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Medicare Bidding Program for Dallas, Texas is Rife with Errors, Says American Association for Homecare
Date:4/7/2008

Program Will Put Medical Equipment Providers Out of Business and Disrupt Services to as Many as a Half Million Seniors in Dallas Area;

Austin, Beaumont, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio Are Next

ARLINGTON, Va., April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new Medicare bidding program for durable medical equipment (DME) scheduled to be implemented in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area on July 1, 2008, will put many DME providers out of business and could disrupt services for many of the 481,835 Medicare-eligible seniors and people with disabilities in the Dallas area.

The bidding program is scheduled to hit six other metropolitan statistical areas in Texas next year, including Austin, Beaumont, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio.

In late March, DME providers in Dallas and nine other bidding regions throughout the U.S. received letters from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) explaining whether they had been offered a contract, been disqualified from bidding, or bid outside of the bidding range for a product. Those DME providers that did not receive contracts for a given Medicare item or service are shut out of the Medicare program for three years.

The American Association for Homecare has received word from hundreds of DME providers who say they have been improperly disqualified and thereby removed by CMS from the bidding process. That includes about two dozen cases of disqualified bidders in the Dallas, Ft. Worth and Arlington areas.

The congressionally mandated competitive bidding program was designed to reduce the number of DME providers and reduce reimbursement rates for oxygen therapy, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and other types of home-based equipment and care in Medicare. Reimbursement rates are already set by Medicare and reimbursement rates for oxygen have already been cut by nearly 50 percent over the past 10 years. The DME industry has long argued that this ne
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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