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
July 26, 2011

Proposed Rule on ‘Durable’ Definition Could Be Trouble

Editor’s Note: As noted in the article below, CRE has raised concerns about the potential impact of CMS’ proposed rule on defining the durability of durable medical equpment here.

From: Home Care Magazine

WASHINGTON — A proposed rule to redefine “durable” medical equipment could mean more trouble for the industry, according to attorneys with King & Spalding, who warn that it is “sweeping in scope” and could reduce the number of DME products CMS covers.

July 19, 2011

Humana-Apria Deal Could Mean ‘Serious Trouble’ for Some Providers

From: Home Care Magazine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nationwide insurance carrier Humana has selected Apria Healthcare as its provider of choice for home medical equipment, according to the giant insurer’s website.

Some small independents, which are already staggering under the threat of competitive bidding, amped-up audits and Medicaid woes, said the agreement is another big blow.

“I view this as being almost as threatening as competitive bidding to the independent providers in America,” said Jason Rogers of Care Medical in Athens, Ga. “If this goes well, who is to say this won’t be Blue Cross, Medicaid and who knows who else? It won’t matter how good we are.”

July 13, 2011

HME ‘Very, Very Vulnerable’ as Debt Talks Drag On

From: Home Care Magazine

WASHINGTON — As the Aug 2. debt ceiling deadline creeps closer, President Obama and congressional leaders continue to debate the issue, and industry stakeholders continue to watch and worry that cuts to HME remain on the table.

A “grand” deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling seems to have left the building in weekend talks. As part of the deal, press reports said, Obama was ready to raise the Medicare eligibility age in exchange for a raft of new revenues. The president had previously proposed applying DME competitive bidding rates to Medicaid.

July 5, 2011

At-Home Care Businesses Push President Obama To Cancel Medicare Program

From: Medical News Today

Durable medical equipment and services (DME) providers have advised President Obama to abolish Medicare’s questionable “competitive” bidding for homecare. They argue that this decreases quality and availability of homecare for older people and those with disabilities.

The American Association for Homecare, ALS Association, American Association of People with Disabilities, and scores of advocacy groups disapprove of this program. Besides this, the President was recently approached by 244 economists for reconsideration of this program. A bipartisan bill for repealing this program, H.R. 10, which is co-sponsored by 79 Republicans and 54 Democrats, is pending in the House of Representatives. The President is being advised to support this legislation.