Bid News Blog

This news site presents breaking news on the CMS competitive bidding programs. It is interactive and readers are encouraged to post stories in their names or anonymously
August 12, 2013

The difference between big box retail and HME

From: HME News

by: Elizabeth Deprey

More and more lately, when I ask providers “What’s new?” they talk about their retail efforts. Either they’re just getting started, amping them up or opening up new locations to continue growing their retail income.

I spoke a little while ago to Eric Hagen, who’s moving to a space in October that will have three times the showroom space. What’s the secret to his success? Understanding why his customers come in the door.

There’s a key difference between big box retailers and HMEs branching into the retail market, he said. HME customers don’t want to buy HME, he said—they need it.

August 6, 2013

Medicare rule puts squeeze on small medical supply stores

From: Ocala Star-Banner

By Jim Ross, City editor

BELLEVIEW — One day last week, Brenda Counsell sat at a small desk inside her store, Comfort Care Medical Equipment and Uniforms, which is in the Kmart plaza off U.S. 441. Surrounding her were walkers, countless boxes of health supplies and racks of brightly colored medical uniforms.

Pretty soon, much of the inventory will be reduced or stored off site. To get a lower rent, Counsell will downsize from two shop suites to one. And she already has reduced work hours for one of the store’s five employees.

July 31, 2013

Spring comes and goes without payment amounts

From: HME News

by: Liz Beaulieu

WASHINGTON – The word on the street is that CMS won’t release the single payment amounts for the Round 1 re-compete until this fall, leaving more than one HME provider on standby.

CMS had planned to announce the amounts in the spring.

“It’s not fair,” said Chris Rice, CEO of Diamond Respiratory Care in Riverside, Calif., which submitted bids. “But nothing with this program is going to surprise me.”

CMS also plans to release the names of the contract suppliers in the fall and kick off the Round 1 re-compete on Jan. 1, 2014.

July 23, 2013

Industry applies pressure, stands ready

From: HME News

‘I am not going to be satisfied until we get competitive bidding stopped,’ says Rep. Thompson

by: Theresa Flaherty

WASHINGTON – The heat wave blanketing the East Coast last week had nothing on the heat the HME industry applied to lawmakers as part of a virtual fly-in July 18.

“We notified every representative in the state and got a lot of good feedback,” said Paula Hardison, office manager for New Bern, N.C.-based Carolina Diabetic Supply. “We’ve shared our representatives’ email addresses with employees and customers, as well as the complaint line and the number to (the Capitol Hill switchboard).”

July 16, 2013

Providers, beneficiaries, referral sources: No one’s happy

From: The Australian

Rebecca Urban

SHARES in ResMed have fallen sharply from recent highs amid renewed fears over the latest healthcare changes in the US.

The decline has coincided with increasing short interest in the company’s US-listed stock ahead of its upcoming fourth-quarter results, suggesting hedge fund investors are betting its earnings could disappoint.

About 19 per cent of the medical device-maker’s shares have been sold short, data from Bloomberg shows, making it one of the most shorted stocks on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

July 9, 2013

Competitive Bidding Puts Diabetes Patients at Risk | Commentary

From: Roll Call

By Dr. Richard Kahn

On July 1, Medicare implemented the national rollout of a new competitive bidding program for durable medical products that is intended to reduce health care costs without sacrificing quality. Indeed, the government ran a pilot program in nine markets, and in that experiment, competitive bidding between medical product manufacturers helped reduce health care costs. Unfortunately, significant issues have recently surfaced that threaten to seriously undermine the ability of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to deliver quality care at these costs.

July 2, 2013

Medicare changes affect local suppliers

From: Nooga.com

Lawmakers seeking delay in competitive bid program

By James Harrison

Eddie Jenkins had a rough time sleeping Sunday night.

Jenkins, a director at Hixson’s Access Family Pharmacy, was restless. He knew that on Monday, July 1, his role at the pharmacy would change. Instead of providing service to longtime customers who had come to rely on the business as a supplier of medical equipment, Jenkins would be the bearer of difficult and confusing news: “You have to go somewhere else.”

June 24, 2013

CMS decision on Tennessee sets precedent

From: HME News

by: Elizabeth Deprey

WASHINGTON – It was a big win in the HME industry’s fight against competitive bidding when CMS disqualified one-third of the contract suppliers for Tennessee, but that’s not the only state with licensure issues, stakeholders point out.

“It establishes a precedent that CMS is going to have to deal with,” said Andrea Stark, a reimbursement consultant with MiraVista. “I see it as a domino falling, the beginning of a chain reaction.”

CMS last week sent letters to 30 contract suppliers for Tennessee, disqualifying them for not meeting state licensure requirements, such as having a physical presence in the state, by May 2012.

June 17, 2013

Washington Post Embraces “Antithesis of Science”

Editor’s Note:  CMS’s uncompetitive bidding has been debunked and denounced by every independent scholar who has anlyzed the program.  Over 240 professors and researchers, including several Nobel laureates, at schools ranging from the University of Maryland and the California Insitute of Technology to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT and many other have explained that,

it is now clear that the CMS design is not an auction at all but an arbitrary pricing process.

The scholars further explained that the Medicare program violates the Administration’s regulatory principle’s set forth President Obama’s Executibe Order on regulatory reform,

June 11, 2013

Government Reduces Approved Diabetic Supplier List by More Than 98 Percent

From: Charleston Chronicle

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. — “It has come to our attention that the government put out a competitive bid that may drastically effect a benefit for people that are diabetic and use their Medicare Insurance to help receive supplies for testing their blood sugar levels and staying healthy,” said John White, The National Association of Conservative Seniors (NAOCS) founder and president. “Our goal is to provide them information that will enhance these years, making it easier for them to focus on the things that matter most to them: their health, family, friends, faith and country.”