Bill calls for delay, review of bid program

Friday, June 14, 2013

WASHINGTON – Reps. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, have introduced a bill to delay the implementation of Round 2 of competitive bidding, according to The VGM Group.

H.R. 2375, the “Transparency Accountability in Medicare Bidding Act of 2013,” would delay the implementation of Round 2, scheduled to go live July 1, until Dec. 31, 2013. It would also delay the Round 1 re-compete, set for Jan. 1, 2014, until six months after Round 2 starts.

During the delay, the bill calls for the secretary of Health and Human Services to contract three auction experts, a health economist and an econometrician to work as a team to independently review and assess all aspects of Round 1 and Round 2, including the program’s design, development, implementation, market fairness and sustainability.

The bill then calls for the experts to submit a report to the secretary and Congress. Items in the report would include, among others:

•    Appropriateness of HCPCS codes selected
•    Ability of beneficiaries to obtain these items and services
•    Analysis of current or future adverse affects on health outcomes
•    Identification of any material deterioration in the quality of items and services provided
•    Evaluation of the costs of any preventable or prolonged hospitalizations due to lack of timely access to items and services
•    Identification of the winning suppliers and the number of such suppliers that have not previously supplied the products bid

The report would also include recommendations for changes to the program.

The bill comes one day after Thompson and Braley held a press conference and sent a letter to CMS asking the agency for a delay. The letter was signed by 227 lawmakers, a majority in the House of Representatives.


Is there any more news on this article from Andrea Stark at MiraVista that was sent out on Friday?

HI Susan: We are following this for our newswire.

I live in the rural area and work for a small DME Company who service the rural areas, who was not awarded a Competive Bidding Contract. We are a very aboard ethical company who believes that everyone is to be treated equally and given the best quality of life no matter how long or short it may be. I have had beneficiaries call wanting our help, because the DME Company they were with at the time (Nation Wide National DME Companies) had ignored their request for refills for oxygen cylinders, their concentrator had not worked properly for 2-3 weeks. Of course we did our best to make sure the beneficiaries was taken care of, by advising them to call Medicare regardiing their issue, contacting the DME company ourselves in the beneficiaries behalf. We have had many beneficiaries join our company because of the poor service they have recieved from large DME companies because of the reputation our company. We have always provided the up most and best service we can. We treat our patients as we would want someone to treat our parents. I have listen to compaints and heard the fear in our patients voices on this matter. Not knowing  what is going to happen to them. We have had Medical facilities call wanting DME equipment through us. I explained we could not take care of them since we were not given a contract. I went as far as finding a company in their bidding area. The Patient Coordinator calls be back and tells me the DME Companies said that it was too far out in the rural area to deliver! What do you do then? Keep looking, keep the patient in the hospital days until you can find a DME that will deliver his or her Home Oxygen or any other equipment they may need. This is what I want to know what is going to happen to our pateints if we have to close our doors? Who is really going to take care of them. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND DELAY THIS BILL. Let us help take care of our mothers, fathers, and grandparents. After all they took care of us. Stand together and keep our country strong and take care of our elderly who fought for our country and freedom. The freedom to build our small companies and not be forced to shut their doors by our own Government. I would like to thank all of you who do understand this and is fighting for this to be delayed. Thank You, Barbara Kuciemba