Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New York Times Publishes Industry Letter to the Editor

The Medicare Bidding Program
Published: July 2, 2008
To the Editor:

Re “Medicare Savings vs. the Lobbyists” (editorial, June 25) and “High Costs, Courtesy of Congress,” by David Leonhardt (Economic Scene, June 25), about the Medicare competitive bidding program for home medical equipment:Congress is considering reforms to the bidding program for excellent reasons. As presently configured, the bidding program excludes some providers and will undoubtedly reduce access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.

The reforms to the program proposed by Congress would preserve quality of care and save taxpayers every dime that the flawed bidding program would have reaped in reduced payments.

Your editorial dismisses as “overblown” the concerns expressed by patient groups like the A.L.S. Association, the United Spinal Association and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Moreover, pricing for home medical equipment and services for Medicare beneficiaries cannot be benchmarked to the cost of equipment purchased over the Internet. That comparison ignores the costs of the essential services required in providing quality home care to the elderly and people with disabilities.

Tyler J. Wilson
American Association for Homecare
Arlington, Va., June 25, 2008

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