Stakeholders run with new Senate bill

Friday, December 5, 2014

WASHINGTON – Drop everything, pick up the phone and ask your senator to sign onto a new Senate companion bill that seeks to improve the competitive bidding program.

That’s the message AAHomecare has for the HME industry.

“There’s no tomorrow,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “We have a very, very short window. We need to get senators lined up on the bill.”

The Competitive Bidding Improvement Act, S. 2975, introduced Dec. 4 by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., is similar to H.R. 4920. It has three key components: Providers need to prove they are licensed before they submit bids; bidders would be required to obtain bid bonds; and bonds will be forfeited if the bidder declines the contract and was at or below the bid price. 

“The bid bond gets rid of the ability of speculative bidders to just throw in bids across the country when they may have no intention of fulfilling those contracts,” said Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations at Invacare.

With just a few weeks left of the current legislative session—and the Round 2 recompete looming—there is no time to waste. There are three options for the bill: getting it passed as a standalone bill; getting it passed as part of a larger piece of legislation; or getting it placed on the suspension calendar.

“We’re pulling out all the stops,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president of government relations for AAHomecare. 

Although the industry has seen several House bills over the years, this is the first time legislation has been introduced in the Senate. Both Portman and Cardin, members of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, represent states that have seen firsthand the problems associated with the bidding program. For example, *Maryland saw more than 100 contract suppliers in Round 2 without proper licensure.

“Once they saw the problems, there was a dramatic shift (in attitude toward the program),” said Witter.



Why is the REHAB/HME/DME world taking all this CRAP from CMS?.

We the people of the United States are Medicare and we and  our Representatives NEED to eliminate Competive Bidding and all CMS jobs. Start at the top and Eliminate CMS and Competite Bidding all together. Hire CARE CENTRIC Employees and  base care on NEED ,Not Cost .

And this RETAIL MOBILITY Model is such a fantasy while all OUR BENEFICIARIES, NOT just Medicare clients suffer from such an outrage as the current service provider model that benefits NO ONE. 

Since there are MANY Caring Individuals within the INDUSTRY , Let them be heard and recenter our FOCUS.  We have a great system for change based on the constistution. Competitive bidding and CMS are a violation of our constitutional right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. 

If you are the REHAB/HME/DME dealer or organization being squeezed out by  NO REIMBURSEMENT ,Stop Providing services and go find the Profitability that will keep you going. WE ALL LOVE our Customers and Clients. We ALL want to PROVIDE for their NEEDS and give out APPROPRIATE Equipment .

Why should we as an INDUSTRY , Have to PROVIDE ,INFERIOR, INAPPROPRIATE and WRONG EQUIPMENT just to stay in Business? CMS has forced this on us and we are not going to take it any more.

Somewhere and sometime we need to draw the line in the sand and say NO MORE! What have you done today to save your livelyhood  and future? I believe that so many that started in REHAB/HME/DME did it to PROVIDE a service BETTER than the competition. So NOW our goal is to REINFUSE our EFFORTS to regain our SELF COMPOSURE and  SELF CONFIDENCE in our ABILITIES to Provide to OUR CUSTOMERS.

Truly, I hope we all survive the changes that have come to our door like a flood. When in Doubt, Push the CMS TRASH out the door . Good luck and Happy OVERHAULING this Dinosaur.