Knueppel HealthCare Services and durable medical equipment (DME) providers from around the country are taking on Washington today February 26 and tomorrow February 27 and demanding a change to the current Medicare pricing program set to go into effect in 91 areas across the country on July 1st. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services touts the savings, the industry feels the same savings can be achieved through a fairer, more transparent auction design called the Market Pricing Program.
The flawed National Competitive Bidding Program will result in an average 45% drop in reimbursement rates for certain DME products, including hospital beds, walkers and oxygen. In addition to the low rates, largely unsustainable, Medicare beneficiaries will only be able to get those products from providers who have “won” a bid.
You can hear the stories of Medicare beneficiaries who are currently struggling with the competitive bidding program in their areas of the country at http://www.peopleforqualitycare.com/Resources/Personal-Stories.php
If you would like to contact your legislator on this issue, the US Capitol Switchboard phone line is (202) 224-3121; just ask for your representatives. A sample script appears below:
“My name is (your full name) and I’m from (your hometown).
I am calling to insist that Congressman/woman ______________ (or Senator _________) work to stop the current Medicare bidding program, set to affect our area on July 1st. This process encourages unethical manipulation of the bidding system by allowing “low ball” bids in order to increase the probability of being awarded a contract.
I am also concerned about
- Medicare beneficiaries losing access to quality care
- The loss of jobs in our area, as happened in the Round 1 Rebid
- The lack of transparency in the competitive bidding program
Over 200 economists and auction experts agree the current system is flawed, and as an industry we have a solution: The Market Pricing Program (MPP) which would address all of the critical problems while still setting fair market prices.
I am requesting that Congressman/woman _________________ (Senator ________) contact his/her respective leadership in the House (Senate) and tell them that the competitive bidding program will hurt beneficiaries and providers and it needs to be stopped and that the MPP, a budget-neutral alternative is the answer. Thank you.”