We are anxiously waiting to hear the status of the amended HR 5210 with the three-month delay. Yesterday we were told it was picked up by unanimous consent by Senate Republicans. The Senate Democrats were late to pick up on the bill last night, but we should hear more later today. Time is ticking though! Senate is packing their bags with the hopes of escaping DC later tonight for the August recess. Again, we are down to the wire! VGM Government Relations Team and AAHomecare plan to meet with our champions in the House and Senate the week of July 25-27 to formulate way forward in September when Congress returns.
In other positive news, the Breath Act, S.3195 bill was introduced today by Sen. Cassidy (LA) and Sen. Grassley (IA). This bill will ensure Medicare beneficiaries continue to receive critical ventilator products and services. The legislation addresses two significant issues with medical ventilators: reimbursement and vague Medicare guidelines for qualifying coverage of ventilators. Section 3 of this bill cites that in 2017, Medicare will be required to increase the rate of payment for ventilators by 20% percent. The bill will also develop and implement clear evidence-based medical necessity standards for defining when prescribing a ventilator is reasonable and necessary.
Click here to view the bill. (insert vent bill attached)
On January 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reduced Medicare payments for ventilators by 25-to-30 percent. This reduction in payment has been devastating for providers of ventilators that serve the sickest patients—the patients who truly need a ventilator.
Please reach out to your member of Congress and ask them to support this legislation.
You can do so by visiting our VGM’s DC Link Action Center.
We appreciate the efforts to get the bill introduced by VGM members and Industry stakeholders.