CMS awards new bid contracts
HONOLULU – CMS has awarded new competitive bidding contracts to two local providers in Hawaii: Aloha Medical and American Home Care Systems. To date, just 13 of the 97 providers who accepted contracts as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding were located in Hawaii. The move is in response to concerns raised by the Hawaiian congressional delegation and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) about decreased access to equipment and services. “We appreciate that CMS has taken a positive step to help to remove barriers to access to care in Hawaii,” said George Greene, HAH president and CEO, in a recent bulletin from AAHomecare. “However, the logistics and cost of business in the middle of the Pacific Ocean still make the DME competitive bidding program unsustainable in this island state.” With no same-day or overnight express shipping, it takes mainland contract providers at least two to four days to get most equipment and replacement parts and four to eight weeks to get hospital beds and wheelchairs. Complicating matters further: Mainland contract providers are unable to subcontract because prices are below the cost of supplying the equipment once shipping is factored in, according to the bulletin.