WASHINGTON DC (May 15, 2019) — Today, Representative Dave Loebsack and Eastern Washington Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced the bipartisan Protecting Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment (HOME) Access Act of 2019. This legislation would preserve access to durable medical equipment (DME), especially in rural communities, by addressing severe cuts to reimbursement rates. Specifically, this legislation delays the July, 2016 cuts to DME payments in rural areas, which slashed Medicare-reimbursement rates by more than 50 percent on average, and shields payment-rates for oxygen-concentrators from an outdated regulation that was never intended to apply to rates derived from the Competitive Bidding Program (CBP).
“Ensuring access to durable medical equipment, such as oxygen machines, can mean the difference between life and death for those with a chronic medical condition. We cannot continue to slash reimbursement rates in rural areas for necessary medical equipment. This would lead to many Iowans not having access to the lifesaving equipment they need,” said Rep Loebsack. “We must work to delay this regulation that hits rural communities hardest. I am pleased to continue to work on this important, bipartisan legislation with Rep McMorris Rodgers in order to correct this decision and ensure patients, no matter where they live, have access to the medical equipment they need.”
“For seniors, people with disabilities, and people with chronic medical conditions, access to durable medical equipment is fundamental,” said Rep McMorris Rodgers. “But this equipment cannot save lives if it isn’t made available to those who need it most, especially in rural communities where we know barriers to access health care already exist. I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation with Rep Dave Loebsack to reverse cuts to reimbursements rates in rural areas so people in Eastern Washington have access to their equipment.”