What is wrong with the Competitive Bid? Who listens?
We lived through Round 1, and now we are in Round 2. Where is this leading? Further reductions on reimbursements, more providers and dealers being forced out of business, and an outcry from patients due to a lack of service. Yet CMS and Congress do not hear a thing.
When DME/HME dealers appeal for some help, the response many legislators have given is that the dealer is “only worried about his or her” profit dollars, not the recipients. Sure they are, but that is not what our industry’s main concern is; it is our patients.
We worry about our customers: the bed-ridden grandmothers, fathers and mothers trapped in wheelchairs, parents with great difficulty walking while using their walkers or canes, all unable to ambulate properly. These are many of our clientele. These are the people who are house bound and they are whom we worry about.
They all have family caregivers who try to fill the gap and who suffer sometimes more than the patient. They are frustrated by these problems and they also ask: Who listens?
Congress will listen to the patients. They vote, their families vote, their friends and peers all vote! They are the heart of the electorate, and Congress and CMS will hear their voices. When speaking directly to legislators, whenever we presented a list of patient complaints, they listened.
You know what's wrong, and so do your patients. When we showed them the list of complaints AAHomecare gathered, that was when we got the attention we needed. So please put together a list of problems such as: 1) difficulty receiving supplies, 2) change of provider, 3) cost to beneficiary increase, 4) difficulty finding new provider, and 5) general confusion.
All this is what they will listen to and that will be the way to show the politicians the competitive bid is NOT working.