Monday, March 21, 2011

Professors Say Bid Program Will Harm Patients, Lower Quality, Raise Costs

Erwin A. Blackstone, professor of Economics at Temple University and Joseph P. Fuhr Jr., professor of Economics at Widener University, published a critique of the Medicare bidding program. Both are senior research fellows at The American Consumer Institute. Their critique concludes:

“This inefficient Medicare auction system will harm many beneficiaries. The result will be lower quality of products, fewer services, less education provided to consumers and shortages, which will affect access to needed equipment. It is important to preserve incentives for high quality products and product innovation in such an important consumer market. This will lead to lower quality of life for the elderly through longer hospital stays, more emergency room visits, and loss of independence if the elderly can no longer stay at home and must go into long term care. An added consequence is higher cost of care as more beneficiaries are shifted from low cost home health care to higher cost facilities. The auction system as presently comprised will lead to government failure and decrease consumer welfare.”

Full story is available here.

Wichita Eagle Reports Negative Impact of Bid Program

Today, the Wichita Eagle published a comprehensive article documenting the problems and concerns about the Medicare bidding program for home medical equipment and services. The story states, “Local owners and managers of durable medical equipment companies said the competitive bidding program will mean less choice for Medicare patients and far less revenue for DME companies. Many of the state, regional and national associations say the program will mean the loss of hundreds of jobs.” Several Kansas HME providers were interviewed and are quoted. See the full story here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reeve Foundation Concerened Bidding will Reduce Access to Wheelchairs

The Reeve Foundation is concerned that the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program will result in reduced access to suppliers of wheelchairs and durable medical equipment for individuals living with spinal cord injury and paralysis. As the Foundation works to address this important issue, we will rely on advocates like you to assist us in communicating our message to policymakers.