Industry Organizations Fight to Keep H.R. 3790 in the Headlines
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Mar 30, 2010
With landmark health-care reform being signed into law last week by President Obama, industry organizations are emphasizing the need to keep H.R. 3790 - the bill that would repeal Medicare's competitive bidding program for DME - in the spotlight.
The National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers (NAIMES) sent out an e-mail urging members to use Congress' spring break to make contact with their representatives while legislators are back at home.
In the March 23 message, NAIMES' President/CEO Wayne Stanfield wrote, "Health-care reform has passed in the House, and they go home Friday (March 26) for the Easter recess and will return to Washington April 12. The next big job for us and Congress is to end the competitive bidding program for DME. This 16-day period is your chance to make a difference."
Stanfield encouraged NAIMES members to continue to rally support for H.R. 3790: "Suppliers, please call your representatives if they are not signed on and ask for their support. The 185 members signed on include House leaders, Ways & Means Committee members and Energy and Commerce Committee members."
NAIMES lists the permanent repeal of competitive bidding as its top priority for 2010. The organization calls the Medicare program "ill conceived" and warns beneficiary access to DME will suffer if the program continues.
The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) said in a message to members last week that following the passage of that health-care reform bill - which eliminated the first-month purchase option for certain power wheelchairs - the organization's top priorities were to halt competitive bidding and restore that first-month purchase option.
In an e-mail to members and supporters, Michael Reinemer, AAHomecare VP of Communications & Policy, stressed the importance of collecting 218 co-sponsors for H.R. 3790, saying that number is "an important milestone on the way toward getting the bill attached to legislation in Congress."
Reinemer also indicated the need for senators to support the repealing of competitive bidding.
"H.R. 3790 still needs a sponsor for a companion bill in the Senate," he noted. "If you have had discussions with a senator or staffer that suggest the senator may be willing to introduce, please contact Walt Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org). The American Association for Homecare is looking at options for a legislative vehicle to which the HME sector can attach the H.R. 3790 language or language to preserve the first-month purchase option."
In a letter sent in December to Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), member of the Ways & Means Committee, AAHomecare listed a number of industry, clinical and consumer advocacy organizations that also supported H.R. 3790. The list included the ALS Association, The MED Group, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Post-Polio Health International, United Spinal, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and The VGM Group.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at email@example.com.