NCB Starts; AAHomecare to Track Problems with the Program

Despite legislative and legal attempts to postpone its start, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented its national competitive bidding program (NCB) in the first 10 competitive bidding areas.

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) is asking providers to report problems they encounter because of or with the program. A form on AAHomecare's Web site asks providers to describe the types of problems they're having, and asks for information about competitive bidding areas and product categories involved. To view the form, click HERE or visit

A different form is available for Medicare beneficiaries who encounter competitive bidding problems (click HERE to view the form).

According to an AAHomecare news statement sent out July 1, the Senate will reconsider the Medicare reform package that failed a cloture vote last week. The Medicare package includes competitive bidding reforms, a postponement of the competitive bidding program, and a "doc-fix" provision to change physician reimbursement rates.

Last week's failed cloture vote meant H.R. 6331 did not receive a full Senate vote prior to the Independence Day holiday. Congress is currently in recess until next week.

H.R. 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, passed the House by a wide margin last week.

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