Letter urges OMB to clear IFR on rural relief currently under review at agency.

—Via AAHomecare, Washington, D.C. (September 19, 2017)—Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash) released a Congressional sign-on letter to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asking him to clear an HME-related Interim Final Rule (IFR) currently under review at OMB. The IFR, titled “Durable Medical Equipment Fee Schedule, Adjustments to Resume the Transitional 50/50 Blended Rates to Provide Relief in Non-Competitive Bidding Areas” was forwarded to OMB from CMS on August 24.

In the letter, Rep. McMorris-Rodgers specifically asks OMB to extend rates in effect on January 1, 2016 through the end of 2018:

"We strongly urge you to take quick action and clear this rule to provide relief in non-competitive bidding areas. Specifically, we urge you to extend reimbursement rates effective on January 1, 2016 in non-competitive bid areas from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018."

While we are not privy to the actual language of the IFR currently under review, we anticipate that it could provide welcome relief for providers outside of bid areas, and we would expect that these higher rates would also help bolster rates from other payers who use the Medicare fee schedule as a guideline for their reimbursements.

You can see the full text of the sign-on letter here.

Please contact your Representative in the House and ask that they sign onto the letter. Please call or send an email if you have contacts in your House Member’s office. Members of Congress who were part of the June 2017 sign-on letter to HHS and CMS on HME policy priorities should be especially willing to join this effort; see this list of signers for that letter here. Members should contact Rep. McMorris Rodgers's office for more information or to sign on. The deadline for signatures is September 26, so contact your Representative as soon as possible.

Please note: this sign-on letter is for members of the House of Representatives; you should not contact Senate offices about this letter.

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.