FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2016
Media Contact: Kristen Burke
WASHINGTON – The Council for Quality Respiratory Care (CQRC) – a coalition of the nation’s leading home oxygen therapy provider and manufacturing companies – praised the enactment the 21st Century Cures legislation, which contains a provision to extend the phase-in period of deep Medicare cuts to Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS), including home respiratory therapy equipment and services.
The CQRC especially appreciates the efforts of Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in the Senate and Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI), Chairman Tom Price (R-GA), and Reps. David Loebsack (D-IA), Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-WA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) in the House for their leadership and unwavering support to protect home respiratory therapy patients.
“We commend the Congress for providing some relief to the draconian Medicare cuts to home respiratory therapy provided in non-competitive bid areas,” said Dan Starck, Chairman of CQRC. “Home respiratory therapy has been shown to improve patient outcomes, lower hospital readmissions, and reduce Medicare spending.”
Home respiratory therapy leaders have been calling on Congress to enact legislation that would provide relief for cuts that took place when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) applied the competitive bid rates used in urban areas to rural and other non-competitive bid areas that Congress specifically excluded from the DMEPOS competitive bid program. The CQRC estimates the impact of the application of competitive bid rates in these areas equals a cut of up to 50 percent.
“While home respiratory suppliers will continue to seek further relief from these cuts in 2017, this is a very positive step,” Starck continued. “We look forward to working with the next Congress to ensure home oxygen providers and patients are given more time to prepare for these looming cuts.”
To learn more, visit cqrc.org and follow CQRC on Twitter at @TheCQRC.
Millions of Americans are living with COPD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, experiencing acute respiratory failure, or living with neuromuscular diseases. These individuals rely upon home respiratory therapies to remain at home. Learn more about home respiratory therapies and how they can help.
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