Is There a Delay With the Medicare Competitive Bidding?
The Medicare Competitive bidding process was implemented in 2011, after being signed into law in 2008. The process was designed to curb waste, fraud, and overcharging through the Medicare program. While it has gotten substantial results in the two years it has been active, it has also faced criticism and threats of delays.
The reason for the Medicare Competitive bidding process was that Medicare was overpaying for durable medical equipment, meaning items like wheelchairs and walkers. It was also overpaying for things like diabetic testing supplies. Manufacturers of these supplies would charge Medicare inflated prices or would charge additional costs for different models that were virtually the same as a cheaper type. When this was discovered, the Medicare program designed the bidding process.
Through this program, suppliers of these items would need to submit bids to Medicare for the prices they would charge and Medicare would approve or disapprove of this bid. Medicare recipients would then need to purchase their durable medical equipment or diabetic testing supplies through these approved suppliers. This Medicare Competitive bidding process, began in 2011 in just 90 areas of the country, is estimated to have saved Medicare some $400 million in the past two years.
Despite this, some in Congress, feeling pressure from medical supply companies, have tried to delay this process and program and get it reversed. They have claimed that the program has been “mishandled” and “is not transparent enough,” and according to a letter signed by some 200 members of Congress, has issues unrelated to the cost savings of the program, such as not vetting of the financial standing of many firms that have already been awarded positions. These are ones that are allowed to provide services in areas away from their current main locations. They are urging the Obama administration to delay Round 2 of the Medicare Competitive bidding process until 2014.
However, it appears as if the Medicare Competitive bidding process is not being delayed by the Obama administration. A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement to Forbes magazine, when asked about the potential for delay, that the bidding process is working. He pointed out the savings to taxpayers and beneficiaries, which numbers into the billions of dollars. He also highlighted the end to the unnecessarily overpriced items that are common for Medicare recipients, such as oxygen equipment, diabetic testing supplies, and items like wheelchairs.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Medicare Competitive bidding process you can feel free to visit our website, Senior Healthcare Direct, at http://srhealthcaredirect.com/. We are here to help you find a Medicare plan that is right for you and to explain how this process may or may not affect your ability to get the medical equipment and diabetic testing supplies you need. The Medicare Competitive bidding process is designed to decrease waste and fraud while still preserving the benefits of Medicare providers, so don’t hesitate to visit our site and get the information you need today.