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Seniors in Ohio Report Problems With Access to Home Medical Equipment and Services Under Controversial Medicare Bidding System
Date:2/10/2011

laid off staff as a result of the bidding program.

"Competitive bidding has negatively impacted both our businesses and the patients who we have served for the past 12 years," said Gary Bajusz, President of Integrated Medical, Inc. in Cleveland. "We just could not sustain our current situation after competitive bidding implementation. I had to close our branch in Mount Vernon, which resulted in the loss of three full-time positions. And in our Cleveland branch, I had to let go two hardworking employees. This move will ultimately hurt some of the Medicare beneficiaries who rely on me and my staff. It pains me to see that, in a time like this, the government is pushing hardworking Americans out of jobs and working against the best interest of our seniors and people living with disabilities."

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 Bajusz 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 cost and high quality equipment and services.

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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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