July 17th, 2009 at 10:53
The DMEPOS competitive bidding program will be harmful to both small business and to Medicare beneficiaries. Due to the fact that the program will exclude all but a handful of DMEPOS suppliers, and Medicare provides nearly 50% of industry revenues, literally thousands of small businesses will be thrown out of business by the program. In addition, beneficiaries will be left having to go to multiple DMEPOS suppliers for their product needs. For example, a beneficiary who needs oxygen, power mobility, orthotics, and aids to daily living will be forced to do business with 4 or more DMEPOS suppliers. In addition, if they do not receive quality service, they will be stuck with the 1 or 2 suppliers for that particular product in their area, thus limiting patient choice.
If the DMEPOS bidding program must move forward, it needs to follow the Medicare Advantage bidding model whereby prices are set by the market and all willing/qualified DMEPOS suppliers may participate at the bid price. Even with this; however, thousands of DMEPOS small business will go out of business as a result of the program.
Home care is the answer to the current budget crisis regarding the Medicare program. Rather than constantly making cuts to home care, the administration needs to look at ways to get people out of the hospital faster and into a home care setting with 1/10th the cost or less