WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2016)—The Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC)—a coalition of the nation’s leading home oxygen therapy provider and manufacturing companies—expressed disappointment that the U.S. House of Representatives did not pass the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Act (H.R. 5210) before adjourning. The PADME Act is pro-patient legislation to delay the phase-in of deep Medicare cuts to home respiratory care supplies and services.

“We are extremely disappointed that the PADME Act was not passed before the July 1 deadline, and strongly urge Congress to act immediately when they return to Washington. Delaying these cuts is crucial to protecting patients and providing the time needed to adequately study how cuts are impacting beneficiary access and care services,” said Dan Starck, chairman of CQRC. “We ask that leaders in the House and Senate come together to advance legislation that retroactively delays the cuts on July 1 as soon as they reconvene.”

The PADME Act delays cuts to home oxygen supplies and services that began on January 1, and are scheduled for full implementation on July 1. The cuts are the result of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) applying competitive bid rates used in urban areas to rural and other non-competitive bid areas. The CQRC has significant concerns with the established competitive bid rates and their application to patients nationwide.

The CQRC’s concerns have been echoed by bipartisan lawmakers, patient groups, physicians and industry leaders alike, who have all expressed serious reservations with the application of competitive bid rates to other non-competitive bid areas that Congress specifically excluded from the DME competitive bidding program, underscoring the importance of delaying the cuts.

Home respiratory therapy supplies and services are vital to managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other pulmonary conditions. Data show home oxygen care reduces preventable hospitalizations and readmissions, signally that reduced access to quality respiratory care in the home will result in increased emergency room (ER) visits and readmissions, therefore harming patient outcomes and increasing Medicare costs.

Visit cqrc.org for more information.