WASHINGTON, DC – AAHomecare has been fighting to stop the fatally flawed competitive bidding with legislation and now legal action. We have been working on legislative initiatives to replace the competitive bidding program with the Market Pricing Program (HR 1717) and to delay round two (HR 2375).
These bills have received strong bipartisan support in the House. There are also growing concerns with members of the House and Senate regarding the licensure problems in round two.
To document problems with round two, AAHomecare and People for Quality Care, the advocacy division of VGM Group Inc, partnered to offer a hotline for Medicare beneficiaries with concerns about access to home medical equipment. The hotline, 1-800-404-8702, will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a People for Quality Care live operator, who will take the beneficiary’s name, location, and a brief summary of his/her issue.
With the caller’s permission, the complaints will be forwarded to a local Medicare ombudsman for resolution and added to a list of problems, which will be presented to members of Congress.
AAHomecare has also filed a lawsuit to stop the current program. To prevent beneficiaries from experiencing access problems before the July 1 deadline, AAHomcare filed a temporary restraining order (TRO). Unfortunately, after the TRO hearing, the judge denied the association’s request.
Although the courts failed to take immediate action, AAHomecare continues to fight. In her ruling, the judge said that Congress has the power to fix this problem. The Association will continue to demand that Congress stop the competitive bidding program and replace it with MPP.
To contact members of Congress about this important issue, please go to http://action.aahomecare.org/ .
Jay Witter is vice president of government affairs for the American Association for Homecare.