Homecare Provider Testifies on Downside of Medicare 'Competitive' Bidding Program Before House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:34am

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A home medical equipment provider testifies today about the negative impact of Medicare's controversial "competitive" bidding program for durable medical equipment and services.

Karen A. Lerner, a registered nurse and wound care specialist at Allcare Medical, in Sayreville, NJ, will tell the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health that the bidding program, as designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "will not achieve its desired outcomes and will in fact reduce access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, lower the quality of that care, increase costs and kill jobs."  Lerner is a member of the American Association for Homecare and the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services. See statement below and see full testimony at

Providers of home medical equipment serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, home infusion, and other durable medical equipment, therapies, services, and supplies in the home.

The "competitive" bidding program for home medical equipment and services is scheduled to take effect in nine metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. in January 2011 including Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Riverside, Calif.  An additional 91 areas are scheduled to start the bidding program later in 2011.

A study conducted by health care economic consulting firm Dobson | DaVanzo & Associates, released yesterday, found that the Medicare bidding program for durable medical equipment may limit Medicare beneficiaries' access to home medical equipment and services and could reduce the quality of products that Medicare consumers rely on. (See text of study at




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