In the final days of 2022, Congressional leaders put together a far-ranging $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package that rolled in several measures pushed by home medical equipment (HME) advocates. It was called a “major win” by the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) and it:
- Extends the 75/25 blended Medicare rate for non-competitive bid area (CBA)/non-rural suppliers through either the remainder of the COVID-19-driven public health emergency (PHE) or Dec. 31, 2023, whichever comes later
- Prevents across-the-board 4% Medicare cuts for 2023 and 2024 that would have been triggered by the application of provisions in 2010 pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget legislation
- Grants a two-year extension for telehealth waivers established during the PHE
- Includes language from legislation that would set a national payment rate for disposable negative pressure wound therapy devices (HR 2356 and S 2363)
- Includes language from bills that would allow Medicare to cover compression treatment equipment for lymphedema treatment (HR 3630 and S 1315)
The Senate passed the omnibus bill on Dec. 22 and the House quickly responded with a 225-201 vote for passage on Dec. 23.
What Happens Next?
AAHomecare has set an ambitious federal agenda for 2023, and it includes a push to further extend the 75/25 blended non-rural, non-CBA Medicare reimbursement rates—or to make them permanent.
“I’m incredibly proud of the persistent grassroots advocacy that has secured these impactful, bottom-line wins for HME. We have been working to secure and extend the 75/25 rates for several years, and this success is the result of your calls, emails, and meetings with your legislators as well as a sustained presence on Capitol Hill. We also appreciate the leadership of Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) for their work pushing the CARES Act relief forward during negotiations on the Omnibus bill.”
President & CEO of AAHomecare