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American Association for Homecare Urges Congress to Enact Market-Based Alternative to Medicare's Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment
Date:12/12/2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association for Homecare urges Congress to enact the Market Pricing Program (MPP), a reform of Medicare's pricing system that is an alternative to the controversial bidding scheme for durable medical equipment and services. 

"As it's currently designed, Medicare's bidding 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. "It also discourages competition and ultimately increases healthcare costs.  Our proposal, the Market Pricing Program, corrects numerous flaws in the current bidding program and features a financially sustainable auction system."

The bidding program implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has deep flaws, which were described in a letter to Congress signed by 244 top economists and auction experts. The current bidding system allows for non-binding bids – which encourage irresponsible bids and unsustainable prices and do nothing to ensure that winning bidders are actually qualified to provide the products and services to Medicare beneficiaries in the specified market areas.  Since the bidding program was implemented on January 1, 2011, hundreds of Medicare patients have reported difficulty finding local equipment or service providers, delays in obtaining medically required equipment and services, and fewer choices when selecting equipment or providers. 

The Market Pricing Program is based on recommendations by economists and auction experts in the field who have studied the current program.  MPP features an auction system to establi
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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