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Archive for June, 2013

Bills could deliver ‘one-two punch’

Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 09:06 AM  posted by jbuytaert

According to HME NEWS:
by:  Theresa Flaherty -  Friday, June 21, 2013

WASHINGTON – A bill that would delay the expansion of competitive bidding could get fast-tracked through the House of Representatives, say industry stakeholders.

Reps. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, introduced H.R. 2375, the “Transparency Accountability in Medicare Bidding Act of 2013,” on June 14. The bill would delay the implementation of Round 2, scheduled to go live July 1, until Dec. 31, 2013, and the Round 1 re-compete, set for Jan. 1, 2014, until six months after Round 2.

“Congressman Thompson wants to move this very quickly,” said Jay Witter, vice president of government affairs for AAHomecare. “They will take the legislation to House leadership to see about expediting the process.”

Stakeholders say that, typically, bills must go through a process of committees and debates, and lawmakers must gather co-sponsors. However, lawmakers can put non-controversial bills on what’s called “the suspension calendar.” When that happens, there’s a quick debate from each side and then a vote. The bill would need Yeas from two-thirds of lawmakers to pass.

H.R. 2375 also calls for three auction experts, a health economist and an econometrician to independently review and assess Round 1 and Round 2. Read more

Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 10:06 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Bill calls for delay, review of bid

Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 10:06 AM  posted by jbuytaert

According to HME NEWS:

by:  HME News Staff -  Friday, June 14, 2013

WASHINGTON – Reps. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, have introduced a bill to delay the implementation of Round 2 of competitive bidding, according to The VGM Group.

H.R. 2375, the “Transparency Accountability in Medicare Bidding Act of 2013,” would delay the implementation of Round 2, scheduled to go live July 1, until Dec. 31, 2013. It would also delay the Round 1 re-compete, set for Jan. 1, 2014, until six months after Round 2 starts.

During the delay, the bill calls for the secretary of Health and Human Services to contract three auction experts, a health economist and an econometrician to work as a team to independently review and assess all aspects of Round 1 and Round 2, including the program’s design, development, implementation, market fairness and sustainability.

The bill then calls for the experts to submit a report to the secretary and Congress. Items in the report would include, among others:

•    Appropriateness of HCPCS codes selected

•    Ability of beneficiaries to obtain these items and services

•    Analysis of current or future adverse effects on health outcomes

•    Identification of any material deterioration in the quality of items and services provided

•    Evaluation of the costs of any preventable or prolonged hospitalizations due to lack of timely access to items and services

•    Identification of the winning suppliers and the number of such suppliers that have not previously supplied the products bid

The report would also include recommendations for changes to the program.

The bill comes one day after Thompson and Braley held a press conference and sent a letter to CMS asking the agency for a delay. The letter was signed by 227 lawmakers, a majority in the House of Representatives.