Economist hasn't met with CMS...yet


There were rumblings throughout the industry last week and yesterday that Pete Cramton, a University of Maryland economist who has criticized CMS's competitive bidding program, was scheduled to meet with officials from the agency yesterday (Oct. 18). Cramton, you'll remember, played a lead role in writing a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee in September that called the program "a disaster."

But no such meeting has happened—yet.

In an e-mail this morning, Cramton told HME News that CMS officials canceled the meeting, but he hopes to reschedule.

"I believe that CMS would learn a great deal from the meeting, especially in how to avoid the identified flaws and how to develop an effective auction program moving forward to Round 2," he wrote. "I have provided a number of possible dates for such a meeting. I hope to hear from CMS soon."

Cramton's meeting with CMS officials was first referenced in a Deutsche Bank "company alert" on Lincare dated Oct. 11.

"There seems to be significant interest to get Prof. Camton's input about the design flaws of CB," the alert states. "Prof. Cramton indicated he has meetings with CMS leadership (10/18), as well as upcoming meetings with CBO and Obama administration economic advisors. The impact o f these meetings could influence the process for Round 2. He noted CMS has the authority to make modifications without the need for legislation."

The alert also states:

"We believe the Cramton letter may, in fact, be a real catalyst towards getting CMS to modify the bidding rules for the lager and more important CB Round 2."

Stay tuned...

Liz Beaulieu


i think its too late for an economics professor to explain to CMS the micro and macro economic devaestation that Competitive Bidding will reap upon the industry and patients. He needed to be in there two years ago when there was still time to change. At this point, however, he's like a row boat trying to push the Titatnic away from the ice berg - good intent but too little too late.