WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 31, 2020)—The Congressional sign-on letter urging The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the competitive bidding program for the home medical equipment (HME) industry in light of the current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency closed with 101 House members endorsing a delay. The result is especially impressive given the short period the letter was open and the current challenges in reaching legislative staff on Capitol Hill during this pandemic.
Instead of moving forward with Round 2021, the letter suggests that CMS and the DMEPOS industry can use a pause to the bidding program “to work together to understand the patient need and potential impact that COVID-19 may have on certain product categories, such as home respiratory therapies.” The letter adds that “This understanding is important to ensuring that there will be enough capacity to treat patients once the CBP is launched.”
“This letter is another strong demonstration of Congressional interest in making sure that HME can continue to play a major role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes AAHomecare president and CEO Tom Ryan. “To garner more than 100 signatures in eight working days, under the current operating environment on Capitol Hill, is an amazing result. I appreciate the incredible advocacy efforts from HME leaders across the country who made a strong impression on Capitol Hill in a short time.”
The final letter can be seen here (owing to social-distancing measures on Capitol Hill, actual signatures are not being required for now). See also the list of signers by state. The letter garnered 66 Republicans and 35 Democrats, including 27 members who serve on the influential Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees.