NCB: Still ‘a great concern’

Friday, April 30, 2004

WASHINGTON - National competitive bidding for DME isn’t scheduled to kick off until 2007, but that doesn’t mean the industry can afford to put it on the back burner, say industry sources.

“It is on the CMS work list, and there are people assigned to it,” said Cara Bachenheimer, Invacare’s vice president of government affairs. “As much as we don’t like it, we need to be working with CMS to minimize the pain.”

In fact, AAHomecare met with CMS officials last month to discuss provisions in the MMA that affect medical equipment providers, and national competitive bidding was a “key issue,” said AAHomecare CEO Kay Cox

“We never want to give (CMS) the impression that it is not a great concern for our membership,” Cox said. “We want to be at the table when they move forward, and have made it clear that we will be available for those discussions.”

The MMA calls for competitive bidding in the 10 largest metropolitan statistical areas in 2007 and the top 80 in 2009.