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Complaints and Concerns about Medicare Competitive Bidding for Home Medical Equipment Can Be Reported Via a Toll-Free Number and Website
Date:12/31/2010

competitive bidding system to set Medicare prices, found that this particular bidding program designed by CMS has alarming flaws that will prevent it from achieving its objectives of low cost and high quality home medical equipment and services for millions of seniors and people with disabilities across the country.

Bidders, the experts noted in their letters, are not bound by their bids, which undermines the credibility of the process. Additionally, the pricing rules encourage "low-ball bids" that will not allow for a sustainable process or healthy pool of equipment suppliers.  Ultimately, the bid design provides "strong incentives to distort bids away from [actual] costs," and lacks transparency that is "unacceptable in a government auction and is in sharp contrast to well-run government auctions."

The economic experts' letter concludes, "This collection of problems suggests that the program over time may degenerate into a 'race to the bottom' in which suppliers become increasingly unreliable, product and service quality deteriorates, and supply shortages become common. Contract enforcement would become increasingly difficult and fraud and abuse would grow… Implementation of the current design will result in a failed government program."

Also opposing the controversial bidding program are a bipartisan group of 257 members of Congress and more than a dozen national consumer and patient advocacy groups. Those consumer groups include the ALS Association, American Association of People with Disabilities, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Council on Independent Living, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and United Spinal Association.

To learn more, visit www.aahomecare.org/competitivebidding.

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and other organizations in the homecare community. Membe
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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