Like many COPD patients nationwide, you may have experienced trouble accessing home oxygen equipment due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) program called competitive bidding. This alarming practice has prevented members of our community from accessing life-saving therapies. The COPD Foundation wants you to know we are on it.
What is Competitive Bidding?
Competitive bidding is changing the way that CMS pays for home oxygen supplies. It requires durable medical equipment (DME) companies to apply and be awarded contracts by CMS in order to be providers
for CMS patients. We have seen firsthand how the competitive bidding process has negatively impacted the COPD community by preventing access and causing anxiety among patients, caregivers, and their healthcare providers.
We have been working hard on the competitive bidding issue for two years, but gridlock in Congress has prevented the passage of legislation – making change in the healthcare system difficult. As a result, we have decided to speak directly to CMS through a process known as “submitting comments.”
Why We Have Submitted Comments
There are many benefits to submitting comments to CMS:
- Comments are an effective way to inform CMS about the negative implications of competitive bidding to patients;
- CMS takes all comments, including the patient voice, into sincere consideration when making decisions on programs and policy; and, CMS is required by law to respond to all comments as final decisions are made on its’ programs.
Outside of submitting comments to CMS, the COPD Foundation is also lobbying in support of H.R. 1717, the Medicare DMEPOS Pricing Program Act of 2013, which proposes an alternative to the competitive bidding program. Find more information about the bill here.
All COPD patients, or those interested in the issue, should visit our Issue Central page where you can read the comments and sign-on letter.
If you have experienced difficulty accessing your home medical equipment contact the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673). Our Information Line associates will then officially file the complaint with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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