Bipartisan Majority in House Requests Delay of Flawed Medical Equipment Procurement Program

June 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Glenn `GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Bruce Braley (D-IA), joined by fellow Members of Congress and healthcare advocates, today held a press conference calling upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay Round 2 of the controversial Competitive Bidding Program for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Medical Supplies (DMEPOS).  Members and attendees highlighted the significance of a letter signed by a bipartisan majority of 227 members in the U.S. House of Representatives sent on June 12, 2013 to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, which outlines critical flaws in the program and requests delaying further implementation through the remainder of 2013.   

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA):  “We have been joined by a bipartisan majority of the House, 227 members in total, 82 Democrats and 145 Republicans, requesting that Administrator Tavenner use her authority to delay further implementation of the program and take a hard look at many of the discrepancies that have been brought to our attention. We are concerned that mishandling of the bidding process, as outlined in the letter, will impact Medicare’s ability to serve its beneficiaries and the taxpayers. We urge the Administrator to do the right thing and delay the program through the end of 2013 in order to allow for adequate investigation and correction of the significant problems that we have identified.”

U.S. Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA): “When the government picks winners in a flawed bidding system for the medical equipment business, seniors on Medicare and the small businesses that serve them lose. A government-imposed monopoly in medical equipment will put countless small businesses that provide medical supplies out of business, kill jobs in local communities, and reduce choices for Medicare beneficiaries. The free market should be allowed to work within Medicare, and a bipartisan group of representatives comprising a majority of the U.S. House agree.”

U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH): “The current process for DMEPOS Competitive Bidding is broken, which is why I hope Ms. Tavenner will delay it and let the Congress work its will to fix it. We need to protect seniors from unlicensed or non-registered companies providing products and services that mean the difference between life or death for those seniors who depend on them.”

U.S. Representative Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA): “The fundamental failings of the current DMEPOS competitive bidding program is a threat to patients, families, physicians, and providers. If allowed to continue, it will do real harm to folks all across the country who rely on medical equipment for their health and wellbeing. In order to ensure Medicare is successfully serving its beneficiaries, we ought to delay implementation of the current bidding program as requested by a bipartisan majority in Congress and then move to real reform of the program to make it truly market-based.”

U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY): "I am proud to be part of the bipartisan effort in Congress to call on CMS Administrator Tavenner to delay implementation of round 2 of the Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding program. CMS has clearly designed a flawed process. While trying to cut costs, the federal government has created an unsustainable system that will negatively affect seniors, people with disabilities, and small medical device companies.”

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