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Patient and Disability Groups Support Bill to Begin Market Pricing System for Home Medical Equipment in Medicare
Date:11/14/2012

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 30 patient advocacy and consumer groups endorsed a bill in Congress that would replace Medicare's current "competitive bidding" program for durable medical equipment with a better market pricing system that preserves access to homecare. Millions of Americans use medically required durable medical equipment and services at home, including oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, and hospital beds.

The bill, H.R. 6490, was introduced in the House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in September and has gained strong bipartisan support from several dozen members of Congress. The bill would replace the current, controversial bidding program with a more sustainable system, says the American Association for Homecare.

An October 31 letter from the patient groups to the lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.), states:

"This legislation establishes an independent auction program, known as the Market Pricing Program (MPP), which will result in accountability, transparency, and market-based pricing. It will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries, including individuals with disabilities, continue to have access to high quality, medically required durable medical equipment (DME) and services that will give our community the ability to live active, productive independent lives with improved health outcomes….

The current bidding program restricts access to, and choice of, DME items and services by forcing consumers to use certain durable medical equipment providers whether they furnish the products and services that provide the most benefit to consumers or not. With fewer providers allowed to provide products and services, normal expedient deliveries of items and services are being eliminated and therefore Medicare costs are increasing because patients are being h
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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