Hard to believe it&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#039;s been a year
As the folks at AMEPA reminded us all, today is the one-year anniversary of the launch of competitive bidding. Although the program lasted a mere two weeks, it created chaos and, I know, bad memories for many of you out there. Rob Brant put together some comments about what some providers remember most from July 1, 2008. I will share them here. Click here to learn more about AMEPA
[caption id="attachment_1201" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="AMEPA staged multiple protests last year."][/caption]
"Having to tell doctors and hospital case managers that we could not help them, after they told us that they could not find local bid winners to provide products and services. The worst part is that a year later, many case managers still use Medicare's published booklet of bid winners as the only acceptable providers for DME"
- Jack Marquez, Cobra Medical, Miami MSA
"I remember the first few days the program was implemented, getting phone calls from bid winners, I never heard of before asking me if I wanted to make a deal. These bid winners had no presence in the state or local area and no experience providing equipment. They were trying to capitalize on their bid win, while Medicare patients could not find local companies to provide them services"
- Barry Johnson, Texas Home Medical, Dallas MSA
"As a bid winner for enteral feed, Watchmen video we were not prepared for the tremendous amount of referrals we received from other DME companies and bid winners that refused to provide expensive specialty formulas of feed. To this day we are still servicing clients from the first two weeks of the program that the cost of the enteral feed is more expensive than today's reimbursement, let alone the bid reimbursement from July 2008"
- Jeff Rittenberg, Surfmed, Miami MSA
"My greatest frustration was losing an oxygen patient we serviced through hurricanes and many years of excellent service, because she thought she could only be serviced by a bid winner. As one of the few providers of liquid oxygen in the area, it was also difficult listening to case managers tell me that none of the oxygen bid winners were willing to provide liquid oxygen, and patients could not get discharged. With everything going on today in the industry, with my business and family, I will fight and continue to fight to repeal this program, so I never have to go through the process of the program again and the insanity of living with the same outcome"
- Rob Brant, City Medical Services, Miami MSA