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Sen. Tom Daschle, Rep. Jason Altmire, Healthcare Experts Tout Homecare as Cost-Effective Solution in the Healthcare Reform Process
Date:7/23/2009

e what works in our current system, first and foremost, and one of the things that works best in the current system is homecare. And if you look at what the goals are for healthcare reform, homecare touches on every one of them. When you think about wellness and prevention . . . that can be done in the home better than anywhere else. There's no more cost-effective setting than in the home."

Altmire referred to findings from hearings on competitive bidding in the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, which he chairs. "What we found is when you have a regulation in place that's putting cost over quality, that's not only going to impact the beneficiary, and we all know how that works, it's also going to affect the small businesses that are staples to our communities in the durable medical equipment field."

Peter Thomas, representing the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, said, "Disability groups have long opposed competitive bidding for DMEPOS [durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies]. There is real concern about limitations on choice of provider. In many instances these are beneficiaries with long-standing relationships with providers. . .. Those relationships get fractured under competitive bidding. . .. We're very concerned that service is going to go out the window, that quality is going to decrease, and that patient choice is going to become compromised. There are other ways to get at overpayment in the DMEPOS fee schedule. We think that competitive bidding is not the way to do it."

"Homecare must be supported as a vital component of the healthcare system and recognized as a critical benefit under Medicare," said Tyler Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. "When the Office of Inspector General at HHS notes that a piece of equipment can be purchased over the Internet at a lower cost than at the Medicare rate, it
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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