I am writing this letter to emphasize my concerns about proposals to include competitive bidding for durable medical equipment in any Medicare reform legislation. It remains an unproven model that will result in a bloated bureaucracy, unpredictable costs and limited savings.
More importantly its impact on patient access and quality of care is yet unknown. There is significant consumer opposition to competitive bidding as is evidenced by the fact that such organizations as United Cerebral Palsy, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities health Task Force -- along with 22 other consumer groups -- are opposing this proposal.
If Congress feels compelled to continue to study this subject they should limit legislation to the extension of CMS' competitive bidding demonstrations for 5 years, and prohibit the agency from using any data from ongoing or incomplete demonstrations until they have been thoroughly and completely evaluated for cost, (including administrative costs), patient access and quality of care issues.
Please use your best efforts to remove competitive bidding for DME from any pending legislation in order to preserve quality patient care and free access to services.
[City, State, Zip]