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AARP Statement to Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: Competitive Bidding for Durable Medical Equipment Can Achieve Significant Medicare Savings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2010

Contact: AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202-434-2560

 

AARP Statement to Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: Competitive Bidding for Durable Medical Equipment Can Achieve Significant Medicare Savings

Process has bipartisan support from Congress

 

WASHINGTON—This morning, AARP submitted a written statement to the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee in support of an appropriately monitored competitive bidding process for durable medical equipment, orthotics and supplies.  Competitive bidding enjoys bipartisan support from Members of Congress and demonstration projects have resulted in an average of 20 percent savings for Medicare.  Excerpts from AARP’s statement follow:

“AARP believes that competitive bidding should be used for pricing durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS), as long as quality and access are not compromised by the competitive bidding process.  If the Competitive Bidding Program achieves the goal of setting more appropriate payment amounts for DMEPOS items, it will result in reduced beneficiary out-of-pocket expenses as well as savings to taxpayers and to the Medicare program.”

 “…AARP believes CMS should closely monitor Medicare beneficiaries’ access to DMEPOS.  At the same time, CMS should strictly enforce regulations on accreditation and minimum quality standards for DMEPOS suppliers in order to deter unnecessary utilization of items, while ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have access to safe, high-quality, medically necessary, and appropriate DMEPOS.”

“AARP is committed to fighting fraud and abuse in our health care system and particularly in the Medicare program.  In addition, we continue to seek ways to ensure that beneficiaries’ premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are kept affordable, while maintaining access and quality.  AARP is also committed to ensuring that older adults and persons with disabilities have the services and supports they need, including DMEPOS, to live independently in their homes and communities.  AARP believes the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program – if structured correctly – can achieve these multiple objectives.”

“…We look forward to working with Congress and with the Department of Health and Human Services to rid our system of abuse while ensuring that all beneficiaries have access to quality health care and other benefits covered by the Medicare program.”

For more information, please visit www.aarp.org.  For a complete copy of the statement submitted to the subcommittee, please contact AARP Media Relations at 202-434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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