Stakeholders to speak out on bidding problems

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WASHINGTON – A congressional hearing next week on competitive bidding could prime the pumps for introducing a bill for the industry’s market-pricing program (MPP).

Stakeholders on Sept. 11 are scheduled to testify at a hearing titled "Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring?" before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology.

In August, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., agreed to introduce a bill for MPP.

Although CMS awarded 51% of bidding contracts to small providers (those with revenues of $3.5 million or less), the program has forced many small businesses to close, says AAHomecare. In July, the association provided the House Ways and Means Committee with a list of more than 450 HME providers who have closed locations, sold their businesses or gone out of business.

Scheduled to testify: Laurence Wilson, director of the Chronic Care Policy Group for CMS; Peter Cramton, an economics professor and critic of the bidding program as currently designed; Tammy Zelenko, president/CEO of Bridgeville, Pa.-based Advacare Home Services, who will testify on behalf of AAHomecare; and Randy Mire, owner of Reserve, La.-based Gem Drugs, who will testify on behalf of the National Community Pharmacists Association.