• Competitive bidding: ‘CMS has turned this industry into a nightmare’

    From: HME News

    By Liz Beaulieu Editor

    WASHINGTON – HME providers are feeling a mixture of resignation, anxiety and anger now that competitive bidding is the law of the land.

    “My emotional state right now is, let’s get on with it,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of contracting and reimbursement for Advanced Home Care, a contract supplier in the Charlotte competitive bidding area (CBA). “We did it before and it was awful, and most of us don’t anticipate it will go well this time, either, but let’s just get on with it.”

  • Proposal Attempts to Head Off Texas Bid for Incontinence Supplies

    From: Home Care Magazine

    AUSTIN, Texas — With Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (TCPA) moving ahead on a proposed rule to allow competitive bidding for Medicaid incontinence supplies, the Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (MESA) has submitted an alternate proposal.

    “The TCPA alleges that it’s open to alternatives, and we’ve given the agency a comprehensive proposal that includes licensure, mandatory accreditation, surety bonds, criminal background checks, and a lower maximum allowable for diapers, briefs and underpads; the MESA proposal meets all of the goals stated as being the impetus for the initiative,” MESA Executive Director Liz Moran said in a release.

  • Happy Birthday Wishes to the Data Quality Act

    December 21, 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the Data Quality Act (DQA), also known as the Information Quality Act, 44 U.S.C § 3516, note.

    The DQA has deep roots developed over nearly a half-century as the result of a seed planted during the Johnson Administration which germinated in the Nixon Administration, was watered by the Carter Administration and whose product was harvested by the Reagan Administration, made available to the public in the Bush I Administration and subsequently enhanced by the Clinton Administration and promoted by the Bush II and Obama Administrations. See: http://thecre.com/ombpapers/SystemsAnalysisGroup.htm and http://thecre.com/quality/20010924_fedinfotriangle.html

  • Economist on competitive bidding: ‘Current approach is not going to work and will not continue’

    From: HME News

    By Liz Beaulieu Editor

    WASHINGTON – Economist Peter Cramton, a vocal critic of the current competitive bidding program for HME, gave a presentation on his new design to AAHomecare and state association leaders during a teleconference last week.

    Cramton, a University of Maryland professor, also took questions during the call, which AAHomecare organized.

    “From AAHomecare’s perspective, we have under way a couple of efforts to develop alternatives to the current bidding program, so that’s a reason to have a better and full understanding of (Cramton’s) proposal,” said Tyler Wilson, the association’s president and CEO, at the start of the call. “Whether we borrow from his proposal, build on his proposal or go in a completely different direction, remains to be seen. At this point, the association hasn’t endorsed, in any way, his design.”

  • Protest in Orlando Against Competitive Bidding

    From: AMEPA Newsletter, Dec. 15, 2010 

    Various news outlets are monitoring this situation and are anxious to print stories. The more media attention we receive the better, as the new congressional representatives are looking for issues of concern and rely upon the media to verify their worth.

    Yesterday dozens of providers, gathered on the coldest day of the year in Orlando to demonstrate the complete and utter incompetence of CMS with the implementation of its competitive bidding program for DMEPOS.


  • Competitive bidding and mail-order diabetes: ‘Race to the bottom’

    From: HME News

    By Theresa Flaherty Managing Editor – 12.10.2010  

    WASHINGTON – In the weeks leading up to competitive bidding’s start date, mail order diabetes providers are skeptical that contract suppliers will be able to fulfill their obligations without disrupting beneficiaries.

    “Almost nobody who is a top provider in this category is a winner,” said Tom Cronin, CEO of Woburn, Mass.-based Neighborhood Diabetes. “Can these companies actually scale up and provide any product effectively to the beneficiaries they are going to need to supply?”

  • He Said, She Said: Competitive Bidding Standoff

    From: Home Care Magazine

    ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Association for Homecare reported last week there is a growing body of evidence about problems related to the Round 1 rebid of competitive bidding, among them:
    • Bankrupt bid winners;
    • Errors on the Medicare.gov website providing misinformation to beneficiaries;
    • Incorrect materials sent to beneficiaries outside of bidding areas instructing them to switch to contract providers;
    • Lack of required state licensure among some bid winners;
    • Long-distance providers among bid winners; and
    • Contract provider credit problems.
  • Wyden Asks CMS To Use Health-Reform Measure To Ban New DME Suppliers

    From: Inside Health Policy

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked CMS on Friday to use its new authority under health reform law to temporarily ban durable medical equipment suppliers from enrolling in Medicare during the roll-out of the DME competitive bidding program. Congressional aides said suppliers have told them that the moratorium would be helpful during the roll out to ensure that fraudulent suppliers do not sneak in, but an industry trade group called Wyden’s proposal “drastic” and said it is not warranted.

  • Sen. Wyden Indicates CMS Incapable of Adequately Screening DME Providers

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Berwick urging him to use authority in the new Affordable Care Act “to issue a temporary moratorium on enrollment of new durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers in the Medicare program while ensuring beneficiary access is not compromised.  Limiting the enrollment of new DME suppliers will go a long way in assisting CMS’ fraud and abuse prevention activities.”

    The letter goes on to state that “[w]hile the competitive bidding program which is soon to be operational in 9 areas across the country…should help ensure that only legitimate providers are serving Medicare beneficiaries, further restricting the proliferation of fly by night operations–such as through a national moratorium on new entrants into Medicare–will go toward strengthening program integrity.”

  • Seniors Face Shortages, Shaky Suppliers in New Medicare Program, Two Studies Say

    Many of the suppliers who won contracts under Medicare’s new competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment are financially shaky, two new studies say. The result for seniors will be undependable supplies, reduced quality and fraud.

    Washington (PRWEB) December 2, 2010

    Seniors in nine major cities will have to deal with financially shaky suppliers under Medicare’s new Competitive Bidding program for medical equipment, which goes into effect Jan. 1, two new studies have found.