AAHomecare: Take action on MPP
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 2, 2012—Last Monday AAHomecare hosted a teleconference for HME providers to discuss H.R. 6490, the “Medicare DMEPOS Market Pricing Program Act of 2012.” More than 150 home medical equipment providers participated in the teleconference. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) would replace the current bidding program with a financially sustainable market pricing program (MPP) that is based upon sound economic principles universally embraced by auction experts across the country. The legislation currently has 14 cosponsors.
The teleconference highlighted the benefits of MPP and how the program would work. AAHomecare also discussed how HME providers can take action and help enact the MPP through meeting with their members of Congress before the November elections. “We need a strong show of support for H.R. 6490,” AAHomecare’s Walter Gorski said. “Our goal is to encourage every lawmaker who supported the Thompson-Altmire bill, H.R. 1041, to support it. While the AAHomecare team in Washington is working to enact this legislation, having providers meet one-on-one with lawmakers is crucial to getting congressional members to cosponsor the legislation.”
Key components of the legislation discussed on the MPP teleconference are:
• MPP includes the same DME items as the current bidding program and is implemented across the country in the same timeframe as the current program;
• Two product categories are bid per geographic area. Eight additional product categories in that same area would have prices adjusted based on auctions conducted simultaneously in comparable geographic areas;
• Bid areas are smaller than metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and more homogeneous;
• Bids are binding and cash deposits are required to ensure only serious bidders participate;
• The bid price is based on the “clearing price,” not the “median price” of winners;
• The same areas that are exempted under the competitive bidding program will be exempted under MPP; and
• MPP is designed to be budget-neutral.