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Press Release

Congressmen Thompson And Braley Join Push To Prevent Expansion Of Medicare Bidding Program

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association for Homecare and the VGM Group today applauded Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) for urging the Centers for Medicare and (CMS) Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to refrain from further action to expand Medicare's bidding program.

CMS published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (CMS-1460-ANPRM) entitled Medicare Program; Methodology for Adjusting Payment Amounts for Certain Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) using Information from Competitive Bidding Programs on February 26, 2014. This notice is the first step for CMS to apply flawed bidding prices to non-bidding areas.

Thompson and Braley are spearheading a congressional sign-on letter to Tavenner that urges her to stop any further action until the findings of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigations of the program have been presented to Congress and elected officials have had adequate time to review the OIG's conclusions.

"It is no secret that policymakers on both sides of the aisle see the controversial national bidding program as an unacceptable burden on the elderly and disabled," said AAHomecare President Tom Ryan. "AAHomecare thanks Reps. Thompson and Braley for urging CMS to work with Congress in a way that will best serve Medicare beneficiaries."

"VGM has heard from over 3,000 Medicare beneficiaries who are experiencing delays, increased costs, and difficulty receiving supplies due to the bidding program. Our feedback from over 400 providers shows great concern for the program pricing structure and the ability to offer quality service in the diverse parts of the country at such reduced rates," added John Gallagher, vice president of VGM government relations. "The evidence is there that this program doesn't work, and we're grateful to the congressmen for their action."

Thompson and Braley are asking their colleagues to co-sign the letter. Use the AAHomecare Take Action Center to contact your Representative and urge them to sign on and add their voice to the debate. The deadline for signing on to the letter is March 27.

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.

SOURCE American Association for Homecare

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