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Medicare News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
Friday, September 24, 2004 CMS Office of Public Affairs

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced the appointment of a committee to advise the agency about the implementation of competitive bidding for certain supplies and equipment provided to Medicare beneficiaries, and about establishing standards for suppliers who want to participate in the Medicare program.

Medicare anticipates that beneficiaries will have access to higher quality at lower prices when it adopts a competitive bidding model for certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (also referred to as DMEPOS).  Because the beneficiary pays 20 percent of the costs of these products and Medicare pays 80 percent, lower prices will help both beneficiary and taxpayer.

"We all want seniors and disabled individuals to have access to quality health care at the best possible price," says CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan.  "This committee will help us get the process right." 

The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) requires CMS to make competitive bidding a permanent part of Medicare. CMS demonstration projects in Florida and Texas, involving such items as oxygen, hospital beds, manual wheelchairs and simple orthotics, showed price reductions on average of 20 percent.  The MMA requires the new competitive bidding process to be phased in over a period of years, beginning in 2007 in ten of the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

The advisory committee membership represents a broad range of stakeholders in the outcome of the competitive bidding process: beneficiary/consumer, physician/provider, manufacturer, supplier, certification/standards, and federal and state programs.  This committee will ensure that CMS maintains an open communication process during the implementation of this new program.  Specifically, the committee will be advising CMS on implementation of competitive bidding, beneficiary access issues, appropriate educational strategies, and financial and quality standards for suppliers under the program.

The committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Oct. 6 at CMS headquarters in Baltimore. It will meet periodically until the end of 2009.  A list of the committee members is attached.

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  1. Cara Bachenheimer - Vice President of Government Relations, Invacare Corporation. 
  2. Robert Baum - Program Manager for the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service, Strategic Healthcare Group, Veterans Health Administration (VA) Central office, Washington, DC. 
  3. Mary Benhardus - Founder and controlling owner, Handi Medical Supply Inc.
  4. Henry Claypool  - Expert adviser to Social Security Administration's Deputy Commissioner to advise on Interim Medical Benefits
  5. Asela Cuervo - Senior Vice President, American Association for Homecare. 
  6. David Gray - Associate Professor of Neurology and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine. 
  7. Don Hawley, D.D.S. - Program Director, Utah Department of Health, Division of Utah Health Care Financing. 
  8. Lawrence Higby - President and CEO, Apria Healthcare. 
  9. Rita Hostak - Vice President, Home Healthcare Group of Sunrise Medical Inc.
  10. Dave Kazynski - President, Van G. Miller & Associates's HOMELINK division. 
  11. Anthony Filippis - President and CEO, Wright & Filippis.  Practicing certified prosthetist/orthotist. 
  12. Alan McMullen - Cost Reimbursement Analyst, Medical Assistance Administration, Department of Social & Health Services, State of Washington. 
  13. Jean Minkel - Founder and President, Minkel Consulting.  Specializes in Assistive technology. 
  14. William Popomaronis - Vice President, Long-Term/Home Health Care Pharmacy Services, The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). 
  15. Maryanne Popovich - Executive Director, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). 
  16. John Prassas - Director, Corporate Provider Development & Contracting, PacifiCare Health Plans.
  17. Chris Reisdorf - Manager, Benefit Policy Unit - Minnesota Health Care Programs - Medical Assistance, General Assistance Medical Care, and Minnesota Care programs. 
  18. David Van Sleet - VISN 1 Prosthetics Manager, Department of Veterans Affairs, New England Healthcare System. 
  19. Ken Viste, M.D. - Medical Director, Physical Rehabilitation Unit Mercy Medical Center and Staff Physician, St. Agnes Hospital. 
  20. Don Vliegenthart. M.D. - Medical Director, Hoveround Corporation. 
  21. Daniel Waldmann- Director of Federal Affairs, Johnson & Johnson, Inc.


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