Home Health Blogger

Home Health Care Policies: Proposed DME Bidding Under Scrutiny

Posted by Nathan Hope on Dec 12, 2014

Home health care policies- Recently, a piece of legislation proposed by the House of Representatives has introduced the concept of competitive bidding for DME (durable medical equipment). However, the Senate has responded with a similar version of the bill that supposedly addresses some flaws found in the original proposal.14-11-04-CMS

Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) brought forth the new bill in a bipartisan agreement. The Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act (MCBIA), or S. 2975 is not meant to replace the original proposed DME bidding bill, but rather, accompany it and address particular concerns associated with it.

The Senate bill seeks to modify XVII of the Social Security Act with regard to requiring state licensure and bid surety bonds for entities submitting bids under the Medicare DME competitive acquisition program.

From aahomecare.org:

“This legislation will make all bids binding and require proof of licensure for the next rounds of bidding. It addresses a major flaw in the program and deters speculative bidding without generating a cost. There are three main provisions in the bill:

•    Providers will need to prove licensure before they submit bids.

•    Bidders would be required to obtain a bid bond.

•    Bonds could be forfeited if the contract is declined at or above the bid price.

Whether you are a patient, family member, or caregiver, please help us make sure that your loved ones can get their doctor-prescribed home medical equipment (HME) and services that they need from responsible suppliers.”

Many DME suppliers are against the competitive bidding model introduced by congress and have been rallying against it since the concept was first brought into the spotlight. Aahomecare.org is just one of many of the DME manufacturers that are attempting to mobilize employees of the home health agency to speak out against the proposed changes.

HME (Home Medical Equipment) News has been covering the bill since its initial creation, and posted several responses from stakeholders in the DME industry.

Among those:

“We need to do everything we can to build support for our bills to put ourselves in the best possible position to be attached to a moving vehicle prior to the end of the year,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government relations for Pride Mobility. “There’s plenty of opportunity to address all our issues.”

– Seth Johnson, VP of government relations for Pride Mobility

Currently, several stakeholders are visiting representatives across several states to voice their concerns regarding the proposed legislation and the effects it may have on the DME industry as a whole.

 

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