• Cramton Study Offers Proof: Lowball Bids Cut Out Experienced Companies

    Editor’s Note:  Dr. Cramton’s study discussed in the following article, and the supporting materials including raw data sets, are attached below.

    From: Home Care Magazine

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Peter Cramton continued his crusade against CMS’ competitive bidding design last week, releasing a comprehensive study that bolsters auction experts’ opinion that the program is dangerously flawed.

    Using contract supplier lists issued by CMS in 2010 and PDAC (Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding) procedure code utilization data he obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Cramton compared the market structure before and after competitive bidding and discovered disturbing changes.

  • 244 Auction Experts Blast CMS’ Violation of Administration Regulatory Policy

    Nine months ago, 167 academicians sent a letter condeming CMS’ deeply flawed, non-transparent implementation of competitive bidding.  Now, almost 250 academicians have signed a new letter to the President with cc’s to OMB, HHS and the Council of Economic Advisors reporting that 

    much to our dismay—there are to date no signs that CMS has responded to the professional opinions of auction experts or taken any serious steps to fix the obvious flaws to the competitive bidding program. Rather CMS continues to recite the mantra that all is well…. 

    The letter writers explain that the situation is 

  • ‘You are still persevering’

    From: HME News

    By Theresa Flaherty Managing Editor

    WATERLOO, Iowa – For HME providers who feel as though every workday is a battle, the keynote speaker at The VGM Group’s Heartland Conference last week put things into perspective. 

    “In Mogadishu, if you get up in the morning, call it a win in pencil, because you’ve still got the rest of the day (to get through),” Sgt. Matthew Eversmann told attendees. 

    Eversmann received a Bronze Star for his service in Somalia, where he was involved in the 18-hour Battle of Mogadishu. That experience was the basis for the movie “Black Hawk Down.” 

  • Medicare Bidding Fight, Inspirational Talk by Ms. Wheelchair America Featured at NCAMES Summer Meeting June 15-17‏

    From: NCTechNews

    (Raleigh, N.C.) North Carolina’s leader in home medical equipment (HME) advocacy and education, NCAMES, is hosting Tar Heel native Alexandra McArthur, Ms. Wheelchair America 2011, as special guest at its 2011 Summer Meeting June 15-17 in Wrightsville Beach. Diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age seven, the 23-year-old McArthur will be speaking to attendees on how HME mobility products and services have helped her overcome her disability and enjoy everyday life.

    “Alexandra’s story is both inspirational and reaffirming,” NCAMES Board President Marcia Ladd said. Ladd, who has been running medical equipment supply store Triangle Aftercare in Durham for 16 years, explained that stories like McArthur’s demonstrate the value and importance of local HME care.

  • Cramton Floats ‘Repeal and Replace’ Option for Competitive Bidding

    Editor’s Note:  A copy of Dr. Cramton’s slides discussing his repeal and reform proposal is attached below.

    From: Home Care Magazine

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Peter Cramton, the University of Maryland economics professor at the vanguard in condemning CMS’ competitive bidding design, is pursuing a new avenue to get the current program shelved.

    As HME advocates push for legislators to sign on to H.R. 1041, the bill that would repeal the bidding system, Cramton is working on legislative language that would spell out how an efficient and effective DMEPOS bidding program would work.

  • Patient Advocates Speak Out On Human Cost of Competitive Bidding

    People for Quality Care has prepared another in a series of videos documenting the real world harm to Medicare beneficiaries from DME competitive bidding. 

    The PFQC videos also highlight the economic costs of competitive bidding that result from longer hospital stays, more frequent hospital visits and lower quality medical outcomes because patients are not receiving receiving the equipment they need on a timely basis.  These very real financial costs to taxpayers are not factored into CMS or Congressional Budget Office calculations.

    As the Patient Advocate in the short documentary below explains, CMS’ DME competitive bidding program has reduced patient access to needed medical equipment, particularly in rural and smaller suburban areas. 

  • Agencies Release Regulatory Review Plans

    From: Home Care Magazine

    WASHINGTON — Yesterday the Office of Management and Budget released preliminary regulatory review plans from 30 federal agencies noting regulations on the books that will either be modified or ditched altogether. 

    In a Jan. 18 executive order, President Obama called for a government-wide review of existing rules to identify those that need to be changed or removed because they are outdated, unnecessary, excessively burdensome or in conflict with other rules.