Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Reports on Competitive Bidding

If the competitive bidding program goes into effect, "nine out of 10 people in [the DME] business are going to be forced out of business" because they won't be one of Medicare's approved vendors is how John Shirvinsky, executive director for the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers explained the programs affects to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Post-Gazette published an article on April 7 discussing the flaws of the competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, stating the new program will reduce competition and limit access to needed wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and other vital equipment.

The article also quotes Lucy Spruill, director of public policy and community relations for United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh, who believes the program will greatly reduce the number of suppliers for power wheelchairs. She states that currently patients can sit on a waiting list to receive their wheelchair for three to six months. If you reduce the number of providers, the wait time could increase for Medicare beneficiaries. “If you don't have a backup chair -- and insurance won't pay for that -- you can be bedridden for that period of time."

To read the full article, “Suppliers Denounce Medicare bid plan,” visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09097/960999-28.stm.

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