Cramton Returns to the Hill to Blast NCB

NCB critic noted NCB lets CMS manipulate pricing, touts MPP as solution.

At a briefing for congressional staff this week University of Maryland Professor Peter Cramton once again cataloged his concerns concerning Medicare’s national competitive bidding program for home medical equipment.  

Cramton focused on three “fatal flaws:”

  • The bids are not binding, which means bidders can submit low-ball, irresponsible bids and then walk away from them.
  • The bidding system uses the median bid amount to set prices.
  • The lack of transparency in the bidding process undermines confidence in the system.

Cramton said the current bidding system, which was designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, lets the agency manipulate pricing.  

The outspoken critic of NCB also added that the market pricing program (MPP) would serve as a means of applying competition in Medicare in a rational manner.

The briefing addressed the broader issue of reducing federal healthcare spending. Other speakers included Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute, Eli Lehrer, vice president of the Heartland Institute, Steven Grist, assistant attorney general for Virginia, and Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, who spoke about the importance of home medical products in helping diabetes patients, according to a report from the American Association for Homecare.

AAHomecare was present as well, represented by President Tyler Wilson and Vice President for Government Affairs Walter Gorski. AAHomecare has been working with members of Congress to build support for legislation to replace the current bidding program with the MPP.

 

About the Author

David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.

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