Ike Isaacson Advocates for Important Legislation in Washington D.C.
on January 19, 2024
Ike Isaacson, SVP Government & Regulatory Relations, recently spent two days meeting with congressional offices in Washington, D.C. During these House and Senate meetings, Ike continued VGM’s work on strengthening support for S. 1294 and H.R. 5555, both of which contain language that would reinstate the higher 75/25 blended reimbursement rates that were in place for Medicare claims in non-rural, non-competitive bid areas from March 2020 through Dec. 31, 2023. If passed, the reinstatement of those rates would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2024, and would remain in place through Dec. 31, 2024.
When the visits were all done, Ike had met with elected officials and/or their staff from Alabama, Washington, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Michigan, South Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, New York, and Wyoming. A focus was to meet with members of Senate Finance, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways & Means Committee, and Appropriations.
Through this barnstorming trip, two common themes emerged:
Both bills are in the best place that they can be.
Due to the great work of VGM members and other industry partners, S. 1294 and H.R. 5555 are positioned as well as possible to be included in final packages.
There is still a long way to go.
While our bills are well positioned, the path forward for each is still undecided. As congress works through negotiations, and a myriad of domestic and global challenges, the consensus of the visit points to a lot of work needing to be done to get the bills across the finish line.
As of yesterday, Congress passed another Continuing Resolution, pushing final votes out into March. While our bills are still very much alive, this does delay the process and continues to put businesses in a challenging spot with the reduced reimbursement staying in place until the final vote. We continue to be assured that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will be able to retroactively pay claims when/if the DMEPOS Relief bills pass in a final package.
“In each office I visited, it was clear that our members voices have been heard," said Isaacson. "Each person I talked to was well acquainted with the bills, and the need to provide reimbursement relief that will allow people to receive the services that they need. At this point, the challenges are procedural, but it is clear that we must remain focused on keeping our voices ‘top of mind’ for our elected officials.”
Now is the time to reach out and remind your congressional members just how important these bills are to your business and for the people that you serve. Share the effects of the rate reductions on your ability to serve your community. Keeping this issue “top of mind” is very important, a simple email, letter, or phone call will continue the momentum of support we are getting.
Your VGM Government and Regulatory Team will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
You can act now by going to the VGM Action Center! Thank you for your work, thank you for your voice, and thank you for being a Champion of Change.