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Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act One Step Closer To Becoming Law

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Washington, February 26, 2015 | comments

U.S. Congressmen Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and John Larson (D-CT), both members of the Ways and Means Committee, announced their bill H.R. 284, the Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act passed the Ways and Means Committee and will proceed to the House floor for full consideration. The bill would protect seniors and those who rely on durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetic and orthotic devices, and supplies from predatory business practices.


“I am pleased that we are one step closer to removing bad actors from the durable medical equipment bidding process,” said Congressman Tiberi. “This measure would remove the incentive for intentional low-ball bids for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) DME contracts.  Currently, these bids plague the bidding process and contribute to unsustainable lower overall rates calculated to reimburse those suppliers who do provide products. Requiring binding bids would insert accountability into the bid process, help seniors access high-quality equipment and services, and improve health outcomes.”


“In Connecticut and across the country, medical equipment is a daily necessity for many Medicare beneficiaries. I have long had concerns that the current bidding process for medical supplies in Medicare would compromise accessibility and quality of this vital equipment for beneficiaries. The measure that moved forward today will go a long way to establishing a more fair bidding process to help ensure that seniors and the disabled are able to access high-quality services within their communities from local providers. I thank Representative Tiberi for his leadership on this effort as well as Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Levin for bringing the bill forward in Committee and will continue to work towards its passage in the House,” said Congressman John B. Larson.


Currently, supplier bids are non-binding; meaning if CMS offers a contract to a bidder, that bidder can accept or reject that contract. Non-binding bids can encourage low-ball bids because suppliers know they are not required to supply the products at those bid levels and are only bidding to participate in the program. The Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act would make supplier bids binding, thereby increasing transparency and ensuring reliable and equitable pricing. This legislation would help ensure that suppliers submit bids in good faith, increase competition, and would create more certainty for suppliers and for consumers, giving them increased access to more quality products and services.


U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced the Medicare Competitive Bidding Improvement Act in the Senate. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.

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