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

ore awarding supplier numbers.

CMS has already taken numerous strides to reduce the potential for fraud. These steps include provider accreditation, quality standards, supplier standards and a mandatory surety bond that took effect last October.  The home medical equipment sector has supported tougher enforcement to keep criminals out of Medicare, but the fact remains that historically, CMS has done an extraordinarily poor job at this task.  

Conclusion

As a nurse and with direct experience in the home medical equipment field, I believe that this program will increase costs rather than save money.  Patients that I see will suffer through limited access to clinically appropriate equipment and services.  It will reduce the quality of equipment beneficiaries receive and many will end up in the hospital.  And it will kill jobs at a time when the Administration is promoting job creation.

This program cannot be fixed as it is designed.  Therefore, it is the recommendation of JAMES, AAHomecare and a large number of patient organizations that Congress must immediately stop the implementation of this bidding program and work with the HME community to ensure accurate pricing, while at the same time ensuring access to quality care for Medicare beneficiaries."

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and other organizations in the homecare community. Members serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, home infusion, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. The Association's members operate more than 3,000 homecare locations in all 50 states. Visit www.aahomecare.org/competitivebidding.


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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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