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House Small Business Committee to Hold Hearing on Sept. 11 on Medicare DME Bidding Problems

The following article is from the American Association for Homecare's Washington Report: 

AAHomecare Member Will Testify about Bidding Problems at House Small Business Hearing

Next week, we have a great opportunity to alert Congress about problems with Medicare's bidding program.  On Tuesday, September 11, Tammy Zelenko, CEO of AdvaCare Home Services in Pittsburgh, will represent AAHomecare as she testifies before the Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology. The subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program: How are Small Suppliers Faring?" The hearing aims to help Congress understand the program's impact on small providers.

While CMS claims that it has special considerations to help small providers win contracts and that about 51 percent of winning providers are small (defined by gross revenue of $3.5 million or less), evidence from Round One of bidding indicates that the HME sector is suffering a severe, widespread contraction. In July, AAHomecare submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee a list of more than 450 HME providers who closed locations, sold to larger companies, or went out of business entirely.

Next week's hearing is an important lead-in to introduction of Market Pricing Program (MPP) legislation by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) later this month.

Here's how you can help:

  • E-mail or call your Representative in the House and urge him or her to sign on to the MPP bill as an original cosponsor. Send an email to your lawmaker through the AAHomecare Action Center or through your Representative's website. To telephone your Representative's office, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  • Ask your Representative to contact Congressman Price's office to cosponsor the MPP legislation.
  • Describe the legislation as a bipartisan bill to bring market-based pricing to home medical equipment and services in Medicare. Traditionally, both Republicans and Democrats have supported efforts to fix the bidding program so that it aligns with the original intent of Congress, preserves access to home-based care, and does not wipe out small businesses. It is important to continue the tradition of widespread support from both parties.
  • Refer to the issue brief and bill summary for MPP as well as answers to frequently asked questions to help you to explain the issue to your Representative. Additional details are available here.
If you have any questions about communicating about MPP with your Representative, please contact Jay Witter at AAHomecare or Kam Yuricich at OAMES, or 614-876-2424.

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