Official downplays cost of comp. bidding

Sunday, June 30, 2002

WASHINGTON - A CMS official downplayed the industry's latest card in fighting the spread of competitive bidding at AAHomecare's Legislative Conference last month.

Mark Wynn, a senior social science research analyst with CMS, told providers the administrative costs of running competitive bidding projects do not outweigh savings. In Polk County, for instance, CMS spent $4.2 million to save $7 million, he said. "And there were start-up costs in there," Wynn said.

If rolled out nationally, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) predicts competitive bidding would save at least $500 million per year, Wynn said. The office predicts the cost of running such a program would be $40 million - or less than 10% of savings.

The industry has recently taken up the argument that competitive bidding just shifts where CMS is spending its money - from providers' pockets to administrators'pockets. HME