We’re capitol bound!
Later this week, I’ll be traveling to Washington DC to speak with our elected representatives about homecare issues. Hundreds of homecare advocates from across the country will be flying in to attend a national legislative conference that focuses on ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries have access to quality home medical equipment (HME) and services.
As many of you know from our earlier posts on Homecare Advocate, a highly controversial new program is being rolled out nationwide that will detrimentally impact Medicare beneficiaries and destroy the home medical equipment provider community. Through this program, the government will select the narrow group of companies from which you can receive your medical equipment and care based of the cheapest bid prices–not the quality of care you need or the timeliness in which you need to receive your care.
Numerous credible, independent groups have reviewed this program and all find serious and consequential problems, yet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services insist on moving forward. You can read some of the independent reviews here, here, and here. Last week the Wall Street Journal called the program “idiotic and designed for failure” in the latest of a growing number of media outlets covering this controversial program. A significant majority of Americans will be impacted by the next phase rollout, including all four major cities and surrounding counties in Tennessee.
Fortunately, a sustainable, alternative program has been proposed that achieves real market savings for Medicare and taxpayers while modernizing the payment rates for medical equipment to be consistent with true market prices. This program preserves patient choice and access to quality goods and services. Aptly titled the Market Pricing Program (MPP), this program has garnered support from leading economists throughout the country and is gaining momentum on The Hill as homecare advocates contact their legislators and urge a repeal of the current anti-competitive auction program in favor of MPP. For MPP to be implemented, we need a congressional legislative fix. This requires legislators to vote for it, which will likely occur if MPP can be attached to a larger bill being voted on this year. However, your representative needs to hear from you–the constituent–so that he/she knows that this is an important issue to you that demands his/her attention.
We need your help.
While not everyone can fly to Washington to speak out, you can make a difference from home. I urge you to contact your senators and Member of Congress and ask for a replacement of the Competitive Bidding Program with the Market Pricing Program.
You may also send an e-mail via this helpful Web site that allows you to copy and paste pre-crafted talking points into your e-mail that will be sent directly to your elected officials based upon your home address. You are welcome to customize it as you see fit.
We’ll keep you updated on our progress in Washington and will give you a full report next week. Feel free to leave a comment below with how you’re joining ranks of homecare advocates dedicated to making a difference.