Grace-Marie Turner, President and founder of the Galen Institute, published a commentary in the Huffington Post Friday, asking the Super Committee to "work on reforms that will grow over time and reduce the future flood of red ink driven by uncontrolled entitlement spending."
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The two page commentary offered suggestions about reforming Medicare, from the Part D Drug benefit to stopping the "so-called" competitive bidding program in DME.
The Committee also must beware of programs masquerading as competition. The so-called "Competitive Bidding Program" for Medicare is designed to save money in Medicare's purchasing of durable medical equipment -- everything from diabetic supplies to sophisticated home wound care equipment.
Instead of Washington setting prices, the agency that runs Medicare is supposed to get competitive bids on these medical supplies. It sounds like a good idea. But the regulations the agency set up to implement this program are actually driving out competition and violating all the rules of a market-driven bidding system. Companies can bid so low that they drive out legitimate suppliers, and then the winning bidder doesn't have to supply the product! This program will disrupt patients' access to medical goods and should be shut down, not expanded.
Yet the Obama administration has proposed extending this program to Medicaid, despite letters sent by 30 patient advocacy groups, 244 economists and 145 members of Congress objecting. The price distortions in the program are likely to ricochet throughout the health sector, making it difficult if not impossible to find the true competitive price for medical devices in the future, according to Tom Bradley, chief of Medicare cost estimates at the Congressional Budget Office. The Super Committee would do well to shut this program down completely.
The Galen Institute
According to their website, the Galen Institute was founded in 1995 and is a non-profit public policy research organization devoted exclusively to advancing free-market ideas in health policy. They work to promote a more informed public debate over ideas that support innovation, individual freedom, consumer choice, and competition in the health sector.
From their website:
The Galen Institute believes that:
Consumers and their physicians should have authority and responsibility over health care decisions;
The vibrant free market will encourage research and innovation and provide better access to new medical technologies; and
A market that supports innovation will lead to lower costs, expanded choice, and increased access to better medical care.
AMEPA has printed the article in a PDF format. We suggest that Home Medical Equipment providers and other healthcare professionals, who rely on quality supplies and timely services, take a few minutes to bring this article to the attention of their Senator on the Senate Finance and/or Super Committee, charged with overseeing Medicare policies.
Click here to download the complete article. The section referenced above has already been highlighted.
Click here to download a list of Senators on the Senate Finance and/or Super Committee, with their fax numbers.
Prepare a Fax Cover Sheet, addressed to the "Healthcare Legislative Assistant". Ask to please bring the highlighted portion of the article to the attention of the Senator and to please have the Senator look for ways to repeal the current flawed DMEPOS bidding program before registration soon begins in their state.
If you have a relationship with your Senator's office and will be emailing the PDF, make sure that you note that the article has been highlighted. For additional questions, reply to this email or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-654-5957
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