Friday, September 10, 2010

House Energy and Commerce Committee Plans September 15 Hearing on Bidding Program

The health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has issued a formal notice that it will hold a hearing on the Medicare “competitive” bidding program for HME on Wednesday, September 15, 2010. The hearing is titled, “Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program for Durable Medical Equipment: Implications for Quality, Cost and Access.” The subcommittee notice stated, “This hearing will examine the conception and implementation of the competitive bidding program, the implementation of the Round One Re-Bid, and its potential effects on patients, providers, and physicians.”

A representative from Allcare Medical, in Old Bridge, New Jersey, has been asked by Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to testify on behalf of The American Association for Homecare and the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services.

The American Association for Homecare encourages HME providers and patients to attend the hearing in person to demonstrate concern about the bidding program.

The Association especially encourages HME stakeholders who are constituents of members of the health subcommittee (list below) to let committee members know about the effects competitive bidding will have on your patients and your business. Advocates can use the AAHomecare Take Action Center to find contact information, or call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to the appropriate congressional office.

Current co-sponsors of H.R. 3970, the bill to replace the competitive program, have an * next to their name – be sure to thank those offices for their support! Members are listed by party, and in order of committee seniority.

Democratic members of the health subcommittee:

Frank Pallone, NJ - Chairman
John Dingell, MI
Bart Gordon, TN*
Anna Eshoo, CA
Eliot Engel, NY
Gene Green, TX
Diana DeGette, CO*
Lois Capps, CA - vice chair
Jan Schakowsky, IL
Tammy Baldwin, WI*
Mike Ross, AR*
Anthony Weiner, NY*
Jim Matheson, UT*
Jane Harman, CA
Charles Gonzalez, TX*
John Barrow, GA*
Kathy Castor, FL*
John Sarbanes, MD
Christopher Murphy, CT
Zachary Space, OH*
Betty Sutton, OH*
Bruce Braley, IA*

Republican members of the health subcommittee

John Shimkus, IL – Ranking Republican member
Ralph Hall, TX*
Ed Whitfield, KY*
John Shadegg, AZ
Roy Blunt, MO*
Steve Buyer, IN
Joseph Pitts, PA
Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC*
John Sullivan, OK
Tim Murphy, PA*
Michael Burgess, TX
Marsha Blackburn, TN*
Phil Gingrey, GA*

The hearing is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. AAHomecare will provide online and/or C-SPAN viewing information when/if it becomes available.

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