Competitive Bidding is a Bureacratic Nightmare
1. Home health care is the low cost alertnative to institutional care. We are the solution, not the problem. The whole DME industry developed in response to a need to shorten the lenght of hospital stays. I hope the Obama administration researches the comparative effectiveness of home medical equipment and supplies versus institutional care. Maybe then the administration would protect the industry from CMS’s and the Republicans’ constant attacks.
2. Medicare policy is so complex and mercurial that it takes constant monitoring of the changing policies, rules, billing and documentation requirements in order to be a COMPLIANT Medicare provider. In addition to the usual level of arduousness, DME providers are still reeling form the loss of revenue due to the 36-month cap on oxygen, and it remains to be seen how many will remain solvent after the cap and the most recent round of reimbursement cuts. On top of this maelstrom, CMS is planning to move forward with the bureaucratic and administrative nightmare of competitive bidding–a program that has led to chaos confusion and lack of access to healthcare.
3. Competitive bidding will eliminate 50% to 60% of the Medicare providers. The remaining providers will have very little competition for DME referrals, and so will not have to offer the usual level of service to compete. Winning bidders will likely provide the minimum level of service required by Medicare. They will offer cut-rate products and services for cut-rate reimbursement. I do not think that is the vision the Obama administration has in mind for our elderly and infirm.