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10/31/2016 » 11/3/2016
Medtrade, Atlanta

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Major Hospital System Takes Bidding Program to Task in Comments to CMS

Source:  9/14/16 AAHomecare Wednesday in Washington

In their comments on CMS’ latest rules proposal covering the bidding program for HME (CMS 1651-P), the University of California Health System reports that hospitals within the UC System continue to see significant problems obtaining DME under the program and urge CMS to carefully evaluate the impacts of the program.  Their comments note that many winning bidders have actually dropped out of the program and point out resulting issues such as delays in patient discharges and instances of patients having to purchase items at their own expense which should have been covered by Medicare.

This paragraph in particular provides an excellent summary of the problems the bidding program is causing for healthcare providers:

Hospital personnel note that, prior to the CBP's implementation, case managers and discharge planners were able to select DME suppliers based on their level of customer service, including their demonstrated dependability and consistency in delivering required items within the necessary time frames. They express frustration that they are no longer able to select DME suppliers based on what is in the patient's best interest [emphasis ours], but must use suppliers that, in their view, provide sub-standard customer service and often cannot meet the patient's needs-ultimately compromising care outcomes.

Read the UC Health System’s full comments here.  The UC Health System is America's largest academic health system, and includes 12 hospitals and 18 health professional schools over seven campuses located in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and San Francisco.