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AARC Supports Bill to Repeal Competitive Bidding

April 6, 2011

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The AARC has just sent a letter to the sponsors of a new bill in Congress to repeal the Medicare competitive bidding program for certain durable medical equipment and prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies, including oxygen and oxygen equipment.

“With the implementation of competitive bidding in January 2011 and the planned expansion to 90 metropolitan areas, the AARC is concerned that the program will have a negative impact on the pulmonary patient’s ambulatory care,” writes AARC President Karen Stewart, MSc, RRT, FAARC, in support of the legislation.

The Association fears the current law, which views oxygen and oxygen equipment as  “commodities” subject to the lowest bid price, will stifle technological innovation, making it harder for patients who require home oxygen to leave their homes and lead active lives. The program also has the potential to limit medically appropriate therapy for Medicare beneficiaries who need it.

HR 1041, the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act, was introduced into the House of Representatives by Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) on March 11.