Letter to the Editor

Medicare concerns

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dear Editor,

As a home medical equipment provider, I am concerned with a Medicare bidding program for home medical equipment.

In 2011, the government agency implemented its pilot program in nine metropolitan areas across the country. By summer next year, Medicare will expand the program to an additional 91 areas. Although the program is a type of auction designed to improve the efficiency of Medicare's system, many experts have pointed out fundamental flaws in the program's design. Bidding experts and economists from around the world have expressed their concern about this program. Yet, Medicare continues to ignore their concerns.

Since the program's implementation in 2011, patients and providers have reported certain issues in regard to this poorly-designed program. As an example, many providers who were not awarded a contract to bill Medicare have had to lay off employees, or worse, shut their doors permanently.

Additionally, Medicare beneficiaries requiring physician-prescribed home medical equipment and services have experienced difficulty finding a local provider to receive quality services and equipment.

As this program expands to places like our local community, we will begin to see these problems here. Many small providers will be put out of business; patients will be without the care they deserve.

We need to let our members of Congress aware of both the economic and health care impact of this program. For more information, visit www.peopleforqualitycare.org


Darren Esch,

Frontier Home Medical,

McCook, Nebraska

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