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Meek trying to block competitive Medicare bidding

Health News Florida: Medicare patients and taxpayers will save more than one-third on home-health equipment costs in South and Central Florida next year because of a new competitive-bidding program, federal officials announced Thursday. But the industry continues trying to kill it, with the help of a Florida congressman. The projected savings begin Jan. 1, after years of debate about whether medical-equipment companies should be forced to compete for Medicare business and a series of reports on waste in the program. While the bidding system will take effect next year in only nine metropolitan areas, it will gradually expand across the country and save an estimated $17 billion over 10 years, top Medicare official Jonathan Blum said during a conference call with reporters. "This will save taxpayer dollars that fund the Medicare program,'' said Blum, deputy administrator of the agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. But it's not a done deal. Backed by the industry, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek is spearheading an effort in Congress to try to repeal the bidding system before it can take effect. The Miami Democrat, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator, has gained widespread support in the House, but so far the effort has been stymied in the Senate. The bidding system will affect the costs of many common types of medical supplies and equipment that seniors need to get care in their homes, including oxygen equipment, diabetic supplies and wheelchairs.

Comments

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fine and dandy

Meek's actions are outrageous.

stuntmanmike

Jeff Greene ought to be all over this.

robellen

Meek is the only smart one. This program will put hundreds of companies out of business with thousands being unemployed. And good luck trying to get high-quality medical supplies and equipment. All you will get now is junk - if you can get it at all.

whasup

It's long past time this should have happened. This competitive bidding will help reduce the waste, fraud, and abuse rampant to the tune of 30-40% of Medicare costs. It's about time some of the bloated business bureaucracies and unnecessary costs inherent in the health care-industrial complex got squeezed out. The only groups complaining about this are the overly-high-paid company executives who are bilking and milking the big government health program, because it will cut their fat pieces of the pie down to size. However, for it to work, they'll have to start jailing more of the fraudsters operating in south Florida in this organized criminal activity.

True Blue

Meek is a tool.

Go back to hauling bags at MIA.

Truth Doctor

Health News Florida is a sham. They know damn well that Meek's bill was designed to require Medicare reimbursement cuts to durable medical equipment in order to PAY FOR the projected savings of the bidding program. In other words, find ways to cut the spending in Medicare other than the so-called "competitive" bidding program without putting most of the nation's home care providers out of business. The government sets Medicare rates. The medical equipment providers compete on the basis of service and quality. This bidding program will achieve nothing more than make it harder to get care at home.

Betty Gonzalez

This competitive bidding program will shut down 90% of the medical equipment companies. With the new pricing a medical supply company breaks even after 5 months of billing for a hospital bed. Now I would like to know who is going to have the financial banking to pay their vendor, and continue operating? This bill is going to hurt the seniors on medicare, as they will have trouble finding a company to service them. This will cause medicare patients to enroll in HMO's, which is what the federal government wants. The public is clueless!!!

disinfecting cap

It is an interesting post. Meek is really an outrageous one. I agree to you robellen, I think with this program, it will indeed put hundred of companies out of business with thousands being unemployed. Thanks for sharing this post! Keep us updated.

Regards,
Ashley

anotheronebitesddust

Im a respiratory coordinator for a DME company. My patient's can come in to see me for equipment education, mask fittings, trouble shooting and professional advise. If my patient's can not come to me I can send over a certified respiratory therapist. We have been in buisness for over 19 years. We provide top quality equipment with warrenty. Now due to the Medicare bidding we can no longer provide any pap devices. So no more quality equipment, trainning or professional help. we fired drivers and C.R.T's and as for me who know's what I will be doing sinc my days are numbered. But more important are the patient's who will ulimatetly suffer due to lack of care, education, and good equipment. All Thanks to the medicare bidding.

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