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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

gnore the severe shortcomings of the program.

MYTH: The bidding program is good for beneficiaries because it will significantly reduce cost-sharing or copayments.

REALITY: The bidding program will not save money for most Medicare beneficiaries. Copayments for home medical equipment have fallen dramatically for many years along with decreasing home medical equipment reimbursement rates.  The effect of H.R. 3790, the bill to repeal the bidding program and lower payment rates, would be a further reduction in copayments for Medicare patients.  However, most beneficiaries have Medigap policies that cover copayments, so insurance companies will be the primary beneficiary of the lower copayments. More importantly, the bidding program reduces access to care.

MYTH: The bidding program will eliminate fraud in the durable medical equipment sector.

REALITY: To characterize the bidding program as an anti-fraud mechanism is extremely misleading. The real solution to keeping criminals out of Medicare is better screening, real-time claims audits, and better enforcement mechanisms for Medicare.  The American Association for Homecare has proposed an aggressive 13-point plan to combat fraud (www.aahomecare.org/stopfraud) and many of those provisions are included in two bills in Congress.  The Association endorses Sen. George LeMieux's anti-fraud legislation, The Prevent Health Care Fraud Act of 2009 (S. 2128), and its companion bill in the House, H.R. 4222.  Two new requirements that took effect in October 2009 – accre
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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