• CMS: Temporary Moratoria on Enrollment of Ambulances Suppliers and Providers and Home Health Agencies in South Florida

    Editor’s Note:  An advance copy of CMS’ Federal Register notice announcing the temporary moratoria is attached here.  The Summary is below.

    From: CMS

    SUMMARY: This notice announces the imposition of a temporary moratorium on the enrollment of home health agencies in Miami-Dade and Cook counties as well as selected surrounding areas, and on the enrollment of new ambulance suppliers and providers in Harris County and surrounding counties to prevent and combat fraud, waste, and abuse.

    EFFECTIVE DATE: July 30, 2013.

     

  • The true face of competitive bidding

    From: The Hill’s Congress Blog

    By Dr. Gary Puckrein

    On July 1, the new Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical  products will go into effect nationwide, unless a new move by Congress to delay  implementation is passed this week. While the program was created to reduce  health care costs, that vision appears to be short-sighted. The policy may  actually increase costs longer term by providing our senior citizens with  low-quality products, placing more lives at risk of serious health events.

  • CMS Threatens Mandatory Competitive Bidding for State Mental Health Services

    Editor’s Note:  CRE has long warned of CMS’ intent to massive expand competitive bidding.

    From: The Seattle Times

    Editorial: Feds make a hash of state’s mental-health system

    An obscure federal auditing issue may require the state to quickly tear up its outpatient mental-health system.
    Seattle Times Editorial

    THE U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services informed the state of Washington that the state’s outpatient mental-health system violated federal procurement laws, as articulated in OMB Circular A-87.

    Hope that didn’t lose you. That accountant-speak is bone-dry.

    But the consequences of the July 5 letter are huge, and will require immediate, focused attention by state officials and lawmakers.

  • Need a wheelchair? New Medicare rules mean fewer choices

    From: CNYCentral.com

    by Jim Kenyon

    When the directional control on Chad Norton’s power wheelchair broke last month. He says he was told by Medicare that the only place he could get it repaired was a medical equipment supplier in Albany which is 150 miles away.

    “I think it’s truly a disgrace because they don’t realize the limitations of the disabled,” Norton told CNY Central’s Jim Kenyon.


     

    On July 1st, Medicare instituted new rules for this region. Medical suppliers for wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers and other accessories had to submit competitive bids to be certified in order to do business with Medicare.

  • Carney Medical closing Store a downtown staple for 46 years

    From: Rochester Times

    By Conor Makem

    ROCHESTER — It came as a shock to much of the Rochester community that Bill and Jan Keefe were closing their store this week. The owners of Carney Medical Supply on North Main Street for more than 46 years, they’ve become as much a part of the city as anyone ever has.

    In a letter to the editor, the couple, both in their early 70s, cited health reasons as well the introduction of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program.

  • Diabetics frustrated with changes to Medicare

    From: Fox4KC.com

    by Andrew Lynch  and Meryl Lin McKean

    LAWRENCE, Kan. –This month, Medicare made a change aimed at saving taxpayers billions of dollars. But community pharmacists say it could wind up putting patients at risk and result in more waste.

    Nancy Porter is well enough to come to Sigler Pharmacy in Lawrence to get her diabetic testing supplies. But there have been times when she’s recovering from hospital stays and needed the supplies delivered to her home.

    “I could call up and just ask Jeff to bring ‘em out that day,” Nancy said.

  • Expert: Substandard diabetes monitors allegedly on the market

    From: UPI

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 8 (UPI) — Some blood  glucose monitors are not meeting U.S. government accuracy standards once  approved and on the market, a diabetes expert says.

    Dr. Richard Kahn, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina  and former chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes  Association, wrote in a commentary in Roll Call that it is openly acknowledged,  with much supportive data, some blood glucose monitors do not meet U.S. Food  and Drug Administration accuracy standards.

    Almost all of the problems are with low-cost products manufactured overseas,  Kahn said.

  • Lack of Transparency, Agency Oversight, Threatens CMS Uncompetitive Bidding Program

    Editor’s Note:   Over two years ago, the Chief of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) explained that the result of CMS’ bidding program is not a competitive price but one that is “Fundamentally…an arbitrary number.”  The CBO official further explained that the program is not transparent, just the opposite: “the bidding mechanism… doesn’t reveal the…market clearing prices.  And the next point is, I think, the probability of failure in a subsequent round of bidding is very high because mechanisms they use aren’t actually designed to reveal those prices.”

  • Alexander, Corker Introduce Bill To Protect Tennessee Medicare Recipients Needing Medical Equipment

    From: The Chattanoogan

    Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tn.) announced Wednesday that they have introduced legislation to ensure Medicare beneficiaries in Tennessee continue to have access to medical equipment.

    The bill would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct a rebid for contracts to supply medical equipment to Tennessee’s Medicare beneficiaries through a new competitive bidding system that launched July 1. The senators have called for CMS to fix and restart the competitive bidding program in the state after they found last month that 30 of 98 contracts were awarded to companies not licensed in Tennessee and would have to be voided, just two weeks before the program began.

  • Georgia Home Medical Equipment Providers Seek Delay In Expansion Of Medicare Bidding Program

    From: Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers

    ATLANTA, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Citing the high percentage of out-of-state providers contracted to service Georgia Medicare beneficiaries, the Georgia Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (GAMES) has requested a delay in the scheduled July 1 expansion of the Medicare bidding program.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to expand the controversial bidding program from nine locations to 91, but providers, members of Congress, and patient advocates around the country have asked for a delay because of many serious problems with the program. In a letter to CMS, GAMES said that more than half of the contracted providers serving Georgia are from out of state, with as many as 2/3 located more than 100 miles away from one community.