If you or a loved one is a Medicare beneficiary, you should know that a program Medicare calls “competitive bidding” may affect you and your family.
In nearly every major metropolitan area across the country, Medicare is asking providers of home medical equipment and services to bid low in order to qualify as one of a reduced number of providers allowed furnish this equipment and service under Medicare. In this program, Medicare is focusing on reducing the number of care providers rather than improving care that is provided. You will be required to obtain your home medical equipment and supplies from a company that the government will select. Your right to choose will be very limited.
What this could mean for you?
1. It may be more difficult to access high quality providers.
2. Companies that value excellent patient services and providing high quality equipment may no longer be able to provide this level of care.
While Medicare expects to save money by cutting reimbursement rates to these providers, the reality is that fewer Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive the type of services and equipment they need to remain safe and independent at home. As a result, we will see more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, nursing home admissions, and dangerous health outcomes. And in the long run, this will cost taxpayers more money and cause needless suffering for millions of older Americans and people with disabilities. In fact, a February 6 editorial in The Wall Street Journal, described this “competitive bidding” program as “idiotic and designed for failure.”
Your health and your family’s health is not a commodity that should be auctioned off to the lowest possible bidder. In the initial nine areas of the country where this bidding program has taken effect, Medicare data from 2011 shows a drastic drop off in utilization of medically required equipment and services such as oxygen, CPAP, hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, and other cost-effective items that allow people to continue living a health life at home.
But most politicians in Congress do not understand how home medical equipment helps families and saves money. And because of that, we need your help. Please support our efforts to change the way proper patient care is delivered. In just one click, you can cast your vote for better home care. Please join the thousands of voters who know that healthcare services should not go to the lowest bidder.
We are asking everyone to take a stand. Please sign this petition and cast your vote to ask Medicare to focus on delivering better healthcare and not reducing services.
After you sign this petition, also send a letter to your politicians with one click!
I am writing to request your support in putting a stop to the Competitive Bidding Program for Medicare that will cost thousands of jobs and access to quality care, equipment, and services to people with disabilities. The program is fatally flawed and encourages “suicide bidding,” using economic coercion by forcing providers to submit unsustainable bids necessary to win a contract.
The competitive bidding program sacrifices care for seniors and people with disabilities by restricting access and choice for HME items and services. It has triggered a race to the bottom in terms of quality with less expensive items being provided to patients. With a loss of providers, expedient deliveries of items and services will be eliminated and Medicare costs will increase.
The bidding program is not cost-effective and is not a solution for health care. In fact, it will increase Medicare costs. The program disrupts the continuum and coordination of care between doctors, discharge planners, patients, and HME providers.
Please stop this flawed program so people can maintain their right to choose who delivers their health care and retain access to quality products and services.
Eric Cohen started this petition with a single signature, and now has 10,783 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.