The timing may be just about right

 - 
12/17/2008

The industry was able to convince Congress to delay national competitive bidding on July 15, two weeks after the program was implemented. The oxygen cap goes into effect Jan. 1. Does that mean the industry will be able to convince Congress of another delay, this time for the cap, on Jan. 15? The timing may be just about right.

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The debate over the cap has reached a crescendo. This week, a "dear colleague" letter written by Reps. Tom Price, R-Ga., (he wrote an unsuccessful bill to repeal the cap) and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., had 88 co-signers. The letter asks CMS to delay the cap, giving Congress time to reform payment and policy.

Also this week, the industry and CMS began duking it out in the press. Read this Pray 2: The Woods move for a provider-friendly story from ScrippsNews and this for a CMS-friendly story from The Associated Press. (In the latter, CMS doesn't mince words. Laurence Wilson says concerns are unfounded and stem in many cases from misleading representations from unhappy medical equipment companies. Ouch.)

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We haven't seen this much activity, again, since competitive bidding left town. I'm sure the industry's hoping luck comes in twos.

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