CMS Competitive Bidding: Adopt the CRE Small Business Enhancement Option
CMS’ Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program could eliminate as many as 90% of the providers from the market place, primarily small businesses. The loss of these many small firms would jeopardize patient care since the patient-provider relationship is crucial when using home medical equipment. Safeguards must be put in place so another industry is not dominated by “too big to fail” companies.
CMS has not yet demonstrated compliance with “good government” laws , the laws that “regulate the regulators”; these laws include the Paperwork Reduction Act, its companion, the Data Quality Act, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
Recognizing the statutory requirement that CMS proceed with a competitive bidding program, CRE has developed the Small Business Enhancement Option.
This option has three components:
l. A “single payment amount” which would be determined by the competitive bidding process.
2. Any qualified small business, as defined by SBA, would be able to supply product and services at the “single payment” amount.
3. CMS would require that competitive bidding contracts be non-transferrable for a period of no less than one calendar year.
The CMS adoption of the Small Business Enhancement Option would fulfill CMS’s mandatory obligaton to comply with the statutory requirements for a competitive bidding program while preserving the opportunity for small businesses to compete in the DME marketplace.
Allowing small businesses to compete in the durable medical equipment market would also address the most significant violations of the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Data Quality Act identified by CRE in its comments to OMB on CMS’ competitive bidding Information Collection Request.
Attached hereto are CREs recommendations to OMB on the CMS Information Correction Request developed pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. PRA background at http://www.thecre.com/ombpapers/PaperWorkReductionAct.htm
WE ARE A SMALL DME COMPANY THAT WILL BE SEVERELY AFFECTED BY THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS. THE ONLY “FAIR” WAY TO DO IT WOULD BE TO ESTABLISH A PRICE AND ALLOW ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DO BUSINESS AT THAT REIMBURSEMENT SCHEDULE, CAN. THAT WAY, THE PROVIDER CAN DECIDE AND THE BENEFICIARY STILL HAS A SAY IN THEIR CARE. SMALL COMPANIES ARE THE BACKBONE OF OUR COUNTRY. LET US DO BUSINESS.