Verma hearing includes comments on bid program

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WASHINGTON – Seema Verma, President Donald Trump’s nominee to run CMS, said during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 16 that one-size-fits-all approaches to health care, like the agency’s competitive bidding program, don’t always work. Verma made the comment in response to a question from Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., about whether or not she would be willing to continue to have a dialogue about how the program can ensure Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural states, get the medical equipment they need, according to The VGM Group. Verma told the senator: “I think what you're bringing up in terms of the competitive bidding is an excellent example where, we've got some providers who are being paid—they're rural providers, but they're being paid at a rate that's more appropriate for an urban area. And, so I think that's the type of policy where understanding how that's going to impact our rural provider on the front-end and having that discussion so that we're not having problems later on down the line. And, if we are having issues, we need to be responsive to that because we want to make sure…that seniors and other folks that depend on CMS programs always have high quality care and that they have accessibility. We don't want to see that our policies and our programs are actually preventing providers—that we're losing providers and that they don't want to see Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries anymore. So, we'll be very careful with policies so that we're not pushing providers out of the system, but that we're actually attracting providers to the program.”