Representatives to CMS: Exclude New York from NCB

Sunday, May 29, 2005

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York state HME suppliers have persuaded the state's entire congressional House delegation to sign off on a letter that asks CMS to exclude New York City from the first round of competitive bidding.

With signed support from 29 of 29 House members, Rep. Charlie Wrangel, D-N.Y., sent the letter to CMS in May, arguing that competitive bidding does not belong in New York City "quite yet."

The Wrangel letter reasons that New York is just too big, too costly and too difficult to maneuver through in the wake of changes initiated in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

To make his point, Wrangel cites the example of one HME supplier who budgets $40,000 per year for parking tickets. Some suppliers send out two drivers on service calls, one to make the delivery and one to watch the truck.

Respiratory therapists in New York typically earn $55,000 per year, according to Wrangel; the national average is $43,260.

"It seems to me that CMS should take the appropriate steps in less complex MSAs to determine how to implement the competitive bidding program before taking on the most complex of MSAs," the Congressman writes.

CMS plans to roll out competitive bidding in 10 of the largest MSAs in the country in 2007. The New York MSA, with more than 18 million residents, is the nation's largest. The second largest MSA is Los Angeles with about 12 million residents.