WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2016)—The clock is ticking for the next round of cuts for providers in rural, non-bid areas: the July 1 cuts are  just 2,719 hours away. In hopes of stemming these cuts before they cause further harm to providers and patients, AAHomecare has been working with Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to stop the second cut so Congress can thoroughly examine the impact CMS’s plan is having.

After discussions with these Congressional champions and other HME industry stakeholders, AAHomecare’s Executive Committee has agreed to support a bipartisan, non-controversial, and budget-neutral proposal that would:

  • Stop the second cut due to take effect on July 1, 2016 for DME items in non-CB areas for 9-12 months (depending on CBO score). This would delay the second cut until at least April 1, 2017.
  • The pay-for would be to move the Medicaid cut from calendar year 2019 (January 1) to fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018). This would move the start date up by 3 months.
  • CMS’ plans to limit future bid ceilings to the previous round bid rates to be replaced with a bid ceiling of fee schedule rates in effect on January 1, 2015.
  • CMS required to solicit stakeholder input and take into account travel costs, volume, clearing price and information on the numbers of providers serving bid areas as part of rate-setting activities for January 2019 and beyond.

Our Hill champions would like to move these concepts as stand-alone legislation with the intent of passing it before July 1. We will keep you updated on the timing of the legislation and what the HME community needs to do to help move this proposal forward soon.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.