Navigation Links
Discussion of Medicare's 'Competitive' Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment is Plagued by Myths and Misinformation

ARLINGTON, Va., March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Medicare has been touting the merits of the "competitive" bidding program for durable, or home medical equipment and services (HME) to convince Congress that the program is good for seniors. Unfortunately, proponents have conveyed misleading information and cherry-picked facts that exaggerate the benefits and ignore the severe shortcomings of the program.

MYTH #1: The bidding program is good for beneficiaries because it will significantly reduce cost-sharing requirements.

REALITY: Patient copayments for home medical equipment have fallen dramatically for many years along with decreasing home medical equipment reimbursement rates.  A bipartisan bill in the House, H.R. 3790, would eliminate the bidding program in a fiscally responsible manner by reducing home medical reimbursements to offset savings that the bid program would have realized. So the effect of that bill, which has 179 cosponsors so far, would be a further reduction in copayments for Medicare patients. Moreover, most beneficiaries have Medigap policies that cover copayments, so insurance companies will be the primary beneficiary of the lower copayments. More importantly, low copayments come at a great cost in terms of reduced access and service. The bidding program will trigger a race to the bottom in terms of care for seniors and people with disabilities.  The bid program will ultimately increase doctor visits, hospital stays, and nursing home admissions, which in turn will increase copayments and other costs for patients and for Medicare.

Organizations that support the elimination of Medicare's "competitive" bidding program for durable medical equipment include the ALS Association, the American Association for Respiratory Care, the American Association of People with Disabilities, International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Emphysema/COPD Association, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and Post-Polio Health International, among others.

MYTH #2: The bidding program will eliminate fraud in the durable medical equipment sector.

REALITY: To characterize the bidding program as an anti-fraud mechanism is extremely misleading. The real solution to keeping criminals out of Medicare is better screening, real-time claims audits, and better enforcement mechanisms for Medicare. The American Association for Homecare has proposed an aggressive 13-point plan to combat fraud ( and many of those provisions are included in two bills in Congress. The Association endorses Sen. George LeMieux's anti-fraud legislation, The Prevent Health Care Fraud Act of 2009 (S. 2128), and its companion bill in the House, H.R. 4222.  Also, two new requirements that took effect in October 2009 -- accreditation and surety bonds for home medical equipment providers -- will go far toward eliminating fraud. 

MYTH #3: The bidding program is good for business because it creates a more competitive environment.  

REALITY: The program requires "suicide bidding" that coerces providers to bid at unsustainable Medicare reimbursement rates.  At a time when the government is working to create jobs, the bidding pogrom is a job killer. In the first round of the program in 2008, 90 percent of qualified providers were barred from serving Medicare beneficiaries for the bid-upon items, even if they had agreed to the lower Medicare rates.

MYTH #4: Providers will be competing on quality and price.

REALITY: The "competitive" bidding program will, in fact, ration care. Home medical equipment providers already compete on the basis of quality in order to help in the hospital discharge process, which moves patients into cost-effective, post-acute care at home. The way this bidding program is set up triggers a race to the bottom in terms of quality and because losing the bid means going out of business, providers must engage in suicide bidding that coerces them to bid at economically unsustainable rates.  This will increase Medicare spending in hospitals and ER visits.

MYTH #5: The bidding program will make healthcare more cost-effective.

REALITY: The home is already the most cost-effective setting for post-acute care. As more people receive good equipment and services at home, we will spend less on longer hospital says, emergency room visits, and nursing home admissions.  Home medical equipment is an important part of the solution to the nation's healthcare funding crisis. Home medical equipment represents less than two percent of Medicare spending. So while this bidding program may further reduce reimbursement rates for home medical equipment, ultimately, it will increase Medicare and Medicaid spending for hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and emergency treatments.

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and others  in the homecare community that serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. Members operate more than 3,000 homecare locations in all 50 states.  Please visit  

SOURCE American Association for Homecare

Back to top



SOURCE American Association for Homecare
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Sponsors Panel Discussion on Women and Lung Cancer on Capitol Hill
2. Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Supports Panel Discussion on Women and Lung Cancer on Capitol Hill
3. ReachMD Broadcasts First-of-its-Kind Physician Peer-Peer Discussion on ENHANCE Trial
4. Orexigen(R) Therapeutics Schedules July 20, 2009 Teleconference and Webcast Discussion of Contrave(R) Phase 3 Results
5. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. Sets Time for Discussion of Third Quarter Fiscal 2010 Financial Results
6. VIVUS to Host Conference Call and Webcast Discussion of Avanafil Phase 3 Results
7. Ritter Pharmaceuticals Joins NIH Conference Discussions on Lactose Intolerance and Associated Health Risks
8. Orexigen(R) Therapeutics Schedules March 9, 2010 Webcast Discussion of Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2009
9. Kantar Health CEO to Participate in Panel Discussion at PMRG 2010 Annual National Conference
10. CenterWatch Releases State of the Clinical Trials Industry 2008 - A Key Industry Resource for Market Research and Competitive Intelligence
11. Reportlinker Adds The Middle Eastern Pharmaceutical Market Outlook To 2014: Policy environment, market structure, competitive landscape, growth opportunities
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share ... formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing ... drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):