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North Carolina Business Owners At Risk Because Of Defective Medicare Bidding Program
Date:5/21/2013

GASTONIA, N.C. and HENDERSONVILLE, N.C., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The controversial Medicare bidding procurement program for home medical equipment is forcing many small and large providers in North Carolina to lay off employees or close their businesses, developments that will likely disrupt the quality of service and products received by Medicare beneficiaries, says the American Association for Homecare.

Under the defective and dangerous program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reducing reimbursements to providers by 45% when the bidding program expands to 91 new locations in July. Due to these arbitrary cuts, many providers say they can no longer supply Medicare patients with durable medical equipment (DME); these include critical items such as power wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and diabetic supplies.

"Medicare is creating havoc for providers in North Carolina and across the country and, ultimately, jeopardizing people's health," said Tyler Wilson , president of AAHomecare. "It is time Congress and the Administration end this failed experiment and create a program that guarantees high-quality service to patients, while offering businesses fair, market-based reimbursement rates."

Wilson said there has been "complete mismanagement of the design and implementation of the bidding program." CMS basically imposes reimbursement rates that fall somewhere between the lowest and highest bids that are made by providers. But at the same time, all the bids are non-binding, which has led some providers to make desperate "suicide" bids in an effort to win contracts in enough equipment categories to keep their businesses alive.  

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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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