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
February 28, 2012

Industry gains White House audience in bid fight

From: HME News

By Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

WASHINGTON – Key members of the White House health policy staff have reached out to CMS with questions about the competitive bidding program, according to Wayne Stanfield, president and CEO of NAIMES.

The communication comes after Stanfield and Wayne Sale, chairman of NAIMES, met with three high-ranking staffers in the West Wing of the White House on Feb. 14.
“This was an opportunity that you don’t get very easily,” said Stanfield. “They wanted to hear what we were saying and they asked a lot of interesting questions.”

In the meeting: Elizabeth Fowler, special assistant to the president, National Economic Council; Sophia Wright, executive office of the president, Office of Management and Budget; and J. Timothy Gronniger, senior advisor for health care policy, White House Domestic Policy Council.  

February 24, 2012

Petition aims for ‘real change’

From: HME News

By Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

SCARBOROUGH, Maine – Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? A petition to stop competitive bidding has picked up nearly 8,000 signatures in two weeks.

National Sleep Therapy (NST) launched the petition on to get beneficiaries and caregivers to speak up about the dreaded program.

“I’ve always thought real change needs to happen at the patient/voter/constituent level,” said Peter Falkson, CEO and cofounder of NST. “If we could get all the patients involved—the people that actually get the care and benefit from it—they have a much bigger, more important voice than we do as owners of businesses.”

February 16, 2012

Round 1 knocks walkers out from under Medicare beneficiaries

From: Home Care Magazine

The U-Step walker is a niche HME product with an exceptionally good reputation among neurologists and their patients. It is kind of a super rollator, and undeniably provides the stability, control and mobility needed by many people with severe neurological conditions like advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Unfortunately, Round 1 of competitive bidding has already blocked access to the U-Step walker for many Medicare beneficiaries, and Round 2 of the program threatens to pretty much block access completely.

February 14, 2012

President’s Budget Declares War on Medicaid Recipients

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness reports that the President’s Budget proposes to slash reimbursement to state Medicaid programs for beneficiaries who use home oxygen and other Durable Medical Equipment.  The proposed budget would cripple the ability of Medicaid beneficiaries to remain in their homes. Instead of protecting the viability of home medical care as a cost-saving alternative to more frequent hospital admittances and prolonged nursing facility care, the Budget proposes to extend a discredited payment system which is already reducing Medicare beneficiaries’ access to life-sustaining care. 

February 6, 2012

Health Reform Built to Fail

Editor’s Note:  The WSJ’s analysis and conclusions regarding CMS’ fatally-flawed competitive bidding progam with respect to negative pressure wound therapy also apply to the other home medical equipment and related services procured under the program.

From: Wall Street Journal

How Medicare rigs competitive bidding and hurts patients.

Americans may not be familiar with the medical innovation called negative pressure wound therapy, though it has helped hundreds of thousands of patients with complex or chronic injuries like burns or diabetic ulcer complications that could never heal on their own. Now President Obama’s Medicare team is about to severely damage this field, and many others too—all in the name of reforming how the entitlement pays for care.

February 2, 2012

Extension of Licensure Deadline for the Round 2 and National Mail-Order Competitions of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program

From: CMS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the licensure deadline for the Round 2 and national mail-order competitions of the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. The original licensure deadline required suppliers to have all required state licenses on file with the National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) and indicated in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) before submitting a bid.

NEW DEADLINE: Bidding suppliers must now ensure that copies of all applicable state licenses are RECEIVED by the NSC on or before May 1, 2012.