"This study definitively shows that the competitive bidding program for home medical equipment is adversely affecting the health and financial well-being of diabetic Medicare beneficiaries," said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. "We echo the Forum's call to suspend the diabetic supplies component of the program until CMS can demonstrate its ability to effectively monitor the health outcomes stemming from the competitive bidding program."
"The findings are especially timely in light of CMS' recent release of new pricing cuts set to go into effect under the competitive bidding program that significantly reduce reimbursement for test strips and other diabetic supplies," Ryan added. "These drastic cuts will almost certainly drive companies from the diabetic market, ultimately resulting in even further access issues for diabetic patients."
"This study, coming from highly-qualified researchers and subject to rigorous peer review, should serve as a wake-up call to policy makers who have dismissed reports the adverse effects of the bidding program on Medicare beneficiaries," Ryan concluded. "We need action today that will make sure the bidding program doesn't cause more harm to the millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions who rely on home medical equipment."
The ahead of print article "Impact of CMS Competitive Bidding Program on Medicare Beneficiary Safety and Access to Diabetes Testing Supplies: A Retrospective, Longitudinal Analysis" can be found here; the full study is set for publication in the April issue of the Journal of Diabetes Care.
The American Association for Homecare represents providers of home medical or durable medical equipment and services who serve the needs of millions of Americans who require prescribed oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, enteral feeding, and other medical equipment, services, and supplies at home. Visit www.aahomecare.org.
Contact: Gordon Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.372.0759
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare