I have been medical biller for two DME Medical providers for the last 20 years in Michigan. I have seen alot of changes; however, Competitive Bidding does not make any sense to this business. I have always been very proud to be a part a business that helps people. That has always been our main objective-to help people and provide quality equipment/service. Service is a large component of what a DME business does. The original allowables were created by “averaging” what suppliers billed in certain regions; which resulted in inflated billings in order to keep reimbursement rates reasonable–which I never really understood, but that’s how the government did things back then. Now allowables are being looked at as what amount “equipment” can be purchased on the internet or at WalMart. This does not allow for the service component or delivery that our DME company provides. Nor does it allow for mandatory billing, documentation, electronic submission technology, and delayed reimbursement. Also, competitive bidding does not allow Deluxe Waivers for patients that want a “Cadillac” model of an item rather than the standard basic model. I believe a allowable rate should be set for equipment (basic quality equipment & service costs considered) that all recipients would be entitled to that any willing provider could participate. And then, if they choose to get a walker with all the “bells & whistles” they could pay the extra above what the standard allowable rate. It is my understanding that with the competitive bidding the patient can ONLY get the exact bid item or nothing. The patients are not given any choice or options to fit their needs. This also keep the DME equipment market evolving to develop new and useful aids to help people—Many advancements and improvements have been made in medical equipment and supplies in the last 20 years! Competitive Bidding would kill innovation in this market and leave patients with the least amount of quality and options.

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