From: HME News

by: Liz Beaulieu

GWCC – Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the man of the hour in the industry’s fight against competitive bidding, made a plea for help on Tuesday.

Price in August introduced H.R. 6490, a bill that would replace the competitive bidding program with an industry-backed and economist-approved market-pricing program (MPP).

“When we come back Nov. 14, what would do my heart wonders is if there are 100 people lined up for H.R. 6490,” he said during a welcome reception hosted by MK Battery and Medtrade for the new Consumer Advocacy Pavilion on the show floor.

Right now, there are 16 co-sponsors for H.R. 6490, a number that, when you consider there are 435 congressmen, is not a “critical mass,” Price acknowledges.

But Price, a physician by training, says the industry has a number of things working in its favor, including that home care is more efficient, it’s more effective, and it’s more responsive to the patient.

“The facts are on your side,” he said.

In addition to selling H.R. 6490 in that way, Price advises the industry to emphasize the bill’s budget neutrality. Even if the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determines that it will cost money, Price and the industry stand at the ready to modify it.

“It’s not going to cost any more money,” he said. “It just changes the program so you can still take care of customers.”

Price acknowledges that the process of getting a bill introduced, scored and attached to a larger bill is an uphill battle, but he says not to quit.

“It never ends—it doesn’t go from point A to point B, it goes from point A to forever,” he said. “So don’t ever let your guard down.”