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House Hearing May 9 Offers Chance to Highlight Serious Failings of Bidding Program

The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee has announced it will hold a hearing next week to examine the Medicare bidding program to understand how the program is affecting patients, providers, and program expenditures. AAHomecare will use this hearing to highlight the deficiencies in the current bidding program and press Congress to replace the program with a Market Pricing Program that will be sustainable over the long term and not create severe adverse consequences for Medicare beneficiaries.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Wally Herger (R-Calif.) stated, "Congress established the competitive bidding program in light of evidence that the Medicare fee schedule payments far exceeded retail rates, leaving the DMEPOS benefit prone to waste, fraud, and abuse. I believe strongly in the competitive forces of the private market and the first year of the program shows this process has resulted in lower costs for Medicare and its beneficiaries. While this is encouraging, it is important to ensure the process by which suppliers compete is fair and that beneficiaries receive needed care. This hearing will help the Subcommittee understand the successes and challenges with Round 1 before the program's scheduled significant expansion next year."

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 A.M.

While Congress is in recess this week, remind your Senators and Representative about the problems with Round One of bidding and the need to replace the existing system with the Market Pricing Program.

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