UMD Prof Hosts Bidding Conference
April 1 event will debate, discuss auction approach, will include mock auction.
- By David Kopf
- Mar 10, 2011
University of Maryland Economic Prof. Peter Camton has announced an April 1 “Medicare Auction Conference” to help Medicare stakeholders collaborate on the competitive bidding program, now that Round One has been implemented and the program is being prepared to expand nearly nationwide with Round Two.
To be held at the Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Md. the program invites DME providers, Medicare beneficiaries, government agencies, Congressional staff, and auction experts to “to debate the basic issues as well as learn about the latest auction methods that could simplify and improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the auction program. In addition, the conference provides a forum to debate whether auctions are feasible in the Medicare setting and how they can best be structured,” according to a letter from Cramton.
The conference aims to:
- Discuss key issues of an auction approach.
- Demonstrate how an efficient auction works.
- Debate the merits of the auction approach.
The event will include a nearly full-scale mock auction that will involve all participants interacting via a commercial auction platform that is programmed with the proposed auction rules. In the mock auction approximately 90 bidding teams compete to be DME providers for six product categories in nine regions. Each team is given a specific business plan including the company’s cost of providing service for the product categories and regions the company is interested in. THe goal of this mock auction is to get the participants to consider how the auction works, think about bidding strategy, and then actually bid in the mock auction, just as the would in a real auction.
“This type of conference has been highly effective in informing stakeholders of how modern auction methods work and to identify and make progress on the challenges with an auction approach (many of these challenges are shared by non-auction approaches, such as administrative pricing, so the conference is highly relevant even to those who believe an auction approach is not the best way forward),” Cramton writes. “My colleagues and I have had successful conferences like this in several other sectors, such as transportation (FAA), communication (FCC), and energy (FERC).”
The event will be limited to about 200 participants (roughly 40 from the government and 160 non-government), and participants can register at 123signup.com on a first-come-first-serve basis. Registration is free for those from the government and $80 ($100 after 14 March) for non-government participants. Registration includes lunch and refreshments at morning and afternoon breaks.
More details, including a full agenda, can be found in Cramton’s letter here:
David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.