Time running out for some smaller vendors?
A controversial measure scheduled to take effect in July could dramatically change the way durable medical equipment is purchased and delivered to the nation's 16,000 nursing homes. Congressional lawmakers last week introduced legislation that would delay the planned Medicare competitive bidding program for 18 months. While the shift was initiated with an eye toward saving tax dollars, some of its current shortcomings remain unresolved, opponents claim. At risk are responsive, customized services and a possible death blow to smaller vendors, they claim. The reprieve would seem to be a good way to address some of the kinks in the current proposal. But it remains far from certain whether Congress will act in time to delay a well-intentioned but flawed initiative.