Stakeholders press CMS for delay

They’re also asking lawmakers to apply pressure
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Friday, June 12, 2020

WASHINGTON – It’s time to take “one last shot” at getting CMS to delay Round 2021, with the agency scheduled to announce payment amounts this summer, says AAHomecare.

The association has been priming the pump in regular meetings with Demetrios Kouzoukas, principal deputy administrator of CMS and director of the Center for Medicare. The next meeting takes place June 22.

“He has asked pointed questions and he’s heard from the CEOs of Lincare, Apria and other large companies,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “The biggest issue is, we don’t know what’s going to happen (with the pandemic). Capacity is very important at this time—it’s certainly not a time to take more providers out of the market.”

CMS is scheduled to announce contract suppliers this fall.

AAHomecare is asking providers to reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to contact CMS and request the delay, says Jay Witter.

“We need grassroots to get rank-and-file members on board, work out any questions or concerns they have, and ask them to reach out to CMS,” said Witter, senior vice president of public policy for AAHomecare. “They are listening to Congress on these issues.”

Lawmakers remain firm that any delay needs to come from CMS, says Witter. If CMS declines to pause the program, however, stakeholders will ask Congress to intervene.

“We are taking one last shot at having CMS pause it,” he said.