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New Program for Medicare Beneficiaries Will Mean Major Changes Effective January 1, 2011 - The Carolinas
Date:1/3/2011

LUBBOCK, Texas, Jan. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --: The MED Group, a Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) Company, announces the creation of www.medicaresuppliersnetwork.com. The website was created to help answer questions for Medicare beneficiaries and referral sources, such as physician offices, about competitive bidding and how patients can receive their medical equipment under this new program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be implementing a new program January 1, 2011 that will make drastic changes to how Medicare beneficiaries receive their medical equipment. Presently, Medicare beneficiaries and referral sources are allowed to choose a medical equipment supplier of their choice. The new program called "competitive bidding" will reduce and limit the number of medical equipment companies that can provide equipment to traditional Medicare beneficiaries. This program does not affect any patients who are on a Medicare Advantage Plan or traditional insurance. CMS was mandated by Congress to create this program to help control Medicare costs and lower out of pocket expenses for seniors.

In the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area approximately 85-90% of medical equipment companies will be excluded from providing equipment to traditional Medicare beneficiaries. This program is limited to all or part of the nine counties surrounding the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area and is based on the zip code of the patient. The competitive bidding area includes counties in South Carolina and North Carolina. The area includes all or part of the following counties- Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Gaston, York, Union, Anson, Rowan, Lincoln, and Chester. There is an estimated 160,000 Medicare beneficiaries living within the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord competitive bidding area.

Any traditional Medicare beneficiary living in the nine counties (according to their zip code) will be required to use a medical equipment company from the approved list of contracted medical equipment suppliers for the following product categories:

  • Oxygen Equipment and Supplies
  • Standard Power Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Related Accessories
  • Complex Rehabilitative Power Wheelchairs and Related Accessories - (Certain products)
  • Mail Order Replacement Diabetic Supplies - Mail Order Only
  • Enteral Nutrients, Equipment and Supplies
  • CPAP, RADS, and Related Supplies and Accessories
  • Hospital Beds and Related Accessories
  • Walkers and Related Accessories

  • Medicare beneficiaries currently receiving medical equipment from a local company may be able in certain situations to continue to receive the equipment from their present company. If the beneficiary has any questions they should contact their medical equipment company. A full list of approved contracted providers and the list of zip codes within each county affected by this change can be found at www.medicaresuppliersnetwork.com.

    "CMS has tried to educate referral sources and Medicare beneficiaries, but with this large of a change, it is nearly impossible to reach such a large segment of the population. This website is helping people by providing the information they need to get the equipment they require for themselves, a loved one, or for one of their patients," says Jeff Woodham, Senior VP and General Manager for The MED Group located in Lubbock, Texas.

    For additional information on competitive bidding, visit www.medicaresuppliersnetwork.com.

    About The MED GroupThe MED Group is a Group Purchasing, Business Solutions and Referral Management Network that helps Home Care Providers lower their purchasing costs for home medical equipment, health care, technology and other supplies. MED Group consists of more than 365 market-leading, independent, HME provider members covering thousands of locations to create a significant national footprint and the broadest and deepest reach in home care. MED's portfolio of supply agreements provide favorable pricing and terms for members that require access to various product categories including rehab/mobility, respiratory, sleep, infusion, orthotics, support surface, distributed supplied, and durable medical equipment. For more information, visit www.medgroup.com.For More Information Contact:Wayne GrauVice President, Supplier Relations & Government AffairsThe MED GroupTelephone 806-722-2548Cell 570-902-9878Fax 806-792-4499wgrau@medgroup.com www.medgroup.com
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    SOURCE The MED Group
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