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New Jersey Home Medical Providers Call on Congress to Preserve Homecare as an Option for Seniors and People with Disabilities
Date:6/1/2010

JACKSON, N.J., June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Providers of home medical equipment and services across New Jersey are proposing a fiscally responsible alternative to the mislabeled "competitive" bidding scheme currently under way in Medicare that will actually discourage competition, reduce access to care for many of the state's 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries, and put hundreds of New Jersey homecare providers out of business.  

"This bidding program is something that New Jersey's Medicare population should be gravely concerned about," says Wendy Russalesi, executive director of the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services (JAMES), which represents providers of home medical equipment in the state. "If implemented, this program will do nothing more than delay access to necessary medical equipment, reduce the quality of the medical equipment provided, and place additional economic strain on the small business community of New Jersey.  With the recent passage of the health reform bill, this program is now slated to encompass an alarming 80 percent of our state during the second round of bidding."

The Medicare bidding program encourages "suicide bidding," using economic coercion by forcing providers to submit unsustainable bids necessary to win a contract. Although Congress delayed the implementation of the selective contracting program in 2008 to allow for needed changes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ignored congressional intent and did not address the flaws that precipitated the delay.  

"For decades, durable medical equipment providers have competed in an open market on the basis of
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SOURCE Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services
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