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A Dangerous Medicare Proposal

Editor’s Note:  Although the following article discusses competitive bidding with respect to Medicare Part D, a key issue relevant to DME is also discussed, the dangers of price controls.

From: Wall Street Journal

Price controls on Part D drugs would cripple medical innovation and undermine a successful federal entitlement program.


 Medicare Part D, the prescription-drug benefit program for seniors, has cost the federal government considerably less than was initially estimated. It’s also overwhelmingly popular among beneficiaries. But in Washington, Part D is now a prime target for overhaul. In the heat of debate over the debt ceiling, President … Continue Reading

Debt Ceiling Talks Target HME

From: Home Care Magazine

WASHINGTON — Rumors of HME cuts turned real last week as government officials continued to shuffle ideas around on the nation’s financial predicament. According to a leaked document, allegedly part of Vice President Joe Biden’s debt ceiling talks, three cost-cutting ideas targeting HME are on the table:

  • Applying Medicare competitive bidding rates for DME to Medicaid in states where the program is implemented, which would save $5 billion over 10 years;
  • Initiating a Medicare prepayment review of power wheelchairs, estimated to save $200 million over 10 years; and
  • Reducing Medicare reimbursement for diabetic strips sold in pharmacies.

H. D. Smith Voices Support for the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — H. D. Smith, among the nation’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers, today announced its support for H.R. 1041, also known as the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act. Introduced by Representatives Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA), the bill seeks to repeal the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program included in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA).

The DMEPOS program created as part of MMA sought to reduce the Medicare excess product cost while assuring beneficiary access to quality care providers. However; the program’s … Continue Reading

Industry critical of HHS report on medical equipment bidding

From: The Hill
By Julian Pecquet 

Industry groups are lambasting a new government report that found “no significant changes in health outcomes” for Medicare beneficiaries since the agency started competitive bidding for durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs.

Competitive bidding was created by the 2003 Medicare reform law and seeks to replace standard fees with market competition among providers. The American Association for Homecare says patients are being hurt by the competitive bidding program because they’re losing access to the products and services they need.

“In contrast to yesterday’s CMS report that there have been no changes in beneficiary health outcomes … Continue Reading