Navigation Links
Medicare Bidding Program for Durable Medical Equipment May Harm Small Businesses and Decrease Patient Access to Care, Say 137 Members of Congress

ARLINGTON, Va., March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, bipartisan groups of 120 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 17 U.S. Senators sent letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) raising concerns about the impact of a new Medicare competitive bidding program on small durable medical equipment (DME) providers. The letters ask CMS to release data on how the bidding program will impact thousands of small providers.

"Although CMS and the Small Business Administration raised special considerations for small suppliers during the rulemaking process, we continue to believe that these steps will not guarantee adequate participations for small businesses," the House letter stated. "This will result in a number of small medical device providers going out of business, severely impacting patient access to necessary equipment and quality care."

In addition to asking for economic data on the bidding program's impact, the House letter expressed concern about CMS's plan to initiate the second round of contract awards. The second round will take place in 70 areas across the nation in 2009, before the first round has been fully implemented and before first-round results can be properly evaluated.

The Senate letter suggested that reducing the number of small DME providers could actually increase rather than decrease Medicare costs. "Small suppliers pay close attention to local, specialized service as a commonsense means of reducing medical errors, equipment-related injuries, and returned equipment. This in turn reduces Medicare costs."

The House effort to gather support for the letter was led by U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (D-Pa.). Co-signers included House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). The effort behind the Senate letter was led by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). See for full text of the two letters.

This month, CMS is expected to award the first round of competitive bidding contracts, based on a provider's ability to cut prices, in 10 metropolitan statistical areas. Those 10 areas include: Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Orlando, Fla; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and San Juan, P.R.

Because of the design of the bidding program, thousands of DME providers throughout the U.S. will not receive contracts and will lose their ability to serve Medicare patients who require medical equipment and services subject to bidding. This loss of business may force thousands of small providers to close, thus jeopardizing patients' ability to continue receiving quality service in their homes. CMS estimates that approximately 85 percent of registered providers qualify as small businesses.

The Weeks Group, a business consulting firm in Melbourne, Fla., conservatively estimates that a minimum of 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs will be lost in the durable medical equipment sector when the first two rounds of the bidding program are implemented in the first 80 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.

Moreover, a study published earlier this year in the Southern Economic Journal analyzed the CMS demonstration projects on which the bidding program is based and concluded that, "the CMS format will likely result in an insufficient supply of medical equipment, increased prices on a number of goods, and potential problems for beneficiaries in obtaining equipment." The study authors, Brett Katzman, Ph.D. of Kennesaw State University and Kerry Anne McGeary, Ph.D. of Drexel University, "strongly urge a restructuring of the bidding process." Similar conclusions were reached by two economists at Robert Morris University, Brian O'Roark, Ph.D. and Stephen Foreman, Ph.D., who performed a recent study that concluded, "the proposed competitive bidding for medical equipment and supplies will increase concentration and will reduce competition."

Contacts: Michael Reinemer, 703-535-1881;; Tilly Gambill, 703-535-1896;

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) represents providers of durable medical equipment and related services and supplies as well as the manufacturers of that equipment. AAHomecare members serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require home oxygen equipment, wheelchairs and other mobility products, hospital beds, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, home infusion, and other medical equipment, products, and services, delivered in the patient's home. AAHomecare's provider members operate more than 3,000 home care locations in all 50 states. See

SOURCE American Association for Homecare
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New Analysis of Bush FY 2009 Budget: Texas Medicare Cuts 4th Highest in Nation
2. New Poll Shows Public Worried About Medicare Cuts Impact on Seniors, Boomers - Wants Congress To Act
3. Avalere Study Shows Medicare Part D Helping People with Type 2 Diabetes; Warns People with Diabetes of Probability of Reaching the Donut Hole
4. New AHIP Study in Health Affairs Challenges Previous Assumptions About Medigaps Impact on Medicare Costs
5. U.S. House Votes to Block Medicare Recipients From Access to Over 200 of Americas Best and Safest Hospitals.
6. Miami Jury Convicts Physician and Three Business Owners of Medicare Fraud
7. Bi-Partisan Members of U.S. House of Representatives Formally Oppose Funding Reductions to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
8. AAHSA Applauds Medicare Payment Advisory Commissions (MedPAC) Draft Recommendations for Revising the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Payment System
9. AHCA and Alliance: Senate Opposition to Proposed FY 2009 Medicare Cuts Gaining Strength
10. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator Johnny Isakson for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
11. Home Oxygen Community Applauds Senator George Voinovich for Joining Bi-Partisan Effort to Formally Oppose Proposed Cuts to Medicares Home Oxygen Benefit
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to ... between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every ... founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures ... post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, ... for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program ... organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert ... Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the ... App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® for ... aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, few ... and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and Bruxism ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), ... Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled to ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... Palace Hotel in New York ... Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings during ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... Therapeutics, a start-up  biotechnology company focused on the ... and funded by the F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative ... an exclusive collaboration to support the discovery and ... (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD). ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Ohio , Nov. 25, 2015 ... handle hazardous drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, ... and veterinary technicians). The chapter also covers all ... drugs (e.g., pharmacies, hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient ... --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: