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Mar 7, 2017 2:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Zeldin Introduces Bill To Expand Medicare Competitive Bidding Program

Mar 7, 2017 3:03 PM

A bill to expand the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, or MIPPA, has been re-introduced as part of a bi-partisan effort led by U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin to expand the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Competitive Bidding Program.

Originally under MIPPA, devices such as power wheelchairs and their related accessories were excluded from the program. Rep. Zeldin maintains that such devices and their accessories are fundamental products for people with progressed disabilities, who rely on such features as recline-and-tilt systems, specialty control, and cushions.

As a result of their exclusion from the bidding program, such devices and accessories were subject to high prices and limited access for adults and children in need of customized power wheelchairs.

Rep. Zeldin said in a prepared statement: “Americans dealing with the challenges from disabilities, such as ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and many other debilitating illnesses ... must always have access to the resources they need to live independently and happily.”

If the bill becomes law, manufacturers of motorized wheelchairs and their accessories would be required to submit a bid to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, whereby they would be evaluated on their financial standing, product quality and final retail price.

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