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Maine Medical Equipment Providers Back Congressional Bill to Repeal Flawed Medicare Bidding Program
Date:5/16/2011

equipment will fail. Those experts found that the bidding program designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has irreparable flaws that will prevent it from achieving its objectives of low cost and high quality equipment and services. Under the CMS-designed system, the bidding companies are not bound by their bids, which undermines the credibility of the process and encourages "low-ball" bids that create an unsustainable process and threaten the long-term viability of the program.  

Ultimately, the experts told Congress, the bid design provides "strong incentives to distort bids away from [actual] costs," and lacks transparency, which is "unacceptable in a government auction and is in sharp contrast to well-run government auctions." The experts' letters conclude, "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."

The New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association is the regional trade association representing providers of home medical equipment and supplies, home oxygen therapy and respiratory equipment, custom wheelchairs and assistive technology, and home infusion therapy in the six New England states. Approximately 80% of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receive their home medical equipment and related services from a NEMED member. Visit www.nemed.org.

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 the
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SOURCE New England Medical Equipment Dealers Association
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