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

, 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."     

MYTHS AND REALITIES ABOUT BIDDING PROGRAM

Proponents of the bidding system have conveyed misleading information that exaggerates the benefits and ignores the severe shortcomings of the program.

MYTH #1: Medicare overpays for home medical equipment and services, and the bidding
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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