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Medicare Beneficiaries At Risk Says AAHomecare

Faulty Bidding Process For Durable Medical Equipment Will Impact Providers As Well

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Near Cincinnati, Ohio, a Medicare patient named Trisha lived in fear for more than a year because her new oxygen provider through Medicare never came to check on her or the equipment. Nearby, an elderly couple, Paul and Mary, were also concerned about the quality of care from their Medicare-dictated oxygen provider.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) insists that beneficiaries aren't being hurt by the defective bidding program that will sideline thousands of home medical equipment providers, while leaving others questioning whether they can stay in business.  But Trisha, Paul, and Mary are just three of the many beneficiaries adversely affected by this unfair bidding program that allows Medicare to arbitrarily set prices at rates so low that services and products for beneficiaries are being compromised.     

"When I can't breathe it is like someone has their hands around my throat and they are cutting off my airway," Trisha says. "I can't tell you…how scary it is to sit on the side of the bed wondering if you will be able to draw your next breath."

Yet, Trisha felt this anxiety over and over. Once her community came under the Medicare bidding program for oxygen therapy a year ago, her dependable provider was forbidden to do further business with Medicare and was replaced by a different company, one that delivered equipment, never checked on the patient, and ignored her pleas for assistance. 

Across the country, other victims of the Medicare procurement system for home medical equipment are quietly suffering, too nervous to speak out or question Medicare. The organization, People for Quality Care, has collected horror stories from Medicare beneficiaries—the people CMS says don't exist. Many of their stories can be found here:

Leading economists and auction experts openly declare that the bidding program established by CMS is a sham. Why hasn't Congress done something about it? Are lawmakers blinded by the smokescreens that CMS keeps erecting?

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