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American Association for Homecare Calls for Market-Based Alternative to Medicare's Bidding Program; Cites Lack of Access for Beneficiaries
Date:2/16/2012

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.   

CURRENT SYSTEM IS DANGEROUSLY FLAWED

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

SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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