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Errors Plague Medicare 'Competitive Bidding' Program in Ohio, Says American Association for Homecare
Date:4/4/2008

ions of Americans that rely on the DMEPOS benefit."

Brown cited a list of questions that must be addressed as well as several Round One problems, including a defective application process characterized by "unclear instructions, unrealistic and constantly changing deadlines;" the overlooked role of small suppliers that require special protection; the short 10-day timeframe for evaluating contracts; and the incorrectly disqualified bids combined with the absence of an appeals process to correct mistakes made by CMS.

The American Association for Homecare is pursuing regulatory, legislative, and legal remedies to allow for review of the cases of those DME providers that have been disqualified and is calling for the suspension of the first round of the bidding program until questions about patient access and harm to DME providers can be fully assessed.

"The Secretary of Health and Human Services has called home-based healthcare 'radically' more efficient than institutional care, yet the federal government is determined to aggressively dismantle the nation's homecare infrastructure at a time when our healthcare system needs it the most," said Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. "DME spending is the smallest sliver of Medicare, less than two percent of spending, and is the slowest-growing segment. Taxpayers may ultimately face higher costs as hospital stays lengthen due to more complicated hospital discharge logistics, more emergency room visits, and cost-shifting from Medicare Part B to Part A services."

Contacts:

Michael Reinemer, American Assn. for Homecare, 703-535-1881; michaelr@aahomecare.org

Kam Yuricich, Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services, 614-876-2424; kam@oames.org

The Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services (OAMES) is a non-profit trade organization established in February 1981 for the purpose of advocating the i
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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