• Report casts doubt on CMS competitive bidding program

    Editor’s Note:  The reference in the sub-headline of the article below to the program’s “supporters” refers only to CMS, not to independent experts who have analyzed the program.

    From: Healthcare Finance News

    But supporters decry the research results

    Critics of a pilot program designed to lower the cost of medical equipment purchased by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently received support for their concerns in a new report released by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). But while the models used by researchers confirmed earlier outside assessments of the program, the director of the program says the researchers got it wrong.

  • Stakeholders: Press the flesh on MPP

    From: HME News

    by: Theresa Flaherty

    WASHINGTON – With Congress on break for five weeks and elections looming in November, it’s the perfect time to reach out to lawmakers about the market-pricing program (MPP), industry stakeholders say.

    “They are more willing to listen, because they want votes and money,” said Wayne Stanfield, president and CEO of NAIMES. “Whether they will do anything or not, (who knows).”

    Right now, MPP, the industry’s alternative to competitive bidding is held up in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), where it’s awaiting a score.

  • CMS Releases Transcript and Audio Recording of “Inherent Reasonableness” Meeting

    CMS has released a transcript and audio recording from their July 23rd Public Meeting discussing applying their “inherent reasonableness” authority to use the inherently unreasonable results from the Round 1 Rebid for Diabetic Supplies as a basis for setting prices for diabetic supplies from retail pharmacies.

    The Transcript is attached here.

    The audio recording (43 MB MP3 file) is attached here.

    CMS’ Federal Register notice announcing the meeting is attached here.

  • ‘Tiered’ Exchange Plans, Expanded Self-Referral Ban Among Cost-Cutting Options Floated By Health Care Experts

    Editor’s Note:  CRE warned that competitive bidding would “vastly expand” to other health care sectors. 

    A group of 23 high-profile health policy experts on Wednesday (Aug. 1) floated far-reaching proposals to cut back health care spending that include moving to a system that would allow states to promote payment rates within a global spending target, requiring exchanges to be active purchasers and to offer at least one “tiered” product, using competitive bidding for all commodities in the federal health system and the insurance exchange, expanding the ban of self-referrals to cover private insurers, requiring full price transparency and encouraging less restrictive state scope of practice laws.