• Now Available: New Webcast for Round 1 Recompete Bidders

    From: CMS

  • Bidding Suppliers: Time is Running Out to Register for DMEPOS Competitive Bidding

    From: CMS

    If you are a supplier interested in participating in the Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program and have registered an authorized official (AO) but not a backup authorized official (BAO), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) strongly recommends that a BAO register no later than Friday, September 28, 2012.

  • Summit recharges providers

    From: HME News

    by: Liz Beaulieu

    PITTSBURGH – Several speakers at last week’s HME News Business Summit had the same take-home message for providers: “This is your time.”

    Everette James, who kicked off the event, encouraged providers to view themselves and present themselves as “disrupters”—a driving force in making the current healthcare system more affordable.

    “This should be your time, if you can figure out a little thing called reimbursement,” said James, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh, and director of its Health Policy Institute. “There’s a recognition that people want to be at home and you can deliver care there less expensively—those are the things that I’d be driving home.”

  • Peter Cramton: Medicare Auction Gadfly

    From: Freakonomics Blog

    Ian Ayres

    My friend and co-author Peter Cramton continues his two-year crusade to improve the workings of “Medicare’s Bizarre Auction Program.”  You can watch his YouTube testimony before the United States House Committee on Small Business here:

    (See also his Oral Testimony, Transcript of Hearing, Video of Entire Hearing.)

    Peter’s supplemental comments are particularly devastating in rebutting two claims of Lawrence Wilson, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director of the Chronic Care Group:

    CMS [claim]: “CMS worked closely with stakeholders to design and implement the program.”

  • The Campaign for HME

    From: Home Care Magazine

    Industry experts provide pointers on becoming an HME political advocate

    by Dave Parks

    HME providers face a delicate task this election season. Amid intense partisanship, they must educate politicians of all ideologies about the value home medical equipment brings to the government, along with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. A fix for competitive bidding remains the most important message to deliver, but that is a complex issue requiring thoughtful communication skills.

  • Audits overwhelm pharmacists

    From: HME News

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Audits are hammering community pharmacists and that puts patient access at risk, according to a new survey.

    The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) asked more than 350 community pharmacists about their experiences with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and other Medicare Part D intermediaries.

    The survey found that:

    • Ninety-six percent of pharmacists stated that a typical PBM contract has minimal or no transparency on how generic pricing is determined or what the reimbursement rate will be.

  • Industry to lawmakers: Pick up MPP

    From: HME News

    Cramton on bid alternative: ‘(It can) become brilliant example of government using market mechanisms in health care for benefit of society’

    WASHINGTON – Industry stakeholders and CMS debated the merits of Medicare’s competitive bidding program during a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill this morning.

    Industry stakeholders, like HME provider Tammy Zelenko, argued that the program hurts small businesses and urged lawmakers to replace it with the market-pricing program (MPP).

  • CMS: DME Bidding — It’s Not An Auction

    CMS finally admitted today what DME suppliers and independent experts have long known, the agency’s bidding system for home medical equipment “is not an auction.”  The admission was made by Laurence Wilson, Director of CMS’ Chronic Care Policy Group in response to a question at a hearing by the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology, Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring?

    In response, Dr. Peter Cramton of the University of Maryland who also testified at the hearing, noted that the term “competitive bidding” is synonymous with auction and that, because the law requires CMS to conduct competitive bidding, the agency is not in compliance with the law.

  • Senator meets with HomePlus staff

    From: Home Care Magazine

    ELKINS, W.V., Aug. 30, 2012– During a recent visit to Elkins, several staff members from HomePlus and Davis Health System met with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III to discuss legislation affecting patients and companies who provide home medical equipment and services. Employees representing management, administration and clinical staff raised the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) and Medicare’s 36-month cap on oxygen equipment rental, both of which have greatly impacted reimbursement to home medical equipment providers.

  • House Small Business Committee Hearing on DMEPOS Competitive Bidding — September 11th @ 10:00am

    From: The House Committee on Small Business/Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology

    Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring?

    On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at 10:00 A.M. the Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology will hold a hearing titled, Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring? The hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

    For years, Medicare’s benefit for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies has been plagued by a fee schedule with high error rates and above-market costs for the Medicare program, beneficiaries and taxpayers.  In response, in 2003, Congress established a competitive bidding program designed to provide greater value while ensuring beneficiary access to supplies and satisfaction with them.