Competitive bidding: Industry rallies the troops

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WASHINGTON - It's crunch time for the HME industry to try and pull the plug on competitive bidding once and for all.

AAHomecare, The VGM Group, NAIMES and others sent e-mail blasts to their members last week, urging them to set up meetings with lawmakers during the August recess and to contact their local media to let them know how competitive bidding will affect their communities.

Because it's an election year, they also urged members to attend town meetings to discuss HME and competitive bidding.

Resources abound to help providers with all of these activities. For contacting lawmakers: Go to

For meeting with lawmakers: Go to AAHomecare's "10 Steps Toward a Great Site or Facility Tour for Your Member of Congress,"

For contacting the local media: Go to AAHomecare's "10 Steps to Effective Work With the Media in Your Community,"

For talking the talk:

At press time last week, H.R. 3790, the industry's bill to repeal competitive bidding, had 254 co-sponsors.

After the recess, from Aug. 9 to Sept. 12, the industry will have less than one month to lobby for H.R. 3790 before the November elections, when the political landscape may change dramatically.

In other competitive bidding news: NAIMES continues to collect data about Round 1.2. About 65 providers have taken the group's survey, but it seeks about 100 providers. To take the survey, go to

The North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services (NCAMES) has launched a Web site,, to educate lawmakers and others about the effects of competitive bidding. It estimates 600 jobs will be lost in the Charlotte area due to the program.