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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Competitive Bidding

President Obama recently released his budget proposal for 2017. While  normally this wouldn't be a topic for this blog, this budget proposal contained an issue of concern for access to lower limb prosthetics. Tucked inside the reams of numerical mumbo-jumbo lies a dictate which would change the lives of millions of amputees in this country. The 2017 Presidential Budget proposes opening up lower limb prosthetics provided through Medicare for competitive bidding.

Competitive bidding is a hallmark program within the Medicare system. This cost saving initiative has been highly successful for off the shelf commodities (diabetic test strips, needles, gauze, etc.) Having suppliers actively bid to provide the lowest price for Medicare customers has saved the system millions of dollars.  

While competitive bidding has proven successful for "drugstore" commodities, grave concerns arise when trying to transfer this program to prosthetics.  First and foremost, prosthetics are not off the shelf devices. They are highly individualized devices custom crafted to meet the unique needs of the patient. Treating prosthetics like generic medical products is a dangerous precedent.

All experts tend to agree that the budget will not be passed and that competitive bidding is not an imminent threat for lower limb prosthetics. However, the fact that it was proposed is cause enough to be concerned. I am not in panic mode, but I am certainly going to stay on top of this issue.  

Dave and I recorded a podcast yesterday concerning competitive bidding. I thought it may be best to have the expert explain the process.

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