posted on October 14, 2010
Members of Congress Demand More Information on the Processes Used in Medicare Competitive Bidding Selection
Members from both houses of Congress are calling on CMS Administrator Donald Berwick to release the list of providers whose bids were used to calculate payment amounts in Round 1 of Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding process.
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as Representatives Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Ralph Hall (R-TX) have sent letters urging Mr. Berkwick to release the list of names so the bidding process is transparent and quality can be assured.
These and other members of Congress are concerned that the CMS might not have corrected past flaws in the competitive bidding process that led to serious problems in healthcare communities nationwide.
For example, in the past contracts were awarded to providers with little to no experience in the field of the contract, or even providers without a license for the contracted product. In other instances, bidders did not have the financial resources to meet the demand of a large number of patients.
In response to the community’s concerns about the effect competitive bidding could have on patient’s access to at-home oxygen, the COPD Foundation and other Coalition members have rallied support for H.R. 3790, which would repeal the program and institute other reimbursement cuts across the board.
It is important for patient organizations and individuals to stay up to date on this evolving issue to ensure patients in the impacted regions are prepared and have access to continuous safe and reliable service. For more detailed information on what the competitive bidding changes may mean for patients read the COPD Foundation’s reference guide or visit Medicare’s website at www.medicare.gov.
To view the full letters issued to Congress click here.
To view the Action Alert and urge your members of Congress to support H.R. 3790 visit the COPD Action Center.