Navigation Links
American Association for Homecare Calls for Market-Based Alternative to Medicare's Bidding Program; Cites Lack of Access for Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing the likelihood that Medicare beneficiaries are not receiving necessary medical equipment and services, the American Association for Homecare is urging Congress to adopt the Market Pricing Program (MPP) to replace the controversial bidding program for home medical equipment and services, or durable medical equipment (DME).

Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which implemented the bidding program in nine test areas a year ago, shows that reimbursement claims for home medical equipment fell in those metropolitan areas – Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Riverside, California.   


Consumer advocates, auction experts, DME providers, and economists are concerned that seniors and people living with disabilities are not receiving critical medical equipment and services. Since the program was implemented in 2011, the American Association for Homecare has received reports from hundreds of Medicare patients about difficulty finding local equipment and service providers, delays in obtaining medically required DME, and fewer choices when selecting equipment and providers.

Medical oxygen, walkers, respiratory devices, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment and supplies prescribed for Medicare beneficiaries reduce spending by preventing treatment in higher-cost settings. Data from CMS shows that when Medicare patients don't use prescribed home medical equipment and services, their use of emergency room and hospital services increases.  So while the current bidding program may further reduce spending on DME (which represents 1.4 percent of Medicare spending and is falling), taxpayers will see spending increase dramatically in hospitals and ERs as patients' options for home-based care continue to shut down.


Lined up in opposition to the current Medicare bidding program are 244 economists, 30 consumer and disability groups such as United Spinal and the ALS Association, and 166 members of Congress

CMS is now expanding the bidding program to 91 additional metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.  However, economists have warned that expanding the deeply flawed program is a mistake.  Yesterday, University of Maryland economist Peter Cramton, Ph.D., told American Association for Homecare annual conference participants, "Now is not the time to scale up a program that everyone agrees is fatally flawed.  The Market Pricing Program steps in and fixes each of the flaws with direct and understandable solutions." 

Kennesaw State economics professor Brett Katzman, Ph.D., spoke to the same group and commented about the current Medicare bidding program, stating, "I am a proponent of competitive bidding. What you have now is not competitive bidding."

One reason why utilization has declined is that the current bidding program prevents several thousand qualified DME providers from serving Medicare beneficiaries. "The existing system reduces choice, access, and quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities who require home medical equipment and services," said Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. 


In calling on Congress to enact the Market Pricing Program, Wilson explained that the current system, which allows non-binding bids, encourages irresponsible bids and creates unsustainable prices while doing nothing to ensure that winning bidders are qualified to provide the products and services to Medicare beneficiaries.

The Market Pricing Program is based on recommendations by economists and auction experts who have studied the current program. MPP features an auction system to establish market-based prices around the country and would require Medicare to make fundamental changes to ensure the long-term viability of the pricing program. Key components include:

  • The Market Pricing Program is designed to achieve an accurate market price.
  • Bids are binding for the bidders and cash deposits are required to ensure that only serious homecare providers participate.
  • The bid price is based on the clearing price, not the median price of winners.
  • The program includes the same equipment and services as the current bidding system and would be implemented across the country during the same timeframe. 
  • Two product categories per market area would be bid. Eight additional product categories in that same area would have prices reduced based on auctions conducted simultaneously in comparable geographic areas. 

"The market-based system would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the services and equipment that they need and ensure that the government pays fair, competitive prices for the equipment and services provided," Wilson said. "That makes it a win-win for taxpayers and beneficiaries."     

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and others in the homecare community that serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen systems, wheelchairs, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. Members operate more than 3,000 homecare locations in all 50 states.  Visit

SOURCE American Association for Homecare
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Vicus Therapeutics to Present at the 234th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston, MA
2. Lexicon to Present Research Results at American Chemical Society Meeting Regarding Target of LX1031 Drug Candidate
3. GlaxoSmithKline Receives New HHS Order for H5N1 Bulk Antigen. First North American Clinical Trials with GSKs Candidate Pre-pandemic Flu Vaccine to Start.
4. Aspirin Named 8th World Wonder by Majority of Americans
5. MedImmunes Motavizumab Reduced RSV Hospitalizations by 83 Percent Among High-Risk Native American, Full-Term Infants in Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 study
6. American Heart Association Comment Saving Lives in Type 2 Diabetics: Could It Be as Easy as Lowering Blood Pressure?
7. TrialCheck(R) Cancer Clinical Trial Matching Interface to Debut on American Cancer Society Web Site
8. Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association Rapid Access Reports: Hispanics Hypertension Better Controlled With Equal Access to Care
9. Positive Results for NKTR-118 (oral PEG-naloxol) Presented at American Academy of Pain Management Meeting
10. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society Refutes American Society of Reproductive Medicine Opinion - States Preimplantation Genetic Screening is Beneficial When Performed in Experienced Centers
11. New MIRCERA(R) Data Analyses to be Featured at the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 3D bioprinting market is ... a new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence ... demands kidney transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, ... organ transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting market is ... a new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has announced ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the French ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... users a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This ... style options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... where preparing the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of ... bringing a dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, representatives from ... Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered today at ... Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- day meeting ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who ... Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) ... in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition of Botox® ... are aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate facial wrinkling, ... soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorder, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):