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Myths and Realities About Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment and Services
Date:8/19/2011

in much higher spending in Medicare and Medicaid for hospital and nursing home stays and for physician and emergency treatments.

MYTH #3: The bidding program will eliminate fraud.

REALITY:  CMS continues to describe the bidding program as an anti-fraud tool. In reality, it is a price-setting mechanism that has nothing to do with fraud prevention.  In fact, the exact opposite is true, according to the 167 market experts who warned Congress that the CMS bidding program "will lead to a 'race to the bottom' fostering fraud and corruption."  

The real solution to keeping criminals out of Medicare is better screening, real-time claims audits, and better enforcement mechanisms for Medicare. Two years ago, the American Association for Homecare proposed to Congress an aggressive, 13-point legislative action plan to combat fraud, and many of those provisions have been included in legislation passed in Congress. Moreover, two important anti-fraud requirements for home medical equipment providers – accreditation and surety bonds – took effect nearly two years ago, in September 2009.   

MYTH #4:  Only the home medical equipment sector opposes the bidding system.

REALITY:   In addition to the 167 economists and bidding experts who have expressed grave concerns about the bidding program, 30 consumer and patient advocacy organizations have called for a halt to the bidding system. Those groups include the ALS Association, the Brain Injury Association of America, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Emphysema and COPD Association, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and United Spinal Association, among others.

These consumer groups suppo
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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