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Medicare Procurement Program Creates Extreme Hardships For North Carolina Patients, Says AAHomecare
Date:10/29/2013

NEW BERN, N.C., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 2,000 Medicare patients, including dozens of North Carolina residents, have called an organization, People for Quality Care, desperately seeking assistance because their health and quality of life is being jeopardized by Medicare's bidding program for home medical equipment. Yet, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), insists there have only been a few complaints associated with the bidding program.

But Joseph Metts, 73, of New Bern, N.C., is one of many Medicare beneficiaries, who are suffering because they can't get repairs or new home medical equipment through the badly flawed bidding program that expanded to 91 new areas on July 1.

Metts has had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for twenty years and diabetes for just as long, mainly as a result of his cancer treatments. He can't get his blood sugar testing strips sent to him anymore. When the Medicare bidding process started in his area in July, he and his daughter started making calls, hoping to stay ahead of the curve. They were given the phone numbers of five different dealers and contacted them all, but three didn't carry Joseph's equipment, one never answered, and the last didn't have them in stock and didn't know if they ever would.

So far, it doesn't appear that he'll ever be able to get them without driving to another town to pick them up.

This change will be difficult for Joseph, whose cancer has recently returned, and whose wife is homebound on a ventilator and feeding tube—Joseph is her primary caretaker. "We choose to have her at home," says Joseph's daughter, <
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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