A bipartisan group of 84 lawmakers is urging HHS and the White House to rescind a controversial competitive bidding rule for durable medical equipment before it is implemented on April 18.
The lawmakers letter echoed concerns of trade groups representing DME providers. The trade groups sent similar correspondence to the Obama administration several days ago.
In selectively contracting with a small group of homecare providers based on the lowest cost, lawmakers said that they believe the program in its current form will put at least 90% of providersmany of which are small businessesout of work. Many of these providers offer high-quality homecare equipment or provide critical patient services, the letter stated.
As growing numbers of seniors enter the Medicare program, it is important that we take care to maintain an adequate number of qualified and capable providers to address demand for care in the home, especially in rural areas, said Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) in a written statement.
The bidding program was initially suspended by Congress last year, but an interim final rule issued by the CMS in January will start the bidding program effective April 18.
Expressing concerns that the CMS rushed implementation of this rule counter to Congress intent when it delayed the program, we urge you to rescind the rule so that all affected parties will have an opportunity to comment on it as a proposed regulation, the letter stated.