Burr and Bennet Introduce Wound Care Act
Bill aims to update the CMS payment rules to add disposable NPWT devices to home wound care product options and to standardize the payment method for NPWT devices.
Senators Richard Burr (RN.C.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) Introduced the Better Wound Care at Home Act to the Senate, a bipartisan bill that would update the CMS payment rules for home wound care.
The Better Wound Care at Home Act would equate single-use items, such as single-use negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) devices, with single-use NPWT devices by standardizing the method of payment across the country.
The new bill would apply a domain-neutral wage index to payments to Home Health Authorities (HHAs), clarify that payments to HHAs for single-use NPWT devices are made for the device itself rather than for ancillary professional services, and reduce the administrative burden by streamlining billing forms .
The bill is an addition to the bill passed in the House of Representatives on April 5 by MPs GK Butterfield (DN.C.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).
Sens. Burr and Bennett have been pushing for DMEPOS coverage to be updated for several years. The Better Wound Care at Home Act dates back to the law that the Senators enacted in 2015, which was known as the Patient Access to Disposable Medical Technology Act. The 2015 law aimed to modernize DMEPOS coverage to include single-use technologies in home nursing. That law eventually became law under a larger budget law.
“Outdated Medicare payment methods and billing rules shouldn’t limit treatment options for Americans,” said Senator Burr. “It is important that home care seniors have access to the most up-to-date and innovative treatments. This legislation will ensure just that by modernizing the CMS payment policy to make single-use wound care as easily accessible as single-use treatment. “
“The need for home treatment was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Senator Bennet. “We can improve the health and quality of life of our seniors by giving them access to appropriate care with the latest technology from the comfort of their homes. This bipartisan legislation will help home care workers provide their patients with the best, quality care within their own four walls while reducing hospital visits and healthcare costs. “
David Kopf is the editor and editor-in-chief of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.