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American Association for Homecare Calls for Market-Based Alternative to Medicare's Flawed Competitive Bidding Program
Date:4/18/2012

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While myths about Medicare's deeply flawed bidding program for durable medical equipment (DME) persist, the American Association for Homecare is urging Congress to adopt the alternative Market Pricing Program (MPP) to replace the controversial bidding program. The current, badly designed bid program is opposed by hundreds of economists and dozens of consumer groups.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the bidding program in nine test areas a year ago – 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 1.4 percent of Medicare spending and is fa
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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