New durable medical equipment bidding process ill suited to long-term care, Congress told

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Newly-implemented federal rules are delaying the delivery of durable medical equipment to long-term care facilities, according to testimony at a recent Congressional briefing. Several aspects of a competitive bidding program that began in January seem to be based “more on math than on good policy,” said Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care in a statement. While the new system forces facilities to accept lowest bids, winning suppliers are under no obligation to follow through. The prices set by these “drive-by bidders” then influence the prices the government pays to other suppliers, she said.