• CRE Files Comments with OMB on the CMS Information Collection Request

    CMS can not initiate the competitive bidding  program until OMB approves its information collection request ( ICR) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.  CRE  has identified a number of deficiencies which demonstrate that the CMS ICR is not PRA compliant.

    CRE also recommends a solution to the problem:  allow all qualified small suppliers to provide equipment at the single payment amount if the suppliers meet the SBA definiton of a small business.

    CRE comments are appended hereto.


    7 responses to “CRE Files Comments with OMB on the CMS Information Collection Request” RSS icon

    • Competitive bidding will do nothing to save Medicare money. The companies that are the unethical companies that are over marketing the benefits are the same ones that will win the contracts and all the bidding process will do is take away the ethical competition that gives Medicare clients an option. CMS already sets the allowable and by taking away number of providers, they offer less CHOICE for elderly and much worse service. The Scooter Store already bills about 1/3 of Medicare powerchairs, won I beleive 6 of first 10 areas and they won’t make that mistake again, they will win all 10. They are already getting into more markets and have proved in the past that they do not offer service of any type. They more than most medical companies have the finances and connections to easlily jump thru the hoops of the bidding process. Medicare should set their allowable, (they have already dropped it 30% in 3 years), and do a better job of busting the crooks. I know of several companies who have had complaints filed and never even been visited to follow up. How can a company in Floriday supply a wheelchair in Kentucky or 1 in Tennessee supply 1 in Nevada and even be remotely interested in client? By making more laws all the government does is give the crooks a road map to keep taking advantage of Medicare and its beneficiaries. I also cannot believe our government makes rules that take away the freedom of starting a business which is done if you say only 10 providers can be in a particular business in an area. I also know you have heard that DME comprises 2-3% of CMS budget, cut it out completely and you don’t even make a drop in the bucket of all these stimulus projects. My company specializes in rehab, 1 properly fit powerchair that a fall or skin flap surgery is easily a 80% savings for the federal government. Embrace DME and be thankful for the ability to keep clients home instead of a $4000 a month nursing home, the freedoms it supplies to the elderly, the savings over institutional care, and also since the country is in a nationwide financial crisis look at the number of jobs it creates and tax dollars generated.

    • This company has been in the DME business for twenty five years. Over the last fifteen years ,the industry has been on a self distruction track. The addition of unethical suppliers to the mix has only increased the need for increased GAO unenounced inspections. With the mandated order of accreditation and bonding, you would think that the process would weedout the bad apples. The competative process that is in place right now will probably put this company out of business

    • Competitive bidding without the “any willing provider” component is just an avenue to grant access to the unethical providers. “AWP” will help keep the ethical companies in the game. But the real issue is that Competitive Bidding (the way it is structured) is a waste of the tax payers money. It is all ridiculous when CMS sets the price anyway. So just set the price and let the chips fall where they may. This whole thing is a waste of time, money and definitely energy.

    • Congress needs to clean house at CMS and hire competent administrators. The competitive bidding for DME as it stands will force numerous legitimate providers out of business, increase unemployment, increase bankrupties and possibly home foreclosures. Limiting providers will only decrease accessability, service and quality to Medicare patients. DME is actually a part of the solution to reduce health care costs by keeping patient’s out of hospitals and SNF’s. DME is approx. 2% of the whole health care budget. Nobody can get good, high quality healthcare for free!

    • “Competitive Bidding” this is not bidding at all, this is “competitive discounting” at best. The laws read, the bid must be LOWER than the current amount paid. How can this be a bid? If the cost is higher, if process changes, if costs increase how can prices drop. Not long ago gas was $4.50 or more in many areas, could a DME adjust for costs? Of course not, but it was demanded that they drop fee’s charged by 9.5%. Oxygen was CAPPED, with an additional 24 months of responsibility and liability added on to the DME in the 34th month of the 36 month CAP! with no prior notice from the government! If they had said, you would be responsible for 60 months of service at the FIRST Month, or when it started, all could have decided, accept the work, do the service or not, but to demand this after the fact, with retroactive implications ABSURD! And who pay’s for this? The benenficary, with worry, with apprehension of serives, with stress, with company’s getting ready to go out of business. All with NO RECOURSE and they made it illegal to quit without liquidation of the company, so you can’t save yourself from the demise of the venture! Where are we living in a dictatorship country?

      The actions of Medicare and this process have indeed jumped the track. I;ve been doing this over 15 years, over 20 years in the healthcare, hospital, Respiratory Care profession. We’ve run and honest, excellent grade of quality and service busines. That at this time they still can’t figure out the good providers from the crooks is “shame on them”, but we are the ones paying the price, with the beneficiary. That beneficiary, as I’ve paid in all my life, will in the not to distant future be me! Get some leadership that has some common sense not a vindictive nature.

    • “Competitive Bidding” What we are really doing is auctioning off health care services to the lowest bidder. Is this really what we want health care services to become in the USA? Competitive bidding might work in other industries where the variables of the service elements can be tied to a cost, in home medical equipment this can’t be done because of the uniqueness of our business, we care for people, we do not just deliver supplies or commodities, those of us who have been successful realize the service side of our business is important. Unfortunately Competitive bidding will force most suppliers to look at reducing the level or quality of their service to stay in business. Our company is in a rural area where the demographics of our service introduce even more variables to our service delivery models. Competitive bidding doesn’t address the cost of gas, the cost of employee insurance, after hour service, etc. Most of us in the business would be willing to sit down at the table and discuss the realities of providing home medical equipment services with those that make the decision on how we are paid, we just want the person/people on the other side of the table to actually know something about our business, not someone who is basing their decisions on data that is inaccurate and has been manipulated to portray the home medical equipment companies as unfavorable and dishonest. We care for the people we service, competitive bidding will force most of to be supply companies.

    • Not only are you going forward with competitive bidding, but you are telling these companies tha tthey ahve to provide free service from the 36th month through the 60th month. Who else has to provide free service even if the patient decides to move out of their area? And if you go out of business you have to continue to service these people? How well is that going to work. Not only are the people going to get bad service, the companies aren’t going to be able to make it. This just makes no sense for anyone involved except CMS>