"Competitive" Bidding May Hurt Seniors


May Hurt Seniors (NAPSA)—Many Americans are taking their health care into their own handsin a surprising way. They’re calling Congressat (202) 224-3121 and askingtheir representatives what’s being done about Medicare’s bidding program for durable medical equipment and services. This type of equipment, which includes oxygen, hospital beds and wheelchairs, helps to keep seniors and people with disabilities safe and independent at home. The current system has alarmed patients and policy experts alike. ! HHe l a L271) ==> i ae 70 7444 oD hed Two dozen patient groups and hundreds of experts have urged Congress to stop the Medicare bidding program and find other ways to save money. Durable or home medical equipmentand services also help control health care spending by preventing costly stays in emergency rooms, hospitals and nursing homes. Hundreds of patients, however, say Medicare’s bidding program makes it harder to get medically required equipmentandlimits the choices of equipmentandproviders. A recent study in The Quarterly Journal of Economics found that the system “fails to generate competitive prices of goods and fails to satisfy demand.” More about this issue and home care in general is at the American Association for Homecare site: http://action.aahome care.org.