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Medicare Patients Report Problems With Access to Medically Required Equipment and Services Under Controversial 'Competitive' Bidding System
Date:2/2/2011

der the bidding system.  "I don't like that the local people were cut out. In our area, there are very few suppliers to choose from."
  • A provider of home medical equipment and services in the Kansas City area reports that hospital discharge planners are sending patients only those equipment providers that won contracts for multiple categories under the bidding system, effectively excluding those companies that only won contracts for one or two service categories. This further shrinks the pool of homecare providers available to serve Medicare beneficiaries who depend on home medical equipment and services and does nothing to protect small providers.
  • Home medical equipment providers in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Dallas have laid off staff because of the bidding program.
  • A patient in the Charlotte area was required to stay in the hospital for several extra days because of delay in delivery of oxygen equipment to the patient's home, reports the North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services.
  • A director of case management at a Dallas hospital said the bidding program has caused problems and burdens with respect to coordination of equipment and services. "Medicare is making it more difficult to provide services to people in need."

  • The American Association for Homecare shared a number of problems with CMS earlier in January including:

    • Companies awarded Medicare contracts that are bankrupt.
    • Companies awarded Medicare contracts that are not licensed to provide items or services.  
    • Companies awarded Medicare contracts that have credit problems.
    • Incorrect information distributed by Medicare about the contract winners and which beneficiaries need to change their home medical equipment providers.

    MARKET EXPERTS, CONSUMER GROUPS OPPOSE THE BID SYSTEM

    In November, more than 160 leading economists and auction experts,
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    SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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