Press Release

April 3, 2020
Cardin, Van Hollen Send Bipartisan Letter to HHS and CMS on Protecting Medicare Recipients During COVID-19 Crisis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in writing to Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma encouraging both HHS and CMS to consider solutions to protect Medicare beneficiaries from high-risk settings and ensure safe access to care as we continue to work to combat COVID-19. Cardin is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, while Van Hollen is a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“As we seek additional options for protecting the lives of those most negatively affected by the pandemic, we are writing to encourage you to continue engaging with our offices and relevant stakeholders to build upon these productive steps through effective implementation, along with additional policy levers, as needed, in order to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access physician-administered Part B-covered infused and injectable medicines in the home setting during the COVID-19 public health emergency,” the senators wrote.

They continued, “We ask that, as you engage with patient advocates, providers, and other stakeholders, you seek out opportunities to further close remaining gaps and, as much as possible, pursue solutions that provide for continuity and consistency in care. These solutions must ensure beneficiary access to Part B drugs, provide appropriate payment for these drugs, and sufficiently reimburse for administration services rendered when provided in the home setting.”

Also signing the letter are Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

Full text of the letter can be found here.