Bids, Audits Bills Up; MPP Bill Hovers

Recently released binding bids and audit reform bills gain sponsors while MPP sits at 180.

As Congress approaches its August recess, the industry is making headway with two new bills recently introduced into the house that would reform competitive bidding and Medicare’s audit program.

H.R. 4920, introduced in late June by Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and John Larson (D-Conn.), would make all bids binding and would require providers to obtain bonds before bidding. The bill picked up three additional co-sponsors since last week, bringing its total number of backers to 21 Representatives.
The bill's new backers are:

  • Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.).
  • Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).
  • Rep. Eric Crawford (R-Ariz.).

H.R. 5083, known as the Audit Improvement and Reform Act (aka, the AIR Act), was unveiled late last week by Representatives Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.). The bill aims to address key problems with Medicare’s unchecked audit system by boosting transparency within the program; providing better education and outreach; and rewarding suppliers that have low error rates on audited claims.

Only a week old, the bill already has six co-sponsors signed on:

  • Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.).
  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa).
  • Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).
  • Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.).
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.).
  • Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio).

Meanwhile legislation to replace competitive bidding with the industry’s Market Pricing Program appears to be hovering a bit. The bill, H.R. 1717, which was introduced into the House by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) in April 2013, has sat at 180 co-sponsors since June 10.

While the MPP bill might not be seeing movement, industry legislative experts note that those 180 lawmakers should be easy to bring on board as supporters for the binding bids bill.

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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