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Delay of Medicare Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment Underscores Severe Problems with Program; Support Surges for Bipartisan Bill to Repeal the Bid Program
Date:5/4/2011

agreed that the program does not work. Delaying round two only kicks the can to a future date. While this is an indication that the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act (H.R. 1041) is gaining momentum, we must continue efforts to educate policy makers here in Washington about the disastrous affects this program will have on our communities and Medicare beneficiaries."

"CMS's decision to delay round two of the competitive bidding program shows that even it acknowledges that this program is seriously flawed," said Rep. Altmire. "The truth is that no matter how CMS tries to tweak its competitive bidding program, it will continue to be a fundamentally bad deal for our nation's seniors and small businesses. I will continue working in Congress to repeal this program and protect seniors' access to the quality care that they deserve."

More than two dozen patient advocacy and consumer groups also have endorsed H.R. 1041. Those organizations include 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.

In January 2011, round one of the bid program was implemented in nine metropolitan areas – Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Riverside, California. Since then, patients, clinicians, and homecare providers have 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;
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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