AAHomecare rebuts newest CMS report on competitive bidding

From: Home Care Magazine

The American Association for HomeCare (AAHomecare) last week posted a rebuttal to a 16-page, glowing report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Competitive Bidding Program.

AAHomecare countered the report with a press release detailing the myths about the bidding program, numerous complaints and problems stemming from bidding, and benefits of the alternative Market Pricing Program (MPP).

The CMS report repeated many of the basic Medicare talking points on competitive bidding, and claimed the program saved $202 million in its first year of operation in nine metropolitan areas included in Round 1 of the program. The report said competitive bidding could save Medicare up to $42.8 billion over the next decade.

The report claimed there had been no negative impact on Medicare beneficiaries. It failed to mention tens of thousands of problems reported by beneficiaries after the program was implemented, and still did not resolve an ongoing controversy about the drop in utilization of durable medical equipment in competitive bidding areas. Nor did the report address criticism from auction experts who say Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program is seriously flawed.

AAHomecare said it continues efforts to convince Congress to modify the program with MPP.

“While AAHomecare continues to fight to stop the bidding program and replace it with MPP, the squeaky wheel gets the grease in Washington,” the organization said in a statement. “We all need to continue educating Congress about problems with competitive bidding, which include provider and beneficiary stories. Members of Congress and their staff must hear from you about this important issue.”

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