By SUNIL Sonkar
Washington, October 08 — The competitive bidding program of the Medicare is in controversy. Critics says the durable medical equipment bidding system will fail, as there are new restrictions included in it and the prices of products are also reduced.
The bidding will be taking place next year on January 1 in Cincinnati, Charlotte, Cleveland, Kansas City, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Orlando and Riverside, Calif.
The 166 experts who said the bidding system will fail includes some renowned economics professors and Nobel laureates. All the 166 signed a letter with criticism on the bidding systems of Medicare and the letter was delivered to administrator of Medicare through Rep. Pete Starke (D-California), chairman of House of Ways and Means subcommittee on health, this week.
Many, who had signed are from leading universities such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, University of Chicago, London School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Duke, California Institute of Technology and Cornell.
The problems mentioned in the letter are that the designed program has flaws which will prevent the company from achieving ‘low cost – high quality’ objectives. The experts put their views that in the competitive bidding system the bidders are not bound by bids and hence it undermines the credibility of the program. It is also said the ‘low-ball bids’ is encouraged by the pricing rules and this cease any sustainable process.
The letter concludes that over time the program may degenerate and it may become a race to the bottom. The suppliers will become unreliable along with the deterioration of products and services.