Bid fight: Stakeholders turn up the heat

Friday, October 26, 2012

WASHINGTON – With little time left to pass H.R. 6490, a bill that would replace competitive bidding with a market-pricing program (MPP), industry stakeholders are pulling out all the stops.  

Here are some of their latest activities:

Challenging times

AAHomecare issued a “10-day challenge” last week to generate momentum for the bill, which currently has 19 co-sponsors. Over the next two weeks, the association will focus on several states each day to determine whether representatives in those states have signed on yet to co-sponsor H.R. 6490.

Dire data

A new pair of studies predicts some dire economic outcomes in Montana and Utah if competitive bidding goes forward. Kenneth Brown, Ph.D., an economics professor at the University of Northern Iowa who conducted the studies, says that Round 2 could slash 915 jobs in Montana and reduce the state’s annual economic output by $55.1 million. In Utah, he predicts that 2,700 jobs will be lost and that the state’s economic output could be reduced by $200 million annually. In both states, Brown expects Round 2 to result in business closures for companies that do not win bids, which will result in not only job losses, but also reduced access, particularly in rural areas. 

To read Kenneth Brown’s impact study on Utah, go here:

Spread the word

NAIMES is working to engage 50 state governors to share information on how competitive bidding could cost states millions in unintended expenses. NAIMES will be providing assistance to state associations to help bring this to the attention of governors. 

Support system

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) and the U.S. COPD Coalition have both expressed their support for the bill. AARC sent a message to Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the bill's lead sponsor, stating that their national base of more than 53,000 respiratory therapists stands behind H.R. 6490. The advocacy branch of the U.S. COPD Coalition is also encouraging subscribers to support the bill. Other groups stepping up to the plate: United Spinal Association, Post-Polio Health International, National Family Caregivers Association, Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, National Council on Independent Living, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Shepherd Center, Disability Rights Center, ADAPT Montana and Disability Policy Institute.

To read the U.S. COPD Coalition’s message in full, go here:

Pay it forward

AAHomecare has also ramped up its fundraising efforts. The organization is asking stakeholders to contribute to its “Replace bidding with MPP” fund to provide financial support for campaigning for the bill.

To contribute, go here:

Bid channel

People for Quality Care (PFQC), an organization of homecare advocates, created a channel on its website for stakeholders to enter their zip code and contact their representatives to ask for support in establishing a market-pricing program.

To contact your representative, visit PFCQ’s homepage: