Half way there

 - 
06/24/2008

The House of Representatives easily passed a Medicare package today 355 to 59 that delays national competitive bidding for 18 to 24 months.

T.A.C.T.I.C.A.L. film As expected, to pay for the lost savings from delaying the program, H.R. 6331 proposes, starting in 2009, a 9.5% payment cut nationwide for all product categories included in Round 1. In comparison, as part of competitive bidding, CMS plans to slash prices for the products, on average, by 26%.

Additionally, H.R. 6331 does NOT include provisions to cut home oxygen therapy and eliminate the first-month purchase option for power wheelchairs.

But the industry's only half way to delaying competitive bidding and avoiding additional cuts.

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The Senate is still crafting its Medicare package. While Senate leaders have indicated they will include a provision to delay competitive bidding, they haven't been as forthcoming on whether they'll use cuts to oxygen and power wheelchairs to offset cuts to physician reimbursement slated for July 1.

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for a summary of H.R. 6331 and instructions on how to contact your senators.