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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

vices%20011112.pdf">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.

ECONOMISTS, CONSUMERS, CONGRESS OPPOSE FLAWED BID SYSTEM

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
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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