Ohio Seniors and Homecare Providers Face Disruption from a Flawed Medicare Bidding Program Targeting Cleveland and Cincinnati

April 17 teleconference will discuss why as many as 540,000 Ohio Medicare beneficiaries are at risk for disruption of service, lower quality of service, and limited access to care once competitive bidding is implemented in July.

What:

Medicare Competitive Bidding Press Teleconference on the details of the Medicare durable medical equipment bidding program and its effects on the provider community and Medicare beneficiaries in Ohio.

When:

Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 10:00 AM EDT. To participate in the teleconference, please dial (800) 463-5401 and use pin number 792030#. To RSVP, please contact Tilly Gambill at 1-703-535-1896 or email [email protected]

Who:

Tyler Wilson, President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare will provide an overview about the competitive bidding program.

Kam Yuricich, Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services, will speak about the direct impact on providers and patients in Ohio, mentioning specific experiences of improper disqualification.

John Reed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for PRO2 Respiratory Services in Cincinnati, will speak about his experience with the competitive bidding program and how the loss of a bidding contract will affect his business and patients.

Background: The congressionally mandated Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) is scheduled to be implemented in the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas on July 1, 2008, along with other areas throughout the U.S. The American Association for Homecare, Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services, and the providers they represent have serious concerns about the way the program is being implemented and the effects it will have on the providers and the patients they serve.

This competitive bidding program will put many DME providers out of business, likely causing disruption of services for many of the 540,000 seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare in the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas. The bidding program has been fraught with procedural flaws and operational problems that call into question the fairness of the overall process. Akron, Columbus, Huntington, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown are scheduled for implementation of competitive bidding in 2009.

Several members of Congress from Ohio have expressed concern about the program. It is detrimental to Medicare patients and studies have shown it will decrease market drive, raising prices rather than lowering them.

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) represents providers of durable medical equipment and related services and supplies as well as the manufacturers of that equipment. AAHomecare members serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require home oxygen equipment, wheelchairs and other mobility products, hospital beds, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, home infusion, and other medical equipment, products, and services, delivered in the patient's home. AAHomecare's provider members operate more than 3,000 home care locations in all 50 states. See http://www.aahomecare.org

CONTACT: Tilly Gambill of American Association for Homecare, +1-703-535-1896, [email protected]

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- April 11/

SOURCE American Association for Homecare

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