CMS Gets the Message: DME Rule Sent to OMB for Final Review
Breaking News from AAHomecare
CMS has moved the long-awaited DME Rule to the final stage of the regulatory review process, in part due to last week’s strongly supported Congressional sign-on letter asking the Agency to release the Rule and address Medicare reimbursement issues.
The Congressional sign-on letter, spearheaded by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), ultimately garnered 95 signers from the U.S. House of Representatives, including 40 members of the influential Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees. HME advocates built support for the letter as part of AAHomecare’s recent virtual Washington Legislative Conference that was amplified by grassroots outreach by industry stakeholders nationwide. The sign-on letter was finalized and sent to CMS and HHS last week.
“Capitol Hill is starting to understand the market realities and new operational environment that suppliers and manufacturers are facing, thanks to the effective grassroots advocacy efforts from so many HME leaders,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president and CEO. “Getting this Rule released will let us see if CMS is going to continue the 50/50 blended rates for rural suppliers and if they are going to provide a meaningful adjustment to rates that have remained essentially unchanged since 2016."
“Now that a significant segment of the House has taken an interest in the issue and gone on record that we need to take a look at rates, we have a good starting point in place if we need a legislative solution to address reimbursements,” Ryan added. “But first, we need OMB to move quickly to finish work on the Rule.”
Final approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is required on regulations with potentially significant budgetary impacts. There is no set time-frame for OMB to give their OK; the process could take just a few days or stretch on further. If OMB fails to take action quickly, AAHomecare will again look to our supporters on Capitol Hill to help expedite approval and final release of the Rule.