Senate Passes $2 Trillion Stimulus Plan. HME Relief Included!

Published in Member Communities on March 26, 2020

The massive Coronavirus Stimulus package passed the Senate just before midnight last night with a 96-0 vote. The bill will now head over to the House and has to be voted on by Unanimous Consent in order to pass. Since the House members will not likely fly back to Washington D.C. for a vote, the House announced they plan to vote on Friday by a voice vote.

The bill includes language from H.R. 2771, relief for areas deemed rural and non-rural by CMS.

See the bill language here, 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- will get the 75/25 blended rate. That is 75% of the regional competitive bid rates and 25% of the 2015 unadjusted rates.

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.

While we can’t predict the future, if we look at the history of other PHEs (Public Health Emergencies), like H1N1, it extended over a year long.  

Our team as well as other industry stakeholders have been in contact with CMS in regard to the how COVID-19 will effect the Round 2021 competitive bidding program. CMS is aware of the concerns of the industry and is hoping to provide a response in the near future.


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.