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Key Members of the Health and Human Services Committees sign letter to support Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services (MAMES) Petition to Force Incontinence Program Rulemaking

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 11:07 AM  posted by jbuytaert
Legislators join a growing coalition of citizens and advocates working to prevent the enforcement of the Department of Human Services’ (DHS’s) monopoly Preferred Incontinence Product Program (PIPP) procurement.
(SAINT PAUL, MN) – Today, members of the Minnesota legislature wrote a letter in support of MAMES’s petition, which requests that the Commissioner of Human Services to initiate a Rule making before the Office of Administrative Hearings. These legislators include Senators Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis), John Hoffman, (DFL- Champlin), Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), and Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), and Representatives Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) and Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River). The PIPP is opposed by disability advocates, providers, legislative leaders in both parties, and Governor Dayton. Repeal language was included in the 2018 Supplemental Budget Bill, which Governor Dayton vetoed in May.
As currently being implemented by DHS, the PIPP would designate a single monopoly distributor of medically-necessary incontinence products to Minnesota Medicaid patients. The legal petition alleges that this program structure constitutes “the enforcement of an invalid, unpromulgated rule”, as the enabling legislation requires the DHS Commissioner to “volume purchase incontinence products”, not designate a monopoly distributor.
“The Preferred Incontinence Product Program has been a mess from the start” said Senator Michelle Benson, Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. “That’s why I worked with colleagues in both parties to co-author legislation to repeal the program. We know that incontinence issues are the number one reason for hospitalization for seniors: this short-cited initiative will almost certainly cost more in the long run than it saves. I call on the Governor to support this petition, and give the legislature the opportunity to fix this once and for in 2019.”
“I am proud to stand with healthcare and disability advocates, as well as my colleagues in both parties, to support this petition,” said Sen. John Hoffman, (DFL- Champlin). “I look forward to working with Governor Dayton to protect the thousands of Minnesotans that rely upon the incontinence program to maintain their active lifestyles.”
The PIPP was hastily enacted without public input during the 2017 Special Session, and immediately attracted opposition from healthcare and disability advocates. The petition was filed with an Administrative Law Judge. DHS has 60 days to respond to the petition.

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