State prepares for competitive bidding

Saturday, March 31, 2007

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania moved one step closer to competitive bidding for HME in January when the Department of Public Welfare announced a pilot project for its Medicaid program.
Although project details, including start date and duration have not been confirmed, the pilot will be rolled out in the 12 counties that make up the northeastern part of the state, designated Zone 2.
The populous northeast region has more fee-for-service beneficiaries than the rest of the state, said Dave Fiorini, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers.
The state first proposed competitive bidding early last year for its Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program in an effort to cut DME and home health reimbursement by $16.8 million. Since then, the association, providers and patient groups have lobbied against the program, fearing it would limit access for beneficiaries, and that small providers would be unable to bid.
The original request for proposal draft called for three providers to serve Zone 2, and the final RFP--which has been delayed several times--was expected to be released by the end of February. Fiorini wasn't holding his breath, however.
"We're not so sure they are not crying wolf, so to speak," he said. "But one of these days, it is going to come about."