RICHMOND, Va. (November 20, 2020)—Governor Ralph Northam has signed Virginia’s 2021-2022 budget containing an amendment requiring Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to reimburse home medical equipment (HME) providers at a minimum of 90% of the State’s Medicaid fee schedule effective July 1, 2021. This is the second time this legislation has been signed into law this year; however, the original budget amendment lost funding due to the state’s financial constraints resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Virginia stakeholders, ACMESA and AAHomecare worked in coordination to ensure the amendment was re-introduced in a special session that ended last week with a new budget recommendation sent to Governor Northam. This is an enormous victory not only for HME providers in Virginia, but also for the Medicaid beneficiaries who rely on quality HME in their home.
“We are so excited to take this first step towards protecting access to HME in Virginia,” said Matthew Russell, Vice President of ABC Health Care. “It was a monumental accomplishment to be successful one time. However, as a result of the negative fiscal impacts made to the commonwealth’s budget by COVID-19, we had to do it twice. It makes it even more rewarding to know that our success was not a fluke.”
Russell, one of the leaders of the lobbying campaign also noted that the win “was the result of a great team effort by the HME providers here in Virginia, ACMESA, AAHomecare and our legislative guide, Marcia Tetterton. We all also want to recognize the great work done by my ABC Health Care colleague Stephanie Harris. She took it upon herself drive this budget amendment through the General Assembly and was extremely successful at gaining the attention of key players to get our message heard. Lastly, we want to thank Senator Frank Ruff and Delegate James Edmunds for being champions of HME providers here in Virginia and introducing our budget amendments to their respective floors.”
"This win for HME in Virginia is another great example of what we can achieve when we develop a game plan and work together," said David Chandler, AAHomcare Director of Payer Relations. "We followed the strategy laid out in AAHomecare’s State Legislative and Regulatory Toolkit and once again found success. This win builds on the momentum created across the country to stabilize rates and protect patient access to quality home medical equipment. Our work is not done in Virginia, we will continue to work with ACMESA and the Virginia Dept. of Medical Services to ensure this legislation is implemented appropriately and in a timely fashion."
The AAHomecare payer relations team will build on this momentum and use the strategies employed in this effort to continue seeking fair reimbursement from MCOs in other states.