Stay ahead of developments in federal and state health care law, regulation and transactions with timely, expert news and analysis.
Two House lawmakers called on colleagues to join in asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to delay implementation of Medicare's durable medical equipment (DME) competitive bidding program.
In a letter sent May 17, Reps. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa) and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) expressed serious concerns about the DME program and asked colleagues to sign on to a letter asking CMS to delay Round Two of the program through the end of 2013.
The goal of the DME program is to improve quality of service and eliminate excess costs within Medicare. CMS said the program is expected to save Medicare Part B about $25.7 billion between 2013 and 2022. Beneficiaries are expected to save an estimated $17.1 billion as a result of lower coinsurance and premium payments, the agency said. The Affordable Care Act required that by 2016, all areas of the country be subject to either DME competitive bidding or payment rate adjustments using competitively bid rates.
The bidding program is set to expand July 1 to 100 areas from nine (69 HCDR, 4/10/13).
The lawmakers in the letter took issue with how the contracts for DME were awarded and asked for CMS to delay implementing the program to fully investigate. “We are extremely concerned that CMS's apparent mishandling of this bid process will directly impact Medicare's ability to serve its beneficiaries in the bid areas,” the lawmakers wrote. “Despite strong Congressional concerns about the lack of transparency, the lack of binding bids during the contract process, and the improper vetting of the financial wherewithal of many firms that have been awarded contracts, CMS still plans to move forward.”
The letter to CMS will be sent later this month, a spokesman for Thompson told BNA.
Van Miller, chief executive officer and founder of the VGM Group, a national buying group for independent home medical equipment providers, expressed support for the lawmakers' attempt to delay the DME program. “We share the concerns of Congressmen Braley and Thompson that this flawed bidding process will have a serious impact on the ability of medical providers to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries,” Miller said in a May 21 statement. “The competitive bidding program is costly, inefficient, and dangerous. We applaud Congressman Braley and Congressman Thompson for their commitment to ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries have continued access to quality care and equipment. We hope that other members of Congress will follow their lead and join the call for a fairer, more effective bidding system.”
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)