18 Senators Urge Halt to Bid Expansion

Upper chamber lawmakers sign Congressional sign-on letter to CMS’s Tavenner.

Eighteen Senators have now attached their names to a Congressional sign-on letter calling for CMS to halt its work to expand competitive bidding nationally.

The letter, penned by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and initially co-signed by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), is addressed to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and urges CMS to halt work to expand the program until the HHS Office of Inspector General completes its investigation of Round Two of competitive bidding.

Earlier this year, CMS began asking for public comment on nationwide implementation of competitive bidding. With Round Two implemented, the program covers 100 competitive bidding areas, but by 2016, Medicare must extend the bidding program or competitive bidding pricing for included categories to areas that are current not part of the program, thus bringing the program nationwide.

“We appreciate that CMS is requesting input before moving forward, especially given the impact competitive bidding prices could have on rural areas,” part of the letter reads. “In these remote areas, DMEPOS are especially vital and necessary to resident beneficiaries, and we question whether an apples-to-apples comparison with urban areas I the best approach specially since there are some concerns with the bidding process in Round One and Round Two.”

At press time, providers were working furiously to urge their Senators to sign the letter by end of today, the deadline for adding more signatures to the letter.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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