Clinicians speak out on bid program

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WATERLOO, Iowa – People for Quality Care, the advocacy arm of The VGM Group, has released a video featuring damning testimony from clinicians on Medicare’s competitive bidding program. The clinicians provided the testimony at an annual conference recently hosted by Handi Medical Supply in Saint Paul, Minn. “Our goal is to empower the industry with the tools needed to continue the fight as we work together toward relief,” said Kelly Turner, executive director of PFQC. “This video reinforces the message shared by the industry and other stakeholders that the program is harming the very people it’s designed to protect and is in desperate need of reform.” Clinicians say the faulty program, combined with unsustainable reimbursement rates, has resulted in preventable hospital readmissions and reduced options. It has also resulted in patients either going without equipment or supplies, or paying for them out of pocket. “It may be great for Medicare; it’s not great for the patient,” says one clinician, who has been coordinating care for 45 years. “It is the worse thing that I’ve seen in my entire life.” PFQC encourages providers to share the video as part of their lobbying efforts.


I am the Executive Director of Care Management for a Health Care Network that includes 6 acute care hospitals, along with ambulatory care, home healthcare, and HME.  The Competitive Bid process has been extremely detrimental to our patients and to our hospital process efficiencies and LOS.  The Competitive Bid process has caused our Case Managers to have to spend much more time trying to find HME Competitive Bid winners in a local setting that can provide HME to our patients in a reasonable amount of time.  This process has caused great stress for our case managers and for our patients.  This process has also caused significant discharge delays.  Patients often opt to discharge to a potentially unsafe environment because they do not want to have to stay in the hospital several hours, or even days longer, because the Competitive Bid winning company is not able to deliver their much needed equipment in a timely manner. 

The Medicare Competitve Bid process has been horrible for our patients!