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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

address the numerous flaws identified by Congress. The home medical equipment sector ended up paying for the delay through a nationwide 9.5 percent reimbursement reduction on all bid-upon items. That reduction saves taxpayers billions of dollars that the initial round was projected to save. Medicare is restarting the bid process this Fall (2009).

MYTH #3: The competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment is a good model.

REALITY: The "competitive" bidding program in Medicare sounds good, but as designed, the program eliminates most of the providers through selective contracting (even if providers agree to lower bid prices), and thereby reduces access to care, patient choice, and quality of care. The initial round of bidding would have eliminated as many as 90 percent of qualified home medical equipment and service providers. It is similar to a closed-model HMO and will have the effect of government-mandated consolidation in the home medical equipment and services sector. The bid program will increase costs by complicating the transition from hospital to home, lengthening expensive hospital stays and increasing the likelihood of rehospitalizations, a major cost driver in Medicare. The severe problems with the implementation of the competitive bidding program have not been adequately addressed.

CONTACTS: Michael Reinemer, 703-535-1881, michaelr@aahomecare.org; Tilly Gambill, 703-535-1896, tillyg@aahomecare.org

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, an
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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