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New York Home Medical Providers Call on Congress to Preserve Homecare as an Option for Seniors and People With Disabilities
Date:8/5/2010

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last month that the first round of bidding in nine of the country's largest metropolitan areas could reduce Medicare spending for home medical equipment and services. But those savings would result from "suicide bids" from providers in this ill-advised race to the bottom that will put thousands of homecare providers out of business and reduce patients' access to care. Although Congress delayed the implementation of the bidding 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.  Even though the bidding was delayed in 2008, Congress cut Medicare reimbursement rates nationwide for home medical equipment in order to save the dollars the flawed bid program had been projected to save.

"As a provider in the New York Metro area who has been competing on the premise of patient accessibility to the latest technology, encouraging our patients to continue to have an active lifestyle, these rates have me very concerned," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of Farmingdale-based Homecare Concepts, Inc. "These reimbursement rates will not sustain the required services and they will in fact create a new second tier of service and equipment choices for the elderly population in this country, mandated by a government that has decided the lowest bidder should service our most needy citizens."

"The medical equipment provider sector is offering an alternative to this complex bidding program that will yield the savings necessary while preserving the quality services for the patients and preserve the home-based benefit," added Napierski.  The New
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SOURCE New York Medical Equipment Providers Association
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