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RE: [IP] About Competitive Bidders

 Thanks to Phyllis Abram for alerting us to problems of Medicare's recent awards
of DME (Durable Medical Equipment) contracts by competitive bidding.

 Several members of this forum have asked her where her information came from. I
cannot answer for her, but at Link#1 below I came across a number of similar
stories from small DME suppliers who believe they will have to drop out of the
DME business.

 Link #1:

 Link #2 below is a news item posted on April 19, 2013 by the American Medical
Association. It quotes Medicare's view of the beneficial effect this program has
been having on its DME expenses in the first year of this program (Round 1) when
it was tested in a limited section of the country:

Link #2:  <http://www.amednews.com/article/20130419/government/130419961/8/>

 Medicare found savings of $200 million from the trial program without
detrimental effects to the Medicare beneficiaries. Our extensive monitoring in
round 1 showed that competitive bidding reduced spending without jeopardizing
access to medical equipment and supplies, said Jonathan Blum, deputy CMS
administrator and director of the agencys Center for Medicare, in a statement.
Medicare contract suppliers signed contracts that included protections to
ensure that they will furnish beneficiaries with necessary equipment and quality
customer service.

 Link #2 also includes a counter-statement by the president of the American
Assn. for Homecare (which gathered the negative stories in Link #1).

 My personal reaction is to withhold judgement until we see how it works. I am
reminded of the automobile industry's furore decades ago when mandatory
standards for fuel efficiency, seat belts, and airbags were finally forced on
them. The industry survived and we have better and safer cars today.
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