family's knowledge and experience to start Vets First DME, LLC. CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories thumbnail CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories CMS announced a 90-day extension of the suspension of the application of Medicare Competitive Bidding Program pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories. The current policy will stay in place through October 1 and there will not be any payment cuts or claims processing changes. Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! thumbnail Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! The HME supplier has always had challenges in getting paid timely and accurately for the items and services they provide to their customers. This is an assumed cost of doing business but the HME supplier still does this because of the reward of taking care of their customers. But nothing has challenged the supplier as much as when a customer has a Medicare Advantage Plan or an MCO.