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Seniors and People with Disabilities Will Pay Steep Price for Medicare's 'Competitive' Bidding Program for Home Medical Equipment
Date:7/1/2010

ll only make it harder to receive medically required homecare. Over time, the country will see spending soar in other parts of Medicare because the bidding program will push spending into longer hospital stays and ER visits."  

Unintended negative consequences of the bidding program include:

  • REDUCED ACCESS TO CARE AND SERVICE DISRUPTION – This bidding program will restrict consumer access to care and choice for home medical items and services, and it will trigger a race to the bottom in terms of quality. Less expensive items will be provided to patients. The program will disrupt the continuum and coordination of care between doctors, discharge planners, patients, and home medical equipment providers. With a loss of providers, expedient deliveries of items and services will be eliminated.
  • HIGHER SPENDING IN MEDICARE – The bidding program will increase Medicare costs. It will lead to longer, more expensive hospital stays and more physician office visits, nursing home admissions, and emergency room visits.
  • LESS COMPETITION, NOT MORE – The bid program is anti-competitive because it reduces the number of competitors.  About 90 percent of home medical service providers would have been barred from the Medicare program in the first round of bidding conducted in 2008.
  • LOSS OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESSES – The bidding program will result in the closing of thousands of small businesses and result in as many as 100,000 job losses nationwide.

Myths and Realities about the Bidding Program

Medicare has been touting the merits of the bidding program to convince Congress that the program is good for seniors. Unfortunately, proponents have conveyed misleading information and cherry-picked facts that exaggerate the benefits and i
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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