PORTLAND, Ore., June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Providers of home medical equipment and services (HME) in Oregon support H.R. 1041, a bipartisan bill in Congress that would repeal the controversial Medicare "competitive" bidding program for certain medically required equipment and services used at home. That bidding program is scheduled to start up in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metropolitan area later this year.
This bidding program will affect 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 (round one), and later this year it begins in 91 round two areas including the Portland region.
"This bidding program must be stopped before round two is implemented," said Angelene Adler, vice president of operations at Portland-based Care Medical. "It will harm patients, reduce competition, lower quality of products, increase Medicare spending, and cost thousands of jobs throughout the country. Congress must pass H.R. 1041."
Care Medical is a member of the Pacific Association for Medical Equipment Services and the American Association for Homecare, which support H.R. 1041.
"Homecare is an industry built on care and service and it has always been cost effective," said Adler. "This fact seems to be ignored by Medicare officials. The bidding program will not save taxpayers' money in the long run. It is not sustainable, and Congress must act now."
The bill to repeal the bidding program in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1041, has 113 cosponsors so far with broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
CONSUMER GROUPS, MARKET EXPERTS SUPPORT REPEAL OF BID P