WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 16, 2016)—AAHomecare has received confirmation that competitive bidding rural relief legislation is starting to move through the hotline process in the Senate. The bill is first being cleared through the Senate Finance Committee, who have until noon Thursday (June 16) to object to the bill. Once the bill clears the committee, it will go to the full Senate. If there are no objections within 24 hours of being sent to the full Senate, the bill is considered passed.

The legislation going through the hotline is similar to S. 2736, The Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act, but has been changed by the original lead sponsors in response to a revised CBO score on the original bill that nullified its previous budget-neutral status. The new legislation differs from S. 2736 in these ways:

  • Shortens the delay for application of the next round of cuts to the bidding program from 15 months to 12 months
  • Bid ceilings for future bidding rounds will be at the levels established at the bid rates in effect July 1, 2016 (the Round 2 Recompete rates) instead of at the unadjusted fee service rates in effect December 31, 2015.

If the Senate hotline process is successful, a request for the suspension calendar has to be made by Friday, June 17, at 5 p.m. to be considered in the House next week.

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