|Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. House passed H.R. 5210, the Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act of 2016 under suspension of the rules.
What does this mean?
This legislation would delay the July reimbursement cuts by three months to September 30, 2016, increase accountability from CMS and call for the competitive bidding program to monitor patient impacts. Although the reimbursement cuts have gone into effect, the new language in the bill would reverse reimbursement rates back to the rates prior to July 1.
What is next?
Now H.R. 5210 as amended moves to the Senate where both bodies will have the opportunity to come to an agreement as to the final language between H.R. 5210, which provided a three-month delay and S. 2736, which provided a 12-month delay. Upon agreement and passage in Congress, it will head to the president’s desk to be signed and enacted. There is a short window for both chambers to come to an agreement before Congress adjourns for the August recess. The sense of urgency from bill sponsors is very evident from the amount of collaboration between both chambers to work towards a resolution to get this language to the president’s desk and delay these cuts.
The grassroots movement of providers from both urban and rural providers across the United States has rallied over 150 sponsors between both bills. The dedication and perseverance of providers in advocacy efforts has had a great impact on the final passage of both of these bills.
VGM, along with other industry stakeholders, will continue to monitor the discussions as both chambers work towards an agreement on the proper action moving forward. Please stay tuned for continuous updates in coming days and weeks through our Legislative Updates and VGM Government Relations Facebook page.
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