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Bi-Partisan Legislation Introduced Would Repeal Controversial Medicare 'Competitive Bidding' Requirements for Home Medical Equipment
Date:3/18/2011

mber of patient advocacy and consumer groups also support H.R. 1041 – the ALS Association, the Brain Injury Association of America, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Emphysema and COPD Association, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and United Spinal Association, among others.

The bottom line is this: the "competitive bidding program will increase Medicare costs. It disrupts the continuum and coordination of care between doctors, discharge planners, patients, and homecare providers.  It will lead to longer, more expensive hospital stays and more physician office visits, nursing home admissions, and emergency room visits," said Shirvinsky.

Since the January 1 implementation of the bidding program in nine areas in the U.S., the following types of problems and complaints have been reported:

  • Difficulty finding a local equipment or service provider;
  • Delays in obtaining medically required equipment and services;
  • Longer than necessary hospital stays due to trouble discharging patients to home-based care;
  • Far fewer choices for patients when selecting equipment or providers;
  • Reduced quality; and
  • Confusing or incorrect information provided by Medicare.

In November, 2010, 167 leading economists, including two Nobel laureates and auction experts who have experience in the design and application of auctions around the world, warned Congress that Medicare's bidding design for home medical equipment will fail.  Those experts, who design market-based auction systems, found that this particular bidding program designed by Medicare has irreparable flaws that will prevent it from achieving its objectives of establishing accurate reimbursement rates while maintaining high quality equipment and related servi
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers
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