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American Association for Homecare Sets the Record Straight About Recent Home Medical Equipment Issues in the News
Date:7/29/2009

ARLINGTON, Va., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to recent media stories that perpetuate misperceptions about home medical equipment and services (durable medical equipment) and about the Medicare competitive bidding program for medical equipment, the American Association for Homecare has developed a "Myth vs. Reality" list to set the record straight.

The American Association for Homecare urges members of the media to consider all the facts on home medical equipment issues and contact the Association or visit: www.aahomecare.org/athome.

MYTH #1: Medicare overpays for durable medical equipment as compared to prices found on the Internet. Media stories often incorrectly suggest that the cost of properly providing a wheelchair or oxygen therapy to a Medicare patient at home should cost no more than what one would pay on the Internet for the equipment alone.

REALITY: Serving frail seniors and people with disabilities in their homes requires services and other non-equipment costs. To ensure quality of care, home medical equipment (HME) providers must comply with a host of federal and state regulations and other standards of care. Costs reflect delivery, typically within hours of discharge from a hospital, set-up, maintenance, patient education, and compliance with all regulations. HME represents less than two percent of Medicare spending and is one of the slowest-growing segments in Medicare, increasing by just 0.75 percent annually according to the most recent National Health Expenditures data from Medicare.

MYTH #2: Congress killed the bidding program, costing the taxpayers more money.

REALITY: The bidding program is moving forward. It was initially delayed last year in order to
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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