ARLINGTON, Va., March 5, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --More than 250 providers of home medical equipment and services from acrossthe U.S. met with members of Congress this week during the American Association for Homecare's Washington Legislative Conference. Homecare advocates discussed the value and cost-effectiveness of home-based care, the race-to-the-bottom impact on services,
"High-quality home-based care is by far the most cost-effective setting for post-acute care," said Tyler J. Wilson, president at CEO of the American Association for Homecare. "Effective use of home medical equipment and services helps reduce spending throughout the healthcare system by ensuring a smooth transition from hospital to home and by preventing trips to the emergency room, hospital readmissions, and nursing home stays."
Homecare providers gathered in Washington called on Congress to support H.R. 3790, a bipartisan bill to replace the misguided Medicare bidding program with a fiscally responsible alternative that substantially reduces Medicare spending for home medical equipment but allows providers of home medical equipment to continue serving Medicare beneficiaries. The bill currently has 162 cosponsors so far including 38 percent of the Democrats and 37 percent of Republicans in the House. Representatives Altmire and Shuler are among the cosponsors.
As designed by Medicare, the bidding program will dramatically reduce the number of home medical providers, regardless of their willingness to accept lower reimbursement rates for medical equipment and services.
Organizations that support H.R. 3790 include the American Association for Respiratory Care, the American Association of People with Disabilities, Cerebral Palsy Association of Ohio, International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, Post-Polio Health International, United Spinal Association, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, among others.
The initial roll-out of the bidding program in 2008 produced disastrous results for home medical patients and for providers (mostly small businesses) that were excluded from Medicare as a result of the first round of bidding. These problems will occur again, including:
The providers also urged Congress to:
The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and others in the homecare community that serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. Members operate more than 3,000 homecare locations in all 50 states. Please visit www.aahomecare.org/athome.
SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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