Massachusetts Home Medical Equipment Providers Back Federal Legislation to Repeal Controversial Medicare Bidding Program
BOSTON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Massachusetts providers of home medical equipment and services (HME) support H.R. 1041, a bipartisan bill in Congress to repeal the flawed, controversial Medicare "competitive" bidding program for medically required equipment and services.
"Massachusetts' medical suppliers need H.R. 1041. If this bill is not passed, it will harm our businesses and hurt the state's more than one million Medicare beneficiaries," said Gary Sheehan President of Cape Medical Supply, Inc. "Massachusetts homecare providers are watching Medicare's competitive bidding program put our colleagues out of businesses in other states, and we know that many of us are next if the program comes to Massachusetts. By eliminating providers, Medicare is eliminating access to care for patients. This will cause an increase in medical issues and problems – ones that could and normally would have been avoided."
The bidding program affects millions of Medicare beneficiaries nationwide who require oxygen therapy, enteral nutrients (tube feeding), continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) and respiratory assistive devices, power wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and support surfaces, and mail-order diabetic supplies. The program was implemented on January 1 in nine metropolitan areas and it begins in an additional 91 areas later this year. The first nine areas are Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Riverside, California.
The bill to repeal the bidding program, H.R. 1041, has 98 cosponsors so far in the House of Representatives with broad support from both Republicans and Democrats, including Massachusetts Reps. John Tierney and James McGovern.
CONSUMER GROUPS, MARKET EXPERTS ALSO BACK REPEAL OF BID PROGRAM
A number of patient advocacy and consumer groups also support H.R. 1041 including the ALS Association, the Brain Injury Associ