The National Hemophilia Foundation is thrilled to announce that its top legislative priority in 2020, The Hemophilia SNF Access Act, was included in the end-of-year omnibus federal spending and economic relief package passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 (HR 133, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021). The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature, which is expected in the coming days.
This critical legislation will rectify a long-standing problem to improve access to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for Medicare beneficiaries with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. NHF has heard from many community members over the years about challenges accessing SNF facilities due to the way that Medicare reimburses bleeding disorders treatments.
The legislation, introduced in January 2020 in the Senate by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and in the House in February 2020 by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), is the culmination of years of continued efforts by NHF and other bleeding disorders organizations.
“We have been advocating to improve access to skilled nursing facilities for Medicare beneficiaries with bleeding disorders for many years,” said Dr. Leonard A. Valentino, president and CEO of the National Hemophilia Foundation. “NHF applauds Congress for enacting this vital legislation, which will benefit the hundreds of Americans with bleeding disorders who are Medicare beneficiaries as soon as October 1, 2021. It may seem like a small shift in policy, but it will have a huge impact on our community.”
The bill was a top talking point for the 450 volunteer advocates with bleeding disorders who participated in NHF’s annual advocacy event, Washington Days, on February 28th and many other advocates contacted their Congressional representatives in support of the bill throughout the year. “Our thanks go not only to our lead champions and their tireless staff who pushed for the SNF change to be included in the year end bill, but also to the hundreds of bleeding disorders advocates – patients, families and hemophilia treatment center staff – who raised their voices in support of the bill this year. We could not have done it without you!” said Nathan Schaefer, NHF’s vice president of public policy.