An agreement to destroy the bid documents was negotiated agreement between attorneys for the plaintiff clinical laboratories and federal attorneys for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
CMS Responds to Congress
CMS Adminitrator Berwick has responded to a letter from over 130 members of Congress asking the agency to release the names of the DME provides who won contracts in the Round 1 Rebid. As the lawmakers explained, ““Without knowing the identity as well as the appropriate overall qualifications of these providers, we cannot evaluate the program’s impact in terms of quality and access to care for seniors we represent.”
In his response, Dr. Berwick declined to release the names of the winning suppliers stating that, “we believe that providing a series of interim lists of suppliers would result in beneficiary confusion, undermining the orderly and effective implementation of the program.”
Study: Competitive Bidding Slashes Patient Choice, Access, Quality
From: HME Business
Dobson DaVanzo & Associates study says NCB could negatively impact Medicare beneficiaries and is highly susceptible to gaming.
Aug 26, 2010
Competitive bidding could result in diminished choice, reduced access to care, and lower quality products and services for Medicare beneficiaries who depend on HME providers, according to a new independent study of the national competitive bidding program.
As part of its research, actuarial company Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, which was commissioned by the American Association for Homecare to conduct the study, conducted an extensive literature review (government reports, congressional testimony, journal articles), as well as interviews with representatives from patient advocacy groups, beneficiaries, discharge planners, academic experts and the HME community.
New DMEPOS Final Rule to be Published on August 27
CMS will publish the final rule: Medicare Program; Establishing Additional Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Supplier Enrollment Safeguards
According to CMS, the final rule, which is based on a proposed rule published on January 25, 2008, “will clarify, expand, and add to the existing enrollment requirements that Durable Medical Equipment and Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers must meet to establish and maintain billing privileges in the Medicare program.”
Competitive bidding issues addressed in the rule include:
Congress members call for open and transparent oversight of Medicare ‘competitive’ bidding program
Letter to CMS Cites Need for Open and Transparent Oversight of the Bid Program
A bipartisan group of 136 members of Congress recently requested that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) disclose the list of homecare providers whose bids were used to calculate home medical equipment reimbursement rates under the Medicare “competitive” bidding program. See letter at www.aahomecare.org.
“Without knowing the identity, as well as the appropriate overall qualifications of these providers, we cannot evaluate the program’s impact in terms of quality and access to care for seniors we represent,” states the congressional letter to CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D.
Industry aims to ‘expose’ problems with competitive bidding
From HME News
WASHINGTON – If competitive bidding kicks off on Jan. 1, 2011, as planned, industry stakeholders hope to have a reporting mechanism in place that will allow patients and referral sources to detail the expected wreck created in the program’s wake.
“People aren’t going to know about or understand the resulting reduction in services and other problems unless they’re exposed,” said David Petsch, managing director of CSIHME, one of the groups working to develop a reporting mechanism. “And if you don’t know what the negative effects of the program are, how do you make good decisions about how to address them?”
Feds to Destroy Bid Documents for Medicare’s Clinical Laboratory Competitive Bidding Demonstration Project in San Diego
Congressional Letter Seeking Competitive Bidding Transparency Sent to CMSA bipartisan letter signed by over 130 members of Congress was sent to CMS requesting information about the Round 1 Re-bid competitive bidding. The letter explained that during he original Round 1, among “the problems that surfaced were that bidders did not have the financial resources to deliver services to a larger number of patients or they had no experience in the product categories for which they were awarded bids.”
Stabenow Questions Berwick on Competitive Bidding
WASHINGTON — As the industry campaigns for CMS to release the names of providers whose bids were used to calculate Round 1 single payment amounts, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., sent a letter to agency Administrator Donald Berwick on Monday questioning a number of issues with the competitive bidding rebid.
A member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Medicare, Stabenow told the recently appointed CMS chief she is concerned about the problems that surfaced in the original round of bidding (2008) and wants to find out what has been done to fix them.
Baucus Comment on Projected Savings from Medicare Competitive Bidding
Aug 01, 2010 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — MEMORANDUM To: Reporters and Editors From: Scott Mulhauser and Erin Shields for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Re: Baucus Comment on Projected Savings from Medicare Competitive Bidding Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) made the following statement today after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its projected savings for the first round of the Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment. Baucus helped to create this program as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 and worked to improve the program in the recent health care reform legislation. From Chairman Baucus: “Medicare should operate transparently and competitively to give seniors the best care possible while giving taxpayers the most for their money. Those principles were critical in health reform and they have also been critical as we’ve worked to make the Medicare competitive bidding program work as effectively as possible. This program allows Medicare to purchase equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs through a bidding process, instead of just setting standard prices for that equipment. Working together, Democrats and Republicans created this program, which will effectively reduce fraud and waste in Medicare.