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

span itemprop="name">Tina Metts, "because the closest nursing home that allows for ventilators is three hours away. There are no home help agencies in our area that work with ventilator patients. Everything is out of pocket, so he stays home with her 24 hours a day. The cost of care is so burdensome. We can't get any help, they're using their life savings, and he's sick, too."

Despite CMS claims to the contrary, people like Metts are suffering because of the badly mismanaged Medicare bidding program. It has put hundreds of providers of durable medical equipment (DME) out of business, created equipment shortages, and left beneficiaries without doctor-prescribed equipment, such as oxygen tanks, power wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, and diabetic supplies.

AAHomecare has contacted several Medicare patients who are not receiving quality service or equipment because of the bidding program. Mett's story is one of many.

"It's disturbing that CMS is claiming everything is fine when people are suffering," said Tom Ryan, president of the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare). "The bidding program is bad public policy that needs to be fixed or stopped. CMS must acknowledge the real problems that Medicare patients are encountering. How can they expect anyone to believe that they have only received a handful of complaints when more than 2,000 people have reached out to a private organization for help addressing their problems?"

According to a May 2012 Government Accountability Office report titled Review of the First Year of CMS's Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program's Round 1 Rebid, the agency may be intentionally undercounting the number of problems. "CMS's definition of inquiry and complaint may be an optimistic characterization of beneficiary c
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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