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Seniors in Florida Report Problems Obtaining Needed Home Medical Equipment and Services Under Controversial Medicare Bidding System
Date:2/25/2011

iance of Home Care Services. "Congress must take action and repeal this program before the situation becomes even more dire."

Since January 1, 2011, the American Association for Homecare has logged more than 250 complaints about the bidding program from patients, providers, and case managers.

Schwinghammer said, "Competitive bidding is unfairly harming the health of Medicare patients in Florida and hurting local businesses in an already struggling economy. In Miami and Orlando, we are seeing patients being sent to emergency rooms to receive services that were once standard at-home procedures for them. We are witnessing local providers that have been around for more than 20 years being put out of business by out-of-area companies. Patients are calling us on the phone in tears, and we've heard from doctors and other providers who are worried as well."

The American Association for Homecare shared a number of problems with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier in January including:

  • Winning companies awarded contracts by Medicare that are bankrupt.
  • Winning companies that are not licensed to provide items or services.  
  • Winning companies that have credit problems.
  • Incorrect information distributed by Medicare about the contract winners and which beneficiaries need to change home medical equipment providers.

The design and implementation of the bidding system alarm Schwinghammer and more than 167 leading economists and auction experts, including two Nobel laureates, who warned Congress that this bidding system will fail.  The economic experts who predict failure are not opposed to competitive bidding for Medicare, and in fact many of them design market-based auction systems. But they found that this particular bidding program, as it is designed by CMS, has irreparable flaws that will prevent it from achieving its objectives of low
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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