For Medicare patients in the Birmingham, Alabama area, the program means the elimination of approximately 90 percent of their choice in local providers, wrote Larry Snyder, branch manager for St. Vincent's Home Medical Services in Birmingham. His letter to the editor explained that the new Medicare competitive bidding program will cost Birmingham residents jobs and threaten small businesses, which make up 85 percent of home medical equipment companies.
"Contracting creates the likelihood that patients will be required to seek essential products and services from multiple providers; overwhelmed providers will be unable to deliver services at the levels beneficiaries have grown accustomed to. The program threatens access to quality care for those who rely on medically necessary equipment to keep them in the comfort of their home. Competitive bidding will lead to more hospital stays and emergency-room visits, costing Medicare more than what it claims to save with this program."
Read more of Snyder's letter to the editor by clicking here.