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AdvaMed lauds DME legislation

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

The Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Access Act of 2005 will ensure continued Medicare beneficiary access to medical technologies in a competitive bidding process, trade association says in Sept. 12 letter of support. Introduced July 28, the bill (HR 3559) adds patient protections to the Medicare Modernization Act (1"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 8, 2005, In Brief). AdvaMed commends the inclusion of quality standards in the competitive acquisition process and the demand for evidence, prior to implementation, that the program will generate at least 10% in savings. The group also praises measures to ensure equal opportunity for small businesses. CMS' proposed rule on DME competitive bidding is expected this fall...

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DME legislation

The "Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Access Act of 2005," introduced July 28 by Reps. Dave Hobson (R-Ohio) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.), would restore due process protections to the competitive bidding process under the Medicare Modernization Act, allowing participants to seek judicial review of agency decisions, according to Invacare. The bill also tightens quality standards and requires CMS to exempt rural areas and metropolitan statistical areas with populations less than 500,000 from the bidding process. Further, it would permit small businesses to participate in the Medicare program at the winning bidder's rate, even if the DME supplier initially submitted a bid that was below the fee schedule amount. Invacare says a Senate companion bill could materialize shortly after the August recess. CMS is slated to release a proposed rule on DME competitive bidding this summer (1"The Gray Sheet" March 7, 2005, p. 15)...

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