• Round 2 Could Include More Products — Lots More

    From: Home Care Magazine

    ATLANTA — While Round 2 of competitive bidding will expand the program to 91 additional cities, that’s not all that could expand. The national bidding program might also include a much wider selection of products, according to a joint message from the American Association for Homecare, the National Association of Independent Medical Equipment Suppliers and VGM. 

    Round 1 of the program hit nine product categories, with Group 2 support surfaces bid in the Miami competitive bidding area only. According to the three industry organizations, that list could grow to as many as 20 categories shared by CMS officials at an April 5 meeting of the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee. 

  • Providers ‘taking care of patients’ in areas hit by tornadoes

    From: HME News

    By Theresa Flaherty,  Managing Editor

    RALEIGH, N.C. – Beth Bowen has been in regular contact with HME providers affected by a series of tornadoes that hop-scotched through central North Carolina and parts of Virginia on April 16.

    “Right now they are trying to do business as best they can,” said Bowen, executive director of the North Carolina Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (NCAMES) and the Virginia Association of Durable Medical Equipment Companies (VADMEC). “They are working overtime taking care of patients.”

  • Radio personality lobbies for rights of disabled

    From: WCF Courier

    WATERLOO, Iowa — People who use wheelchairs overcome obstacles on a daily basis.

    From negotiating gaps between sidewalks and handicapped ramps to finding an aisle wide enough to check out at the grocery store, those using a set of wheels as legs encounter problems most people can’t see.

    They have enough challenges without the federal government putting more hurdles in their way.

    That’s why Teri Lynn Jorgensen went to Washington, D.C., last month to stand up for disabled folks.

  • CBO Official: CMS’ DME Comp Bid Plan Doomed, But Could Be Cheaply Fixed

    From: Inside CMS

    A top Congressional Budget Office official said the Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment is seriously flawed, and although CMS has privately set up the first round bid in a way that makes it appear the program works, the agency is setting a precedent that will make it impossible to find the competitive market price for products in the future, which will lead to the program failing. CMS Medicare chief Jonathan Blum countered that effort is a reasonable success, but also said the agency is in “listening mode” for potential changes and subsequently the agency delayed the round 2 bidding process.

  • Cramton Design Beats Current Bidding System

    From: Home Care Magazine

    But it still won’t work for HME, industry advocates say

    COLLEGE PARK, Md.—“So the notion is how to get more efficient prices than the current fee schedules that we have in place throughout the country. What’s going to be the structure? What’s going to be the mechanism that produces the best possible, most stable, efficient prices?”

    That was the question asked by CMS Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum during keynote remarks at economist Peter Cramton’s HME mock auction April 1.

    The answer, according to auction participants: Not the current CMS competitive bidding model.

  • PAOC Speakers Give CMS Another View of Competitive Bidding

    From: Home Care Magazine

    BALTIMORE—HME advocates at Tuesday’s meeting of the Program Advisory and Oversight Committee said CMS officials characterized the Round 1 implementation of competitive bidding as successful and smooth.

    But speakers during the public comment period gave a different view of the program, which rolled out in nine cities Jan. 1.

    • Jim Tozzi of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness repeated his call for the release of financial standards to which bidders were held, and he called on members of the PAOC to ask the HHS Inspector General to advise CMS it must do so. That, Tozzi said, would help in the regulatory watchdog group’s ongoing litigation over release of the standards, which Tozzi noted CMS has said “would crater the program.”

  • Statement of Jim Tozzi of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Statement before PAOC on the Competitive Bidding Program

     April 5, 2011  CMS Headquarters Baltimore, MD.

         CRE has just requested that the HHS Inspector General investigate and issue a decision stating that CMS must release the financial standards for competitive bidding, see the attachment hereto.

          I am here to ask you today to write the IG, but not as a member of PAOC, instead as an individual.

       Speaking for yourself, not PAOC you should make the following points:

    (1)    Since PAOC has never issued a report in its history and since it is on it way to setting a government-wide record in that respect,