WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2016)—The count is at 30 days until the July 1 cuts take effect, and AAHomecare is calling the HME community to commit to making every last effort to encourage Congress to support legislation for rural relief—The Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment (PADME) Acts, H.R. 5210 and S. 2736.

You have done a great job building momentum, but we are now headed toward the critical final weeks that will decide the issue. As the industry descended on Capitol Hill and lobbied hard for Congressional support of Competitive Bidding reform last week, our consumer and industry partners bolstered our endeavors with letters of support. A joint letter from national and state associations in support of PADME explains that little independent analysis of the competitive bidding program has been done to evaluate whether the program has “restricted the types of products available for patients or compromised physician decisions to prescribe specific products.”

The ITEM Coalition has endorsed H.R. 5210, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses has weighed in with letters supporting both the Senate and House bills. We encourage you to share these letters with your Congressional members as examples of support from patients and industry associations. You can also share maps showing rural, regional, and CBA areas in your state.

The HHS OIG also released a chilling report confirming that CMS awarded unlicensed bidders to receive contracts in Round Two, that can also help you make the case that current Round 2 rates that helped determine bidding prices for some rural and non-bid regions are based on winning bids from unqualified bidders.

These are powerful tools in your arsenal to fight for rural relief legislation and help swell Senate and House co-sponsor rolls. We encourage you to use everything at your disposal in these final days to help us push legislation into a vote.

New House co-sponsors in the last week:

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
Full House co-sponsor list (total: 72)

New Senate co-sponsors in the last week:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
Full Senate co-sponsor list (total: 29)

Visit aahomecare.org for more information.