49 Senators Endorse Relief for Rural & Non-bid Area Providers

Letter to HHS & CMS Signed by Nearly Half of U.S. Senate is Latest Signal that Congress Seeks Action to Address Unsustainable Medicare Reimbursement Rates; Final Signee List Released

Final Senate Sign-on Letter on w/ Signatures Complete list of signees by State

49 U.S. Senators have come together to ask HHS and CMS for relief for providers in rural/non-bid areas in a recently released Senate sign-on letter spearheaded by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Thanks to North Dakota and South Dakota HME providers, the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services, and the VGM Group for their efforts to engage Sens. Thune & Heitkamp on this issue, and to the HME stateholders nationwide who encouraged their Senators to join the letter directly, and though AAHomecare's Grassroots Action Center.

This call for relief for non-bid area providers from nearly half of the Senate follows on last month's successful House sign-on letter (see below) in support of that issue and other HME policy priorities.  Taken together, these letters send a clear signal that Congress wants prompt action to address unsustainable Medicare reimbursement rates.

House Letter - June 2017

The sign-on letter to HHS & CMS has closed with 154 commitments.

Thanks for the persistent and passionate by HME stakeholders to help produce this strong showing!

Congressional Sign-on Letter w/ MoC Signatures Complete list of signees by state

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 Please reach out to the House office representing you this week, and ask for the staffer who handles healthcare issues.  When you’re connected with that individual (or are asked to leave a message), please ask that the Member sign his/her name to the Congressional sign-on letter on home medical equipment issues recently released by Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Larry Bucson (R-Ind.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) – you can offer to send them a copy of the sign-on letter, as well as the accompanying Dear Colleague letter if they are unaware of it.  If you’re asked what the chief points are in the letter, you can tell them the letter asks for:

  • Relief for HME suppliers in rural areas who have faced drastic Medicare reimbursement cuts
  • Long-term reforms to the competitive bidding program
  • Stopping severe cuts for companies that provide Complex Rehab Technology accessories
  • Restoring oxygen rates in rural areas that have been recently cut

If you’re one of the 150-plus individuals who joined us at the Washington Legislative Conference last week, your follow-up with offices you met with is especially critical if they haven’t signed on.

Additional resources for your outreach efforts:
State-by-State Report on DME Contraction - June 2013-Aoril 2017

American Association for Respiratory Care Letter of Support for Sign-On Effort ITEM Coalition Letter of Support for Sign-on Effort

Not sure who represents you in the House?  Use our Congressional directory.
 
You can send an email to your representative using our online Grassroots Action Center.
 
We expect the House sign-on letter to stay open through June 9, so your action is needed soon.
 
While we’ve had reports that several Senate offices have expressed interest in joining a similar Senate-side letter, there is not a similar effort in that chamber as of yet.