This past week VGM and providers met with a few key members of Congress that are very influential to passing rural rollout legislation to mitigate the July cuts and add key reforms for the competitive bidding program. These reforms bring much needed change to a flawed program that harms beneficiaries and has forced thousands of DME providers to close their doors in both rural and urban America. Rural rollout legislation has had strong bi-partisan support in both chambers of Congress, but has been often subject to political hurdles completely unrelated to the industry and caused the delay in getting the legislation across the finish line and on to the president’s desk.
As Congress returns after the elections for a lame duck session, there has been a focus of how to get rural rollout legislation passed and plenty of optimistic signs coming from key legislators. Earlier this week VGM reported John Gallagher meeting with the staff of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), additionally Tom Powers met with House Democrat lead sponsor, Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) both meetings reaffirmed the support of their offices to get rural relief passed.
On Thursday, Tom Powers met with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the current Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce committee to discuss the Congressman’s opinion on the rural rollout. Tom reports back that the Congressman was very receptive of DME issues both in rural and urban America and was positive about the lame duck session providing for a good opportunity for the industry. Attending the event was Kim Voelker, Executive Director of NYMEP and Ellen Stein of Millennium Respiratory which can a gave the Rep. Pallone an insight of what the environment is like in the industry.
Earlier in the week, providers in New York met with Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and discussed how the reimbursement have been impacting them. DMEs and Pharmacies were well represented at the event hosted by Quinlan’s Pharmacy and Medical. This is another great example of providers getting involved in the grassroots efforts to meet with their members of Congress that is so crucial to advocating for legislation.
Thank you to all of those providers in multiple areas of the country who remain engaged and determined on fighting these Medicare reimbursement cuts!