There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on with congressional offices and industry leaders, which led to last-minute changes to Senate bill S. 2736, the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act of 2016 (PADME). After a few minor delays in the Senate, S. 2736, introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), cleared the hotline process and was passed unanimously on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the bill did not make it to the House of Representatives before the deadline to be placed on the House suspension calendar. Although it did not make it to the House prior to its adjournment for the Independence Day recess, there are strong legislative avenues still to reverse the detrimental cuts to the DME industry.
The text of S. 2736 reads in part, “The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall extend the transition period described…from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2017…” giving the DME industry the opportunity to revert back to the rates prior to July 1, even if final passage of the legislation is after July 1, 2016. The first big hurdle has been cleared, which is language passed in the Senate. The House is set to return July 5, when our congressional champions are looking for opportunities to move legislation quickly.
We greatly appreciate the great efforts our Senate and House leaders have put forth thus far, as their offices worked extremely hard to get this legislation cleared through the Senate. The grassroots efforts and calls last week were vital to getting this legislation passed and is still a strong win and vital to our efforts moving forward. Before we continue to rally support throughout the recess, we encourage our members to call their senators and thank them for their support of S. Please continue to keep a look out for any calls for action as industry stakeholders work with congressional offices to determine the most effective course of action to get this legislation passed in the House and sent to the president’s desk!
Get your patients involved!
People For Quality Care has created a grassroots engagement encouraging patients to reach out to their members of Congress. Click here for more information.
We are asking DME providers to give this informational sheet to their patients who will be directly affected by this expansion to the competitive bidding program.