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American Association for Homecare Criticizes Release of Controversial Medicare Bidding Rule in Final Hours of Bush Administration
Date:1/15/2009

CMS Bidding Program is Anti-Competitive and Not Answer for Patients & Seniors

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Calling the release of the CMS "competitive" bidding rule in the final hours of the Bush Administration, "a disservice to America's seniors and all patients who receive care in their homes," AAHomecare President Tyler Wilson criticized the decision by the agency leadership to issue this interim final rule for this controversial program.

Earlier today, CMS issued the interim final rule for "competitive" bidding for homecare durable medical equipment to establish regulations as required by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). The new rule will allow the program to take effect 30 days after the January 16 publication - on February 15, 2009. The bidding program was initially reformed and delayed in July 2008 in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 in order to allow CMS time to make the program more transparent and to reduce numerous errors and operational problems.

"This flawed bidding rule, released in the very final hours of the Bush Administration, will have a negative impact on virtually every senior citizen and disabled homecare patient across America," said Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. "This bidding program will actually reduce competition, diminish access to care for seniors, reduce patient choice, reduce quality, and put good providers out of business. It is a bad deal for every patient who opts to receive care in their homes instead of a nursing home or a hospital."

"Competitive" bidding in Medicare is a proposal that sounds good. But, in fact, it will actually reduce competition along with healthcare quality and access to care for patients and seniors. Home medical equipment and care (durable medical equipment) is already the most cost-effective
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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