Industry Legislation Continues Pushing Forward

Binding Bids Bill now sitting at 64 co-sponsors, AIR Act at 45 backers.

Industry efforts to support legislation that would reform CMS’s audit and competitive bidding programs continue to gather steam.

H.R. 5083, known as the Audit Improvement and Reform Act (aka, the AIR Act), picked up another co-sponsor in the House, bringing the total number of lawmakers officially supporting the legislation to 45. The new signer to the nascent legislation is Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.)

The AIR Act was introduced into the House by Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) in order 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.

On the competitive bidding front, H.R. 4920, otherwise known as the Binding Bids Bill, continued to push forward gaining three additional congressional backers, putting its total at 64 co-sponsors. The new co-sponsors for the Binding Bids Bill:

  • Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)
  • Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.)

Introduced by Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and John Larson (D-Conn.), the Binding Bids Bill would require bidders to have special surety bonds forcing them to hold to their bid amounts. This addresses the major flaw of competitive bidding’s non-binding bids: that it lets companies engage in the sort of low-ball bidding at prices that some bidders have no intention of honoring. The surety bond forces them to live up to their obligation.

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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