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Medicare Bidding Program Creates Major Problems for Physicians, Hospitals, and Beneficiaries Seeking Home Medical Equipment
Date:7/8/2008

the State Department of Health, and that there are no oxygen providers located on Miami Beach or at least within a 10 mile radius. "This means that if a patient is discharged and requires a hospital bed and oxygen, the discharge planner must now order the hospital bed from one company and the oxygen from another company," he wrote. "This will increase the work for my staff and the hospital discharge planner and will result in a delay in the patients' discharge which will ultimately cost Medicare more in the long run."

Marcie Roth, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association maintained that similar problems have surfaced in other cities where the bidding program is being used.

"How can the government be pursuing a process that allows unlicensed and untrained people to distribute oxygen, other life-preserving medical equipment and service and care for people living with paralysis and complex conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injuries?" Roth said. "This bidding program needs to be suspended before these technical problems turn into human tragedies."

Regarding the competitive bidding program, Jerry Lewis, National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association said that Congress faces an imminent choice that will affect a large portion of the people with severe disabilities who depend on customized equipment for their quality of life.

"If a new Medicare program that requires competitive bidding for durable medical equipment goes forward without exempting complex power wheelchairs and rehab devices, thousands of Medicare beneficiaries with muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease and other neuromuscular and spinal disorders will be forced to use 'one-size-fits-all' wheelchairs that can cause pressure sores, reduced mobility and injury." Lewis added that implementation of the competitive bidding program is "a misguided attempt to save a fe
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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