The term “competitive bidding” can sound a little intimidating, especially when you add in the fact that this idea affects how Medicare pays for the things you need, like durable medical equipment, for example. If you use a hospital bed, power wheelchair or CPAP machine in your home to ease a medical condition, you are well aware that you get those items, or the items needed to sustain them, from durable medical equipment (DME) company. Medicare pays the DME company on your behalf, as part of the coverage it provides to you for medical expenses. With this, Medicare has recently developed a program that allows medical equipment companies to make bids in specific areas that provide lower prices for medical items.
For example, if Medical Company “A” currently supplies crutches in your area for $50, under the competitive bidding program, other companies in your area can compete for a contract with Medicare to offer crutches for a lower price. The competitive bid program eliminates the chance of medical companies monopolizing the market. This saves Medicare (and you) money because they are contributing less, and Medicare hopes this will mean less insurance fraud. Medicare fraud can be very costly to its participants, as well as establishing trusted medical providers who are especially monitored for Medicare compliance (or following Medicare’s guidelines).
How do you know if this affects you and your current medical equipment provider? The competitive bid program does not affect which doctor you can see. This only effects what company provides your medical equipment once a round of competitive bidding has come to a close. To find out if you live in a competitive bidding area, check the Medicare website. Enter your zip code to see a list of providers in your area that have won the bids where you live.
The Medicare website provides useful information to your questions by clearly listing the medical equipment items included in the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. The website also lists where you can get the items you need.
The competitive bid system can create changes in who you order your medical equipment and supplies from, but keep in mind that Medicare created this program for you. They want to make sure you receive quality goods and services from the suppliers they enter contracts with. Utilize the resources you have through Medicare and your medical supply company, to create the service experience you desire. After all, it is you they both aim to help.
For questions to see if Aeroflow Healthcare is within you competitive bid area, please call 888-345-1780 or email us.