Long-term care groups praise plan to repeal medical equipment competitive bidding process

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A new plan to repeal the durable medical equipment competitive bidding process received high praise from members of the long-term care community during a press conference Tuesday.

Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) introduced the “Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act” on Tuesday to “ensure continued access to medically necessary devices and products,” according to a release from the congressmen. Speaking at a press conference announcing the bill, Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, criticized the current system.

“Flaws in the competitive bidding program have been chronicled by patients, patient advocates, clinicians, suppliers and even academic experts,” Morton said. “Patients deserve greater protections than what they are currently receiving under the DMEPOS competitive bidding program.”

Morton acknowledged Congress's efforts to fix troubled aspects of the competitive bidding process, but said that the problems were beyond repair, and that “these festering issues are now affecting Medicare beneficiary access to appropriate levels of care.”