S. 1294, A Bill to Provide a 75/25 Blended Rate for Non-Rural, Non-CBA Supplier Has Been Introduced

Published in Government Relations on April 27, 2023

S.1294 has been introduced by Senators John Thune and Debbie Stabenow and has significant implications for non-rural, non-CBA suppliers seeking to maintain the Medicare 75/25 blended rate. This rate structure, which has proven to be a lifeline for many suppliers, is set to expire soon. The new bill, if passed, would extend this rate until the end of 2024, providing much-needed relief and stability to suppliers and patients alike. 

"Years ago Kay Johnson with Midwest Medical arranged to have Senator John Thune visit her store and invited some other suppliers from South Dakota," said Cindy Coy with Avera Health. "Senator Thune has been a champion for DME ever since and has met with us several times since then.  Senator Thune and his staff understand why we are so important for the continuum of care."

This legislation comes shortly after the 2022 Omnibus budget legislation, which provided a one-year extension for the 75/25 rates. Senators Thune, Stabenow, and Hassan were instrumental in ensuring that the rates were included in the final Omnibus package last December. This extension provided a critical lifeline for suppliers impacted by the pandemic, and the proposed extension under S.1294 would continue this support. 

"At MAMES, we are grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have forged with Senator Thune over the years," said Rose Schafhauser, Executive Director of MAMES. "His unwavering support for our industry has been instrumental in advancing our mission and serving the needs of those we represent. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Sen. Thune and working together to strengthen the industry."

The timing of the new bill's introduction is notable, as more than fifty HME leaders from around the country are set to come to Washington from May 9-10 for Capitol Hill legislative visits. These leaders are expected to prioritize building support for the proposed legislation, as the extension of the 75/25 rate is a critical issue for both suppliers and patients.  

"Change rarely starts at the top, but rather from the ground up, where the voices of ordinary people can create a powerful force for progress," said John Gallagher, VP of VGM Government Relations. "The introduction of S. 1294 is a testament to the tireless efforts of grassroots advocates who refuse to be silent, who refuse to accept the status quo, and work tirelessly to improve the industry for all."

Please use the button below to become an advocate and reach out to your senators asking them to support S. 1294 and ensure that this critical legislation goes through. 

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