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Montana Medical Equipment Providers Back New Congressional Bill to Repeal Flawed Medicare Bidding Program
Date:4/12/2011

t hard working Americans out of jobs in this difficult economy, and it will drive up healthcare costs as seniors will be forced to endure costly hospital visits and nursing home stays to address health care needs that could easily be taken care of at home."

The bipartisan bill to repeal the bidding program, H.R. 1041, was introduced in Congress last month by Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).  So far, the legislation has 74 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.  

CONSUMER GROUPS, MARKET EXPERTS ALSO BACK REPEAL OF BID PROGRAM

A number of patient advocacy and consumer groups also support H.R. 1041 including the ALS Association, the Brain Injury Association of America, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and United Spinal Association, among others.  

The legislation to repeal the bidding program was introduced after hundreds of patients and providers reported problems with the program since its January 1 implementation.  By design, the bidding program severely restricts the number of companies that are allowed to provide the equipment and services subject to bidding.  Since the bidding program began on January 1, patients, clinicians, and homecare providers have reported:

  • Difficulty finding a local equipment or service provider;
  • Delays in obtaining medically required equipment and services;
  • Longer than necessary hospital stays due to trouble discharging patients to home-based care;
  • Far fewer choices for patients when selecting equipment or providers;
  • Reduced quality; and
  • Confusing or incorrect information provided by Medicare.

In January, the American Association for Homecare shared with Medicare a numb
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SOURCE Big Sky Association of Home Medical Equipment Suppliers
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