The Heritage Foundation “Foundary” blog posted a piece on healthcare spending and options for savings, mentioning competitive bidding as a cost containment provision. The blog incorrectly states the program was canceled among other misperceptions.
The American Association from Homecare responded the Heritage Foundation’s “Foundary” blog posting with the following response:
I wish Heritage Foundation would simply check some of its facts. You weaken your argument if you sprinkle in false information. For instance, the "competitive" bidding program for home medical equipment and services was NOT "canceled" by any stretch of the imagination. George F. Will made the same false claim. The program was delayed by Congress in the MIPPA bill last year in order to try to address the fact that the "competitive" bidding program would have eliminated 90 percent of the competitors (virtually all small businesses) regardless of the pricing (which is set by the government anyway). The home medical equipment sector (which delivers home medical care to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes, by far the most cost effective setting for care) in fact did PAID for the delay in the bid program through a 9.5 percent reimbursement cut effective Jan. 1, 2009 in order to save the taxpayers EVERY DOLLAR that the bid program would have saved. The delay stemmed from bipartisan concern about patient access to quality care at home and the impact on small businesses. By the way, the home medical sector represents 1.6 percent of Medicare spending and spending growth in this sector of Medicare is less than 1 percent, in spite of growing demand. We're hardly your poster child for out of control spending. And the idea that a person who needs a customized power wheelchair would buy one on the Internet is just dumb. Who would deliver it? Fit it to prevent pressure wounds? Service it? etc. etc. Seriously, you should attempt to fact check this blog since the readers apparently buy it. Yes, I work for the home medical equipment sector. Please check my facts independently. Or visit www.aahomecare.org/competitivebidding.
See the Heritage Foundation blog at: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/29/morning-bell-show-us-the-savings/