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Homecare Provider Testifies on Downside of Medicare 'Competitive' Bidding Program Before House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee
Date:9/15/2010

why this competitive bidding program - as designed by CMS - will not achieve its desired outcomes and will in fact reduce access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, lower the quality of that care, increase costs and kill jobs.  And I anticipate that once CMS announces which providers have won contracts, we will have an even stronger case to make to Congress on why lawmakers must stop this program before it causes irreparable harm.

We agree with 255 members of the House of Representatives who believe this program should be scrapped. Numerous consumer and patient advocacy organizations also believe the bidding program should be eliminated. They include the ALS Association, the American Association for People with Disabilities, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, to name a few.  

The fundamental flaw in the design of this bidding program for durable medical equipment is that it treats home medical equipment and services like a simple commodity. In fact, effective home-based care for our nation's seniors and people with disabilities is an integral part of the continuum of care that helps move patients swiftly from hospital to the home. It helps to keep people out of nursing homes and the emergency room, and properly administered, it reduces hospital readmissions.  Home medical equipment, services, and supplies such as oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, and hospital beds, help people live independently in the most cost-effective setting.

Many frail, elderly and disabled Medicare patients require multiple items of medical equipment.  Imagine the chaos that will occur when a caregiver must call 5 or 6 different companies to coordinate the medical equipment needs of a patient who requires a hospital bed, support surface, oxygen, enteral feeding and a walker.

Clinical Perspective of Competitive Bidding

As a nurse and Assistive Technology Professional who helps patients get fitted for the right type of wheel
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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