Monday, March 30, 2009

Kansas City Newspaper Describes Small Provider Concerns about Bidding Program

“It’s a torpedo for all small businesses that do durable medical,” is how Brennen Garry, president of Unimed II Inc., explained the impact of competitive bidding on small business. Garry spoke to Mike Sherry at the Kansas City Business Journal this past week, providing background and details about the bidding program.

The article quotes AAHomecare’s view that the revised competitive bidding rules did not make sufficient changes to address the flaws in the program and mentions the Associations belief that internet prices don’t factor in service and quality provided by local providers.
View the complete article at:^1801988

More articles detailing the flaws in the bidding program appeared in the:

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
(see and the

Buffalo (New York) Business Journal

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wall Street Journal Article on Medicare Bidding Examines Patient Worries about Quality

A March 19 article in the Wall Street Journal highlights worries expressed by patient advocacy groups, including Paralyzed Veterans of America and the United Spinal Association, about the Medicare "competitive" bidding program for home medical equipment.

The article quotes Tyler Wilson, President of the American Association for Homecare, who notes, "Competitive bidding is going to eliminate 90% of home-care providers. The result is going to be lower quality and lower access to care for seniors and people with disabilities."

The Journal states that an estimated 50% to 75% of the nation's 44 million Medicare beneficiaries use some type of durable medical equipment in any given year, but the savings from the bidding program "would be relatively small -- Medicare is expected to spend less than 2% of its roughly $500 billion budget this year on home medical equipment.”

Jerry Jones, a 49-year-old with severe pulmonary hypertension, observes “You get what you pay for.”

To read the full article or comment online, visit

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Say Yes to Healthcare" Posts HME Ideas on Oxygen Reform

Discussions about the need for oxygen reform reach back to the middle of this decade, but the pattern of continuing oxygen cuts has made reform an increasingly urgent issue for HME companies. Oxygen patients and their providers need a Medicare policy that is fair and realistic. The time line for oxygen reimbursement should be based on medical necessity and align more closely than it does today with the true costs of providing the equipment and services integral to the benefit.

The reform plan outlined by the oxygen community would include a variety of changes to shift the benefit away from its current focus solely on equipment. Oxygen providers will be required to evaluate patients and participate in their care planning, provide beneficiary and caregiver education, supply 24-hour on-call service coverage and provide patient education and assistance.

To read more about an oxygen reform plan for the HME sector, visit

Monday, March 2, 2009

Obama Calls for End to Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Medicare

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama declared that his administration would “root out the waste, fraud, and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier.” The American Association for Homecare and its members applaud this goal and have developed a legislative solution specifically designed to help solve this growing problem. (See:

“Fraud in the HME sector is only a small portion of total Medicare losses to fraud, but by any yardstick, it is an unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ dollars and theft of resources that should go to the elderly and disabled,” says Tyler Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. “AAHomecare and its members are eager to work with President Obama, Congress and CMS to take tough new steps to prevent fraud and abuse in Medicare, and we are confident that this legislative action plan will provide an effective solution.”