Friday, February 22, 2008

Suspend Round One, Cries the Homecare Industry

“As our economy teeters on the brink of a recession and the federal government looks for long term solutions to rapidly increasing health care costs, we believe that this program will only exacerbate these problems and harm Medicare beneficiaries who are prescribed home medical equipment,” said AAHomecare in a letter to Secretary Leavitt on Friday afternoon asking for suspension of round one of the competitive bidding program.

The letter requested CMS suspend implementation until issues raised in a report by Robert Morris University could be examined and analyzed by health care experts and industry experts on the Medicare Program Advisory and Oversight Committee. The new economic study finds that the competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment (DME) being rolled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would lead to reduced competition, lower quality of care, and higher costs. This study calls into question the fundamental underpinnings of the program and AAHomecare believes the agency should be required to evaluate the principles and conclusions of this report and again consider whether competitive bidding is in the long-term interests of Medicare, its beneficiaries and taxpayers.

Pennsylvania Association for Medical Suppliers hosted a press conference on Monday at the United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh, and the study has generated significant press coverage in the Pennsylvania media. View the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes coverage here:

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