Friday, February 25, 2011

The Risky Business of Competitive Bidding

We are all aware of the risks competitive bidding places upon the HME industry; yet, providers across the country continue to fight for their businesses and their patients.

Rose Shafhauser, executive director of MAMES, reported to her members the following: “Competitive bidding is a job-killing program that is forcing small businesses around the country to close and is putting people out of work.”

Another consequence of this program is that small business has always provided many tax dollars. These will now be disappearing.

There is much more at stake. Yes, losing tax dollars and closing companies only creates more chaos. Medicare patients, most of whom are senior citizens, have lost their ability to receive necessities from the local companies where they have always obtained their supplies.

In the markets where the first bid is now in place, patients are experiencing great difficulties. Sometimes they have to travel to more than one location. They have lost their right to shop where they want. The number of senior citizens and their family caregivers, when coupled with your efforts, can reach their congressmen to bring about a change. As I have reported so often: “you must become much more active than ever to work to veto the competitive bid.” Please remind your elected officials that without votes they are no longer in Congress!

Please work with your state HME association and the national associations. They are working for every HME provider and need your support and your dollars. Spend that money now or you can lose everything. Rally all your customers and staff to write and call and let Congress know what is happening. The basic ability to shop freely is gone. Other problems created are both delays in obtaining supplies and longer hospital stays. This is unfair to their constituents.

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