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Homecare Associations Nationwide Urge Policymakers to Rescind Controversial Medicare 'Competitive' Bidding Rule
Date:4/13/2009

hreatened due to forced cutbacks in homecare services -- cutbacks that will also increase the length and cost of hospital stays as the number of home medical equipment providers shrinks.

Home medical equipment and care is already the most cost-effective, slowest-growing portion of Medicare spending, increasing only 0.75 percent per year according to most recent National Health Expenditures data. That compares to more than 6 percent annual growth for Medicare spending overall. Home medical equipment represents only 1.6 percent of the Medicare budget.

Please find the full text of the letter below:

April 13, 2009

    Mr. Charles Johnson, Acting Secretary
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
    Washington, DC   20201

    Ms. Charlene Frizzera, Acting Administrator
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
    Washington, DC   20201

    Ms. Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director
    White House Office of Health Reform
    The White House
    Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Acting Secretary Johnson, Acting Administrator Frizzera, and Ms. DeParle:

The American Association for Homecare and the 27 regional and state associations listed below, which represent providers of durable medical equipment (DME) and services, urge you to rescind the CMS competitive bidding rule published during the last hours of the Bush administration. The rule, which would re-implement Round One of the bidding program in the DME sector of Medicare, would reduce access to care and put thousands of DME providers out of business, eliminating jobs at a time when the federal government is trying to preserve them. The rule does not address the fundamental problems of the program that came to light during its brief implementation last year.

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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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