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HME Providers Urged to Share Round 2 Problems to Continue Informing Members of Congress

The following article was published by AAHomecare in their 7/03/2013 Wednesday in Washington report:

In AAHomecare visits to Capitol Hill, staffers on both the House and Senate sides have indicated that they need solid data from us to confirm their suspicions that the data provided by CMS is not telling the whole picture of the bidding program’s impacts.

Here are the pieces of data that we need every member to collect:

  • Number of calls from beneficiaries regarding Round 2
  • Number of callers who have already contacted CMS, and whether CMS addressed the situation
  • Number of callers having problems getting equipment through CMS’ list of contracted providers
  • Number of callers offering to pay out-of-pocket
  • Number of callers needing equipment repaired (including power mobility)

We will aggregate the data, remove anything that could identify a specific company, and give it to Hill staffers to counter CMS’ outrageous claims that the bidding program is working smoothly and that there are no negative impacts on beneficiaries.

After you gather the data needed from beneficiaries, ask them to make three follow-up calls:

  1. CMS (1-800-Medicare/1-800-633-4227) Be sure the beneficiary knows that they have to file a complaint and tell them to get the name of the person they speak with at CMS.
  2. People for Quality Care (1-800-404-8702) PFQC will take the beneficiary’s name, location, and a brief summary of the issue. With the beneficiary’s permission, the complaint will be forwarded to a local Medicare ombudsman for resolution and added to a list of problems which will be presented to members of Congress. They will also patch beneficiaries through to the congressional switchboard if they are interested in talking to legislative staff members. Click here for flyer to use in your store or mailings:  Medicare Bidding Consumer Complaint Hotline
  3. Members of Congress (1-202-224-3121) Congressional staff have said that they need to hear from beneficiaries about problems with the bidding program.

It will be helpful to beneficiaries if you put together a handout for them that lists PFQC’s phone number, CMS’ phone number, and the congressional switchboard number (listed above). You could also look up an individual beneficiary’s members of Congress on the AAHomecare web site at All you need is their zip code.

Send the data you collect weekly to AAHomecare’s Peter Rankin at and copy OAMES executive director Kam Yuricich at  If you have questions, call Peter at 202-372-0755 or Kam at 614-652-9927.

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