Just this afternoon, the DME Access and Stabilization Act, S. 2736, was introduced in the United States Senate and led by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.). This legislation offers a 15-month delay of the July 1 cuts to reimbursement rates in non-bid areas. This would push the cuts late into 2017 and allows the industry to focus on the highly viable long-term solution of the Market Pricing Program (MPP) introduced in the past by Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).
Today’s legislation would not change the January 1, 2016, cuts to non-bid areas but would delay the upcoming July 1, 2016, cuts by 15 months. The pay-for with this bill would move the Medicaid cuts to reimbursement rates from calendar year 2019 (January 1) to fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018).
This legislation would also remove the bid ceiling for items that are furnished through competitive bidding contracts that begin on or after January 1, 2019. Additionally, this legislation would instruct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take into account the costs of providing services and equipment, such as the travel distance and associated costs, when comparing CBAs and non-CBAs.
The bill has already gathered 14 additional lead co-sponsors listed below:
Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
It is now time to message your elected officials through the VGM Action Center to gain the same strong support that we saw in 2015 for relief to providers in rural America.