Industry gains White House audience in bid fight

Friday, February 24, 2012

WASHINGTON - Key members of the White House health policy staff have reached out to CMS with questions about the competitive bidding program, according to Wayne Stanfield, president and CEO of NAIMES. 

The communication comes after Stanfield and Wayne Sale, chairman of NAIMES, met with three high-ranking staffers in the West Wing of the White House on Feb. 14.

"This was an opportunity that you don't get very easily," said Stanfield. "They wanted to hear what we were saying and they asked a lot of interesting questions."

In the meeting: Elizabeth Fowler, special assistant to the president, National Economic Council; Sophia Wright, executive office of the president, Office of Management and Budget; and J. Timothy Gronniger, senior advisor for health care policy, White House Domestic Policy Council. 

"These three people knew about competitive bidding; they knew the issues; and they knew how it was supposed to work," said Stanfield.

A couple of key areas of concern for the staffers: The size of the competitive bidding areas and the impact on small businesses, said Stanfield.

Last week, AAHomecare and The VGM Group encouraged providers to contact their members of Congress during the congressional recess to talk about the program and ask for support for MPP or the market-pricing program.

MPP still needs the all-important score from the Congressional Budget Office.