Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here We Go Again... Competitive Bidding Is Back On The Table

There is also a feature in this morning's Wall Street Journal.

Google "competitive bidding Medicare" and see the items related to durable medical equipment dated 2009.

Please read up on the issue and express your opinions to those who were elected to spend taxpayers' money wisely. Cheapest isn't always least expensive when you're dealing with ALS.


  1. The ALS Association was way out in front of this Medicare threat. President Bush signed HR 6331 July 16, 2008. In short this bill excluded ALS from any competitive bid process.
    The key provisions of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (HR 6331) include:

    Ensures Access to Power Wheelchairs

    Improves Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

    Provides Additional Coverage for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology Services

    Improves Access to the Medicare Savings Program (MSP)
    source; Facebook, the ALS Association.

  2. J.M.C. (Doc), Does HR6331 protect PALS from any future changes in competitive bidding rules?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Medicare Bill Exempts Complex Power Wheelchairs

    TUCSON, Ariz., July 22, 2008 – Recent passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6331) holds particularly good news for people with disabilities who use complex power wheelchairs and accessories.

    H.R. 6331, which withstood a presidential veto to become law, delays implementation of several Medicare changes, including a pay reduction for physicians and a national competitive bidding program for medical and assistive equipment.

    Of particular significance for people with muscular dystrophy and related diseases is a small provision tucked into the massive bill that exempts complex rehabilitative power wheelchairs and accessories from the competitive bidding process entirely, now and in the future.

    This exemption was a primary focus of MDA’s advocacy efforts in this area, because many people with progressive muscle diseases require complex, high-tech power equipment in order to maintain health and independence, such as power chairs with tilt-and-recline or elevating leg lifts.

    The competitive bidding program, which now has been put on hold for 18 months, requires Medicare enrollees to buy durable medical equipment from a limited number of government-approved suppliers – usually the lowest bidders in the area, regardless of whether they carry complex equipment. Because people with neuromuscular diseases have unique and changing needs, the “one size fits all” approach of competitive bidding would have created hardships in obtaining appropriate equipment.

    Even though MDA’s core objective has been met – exempting complex equipment from competitive bidding requirements once and for all – MDA’s Advocacy program will continue working with other advocacy groups on changes to the competitive bidding program and related Medicare improvements.

    Annie Kennedy, MDA vice president of Advocacy, said the complex equipment exemption is wonderful news. “This is a tremendous strike in the right direction. So many people served by MDA who use – or will use – high-tech wheelchairs now can breathe a sigh of relief.”