Live from the L'Enfant


What a difference a year makes. Last year, the industry had just seen the introduction of HR 1041, the bill to repeal competitive bidding. The bill currently stands at 166 co-sponsors and Rep. Glenn Thompson, of PA, who introduced it last year, was here again this year, talking it up.

Last year, the program was in its early stages and, win or lose, no one knew quite what to expect. Fast forward to today and we know that many providers have closed their doors, while others have serviced patients anyway, without payment (stop doing that, guys). There are rumors of winners who simply don't provide the services.

We've seen data from Prof. Peter Cramton showing a decline in claims in Round 1 bid areas and some negative, costly outcomes, all of which suggest the program is causing problems.

Cratmon was here today, too, talking up the program. Really, he's preaching to the faithful at this point. Providers are ready to push MPP.

The other, bigger word at this year's event, even bigger than MPP, is,"CBO score" (OK, that's 2 words). The bill needs a score and providers here are tasked with asking lawmakers how they can make that happen. One could argue that's gonna be tougher than seeking bill sponsors. It's so, nebulous.

At this point I say, and I said it earlier in a neatly typed tweet, those that are here have taken the most important step: they showed up. They take tomorrow's Hill visits very seriously, I see it in their faces and hear it in their questions, even as I frantically tweeted and took notes, I took note of that.

I had just sent my 20th or so tweet from the AAHomecare conference today (on 4 hours sleep mind you), when my phone buzzed signaling a text message. I knew, without looking, it was from editor Liz, who was hanging on my every tweet from back at the home office. It read: "Proofread  your tweets. I'm starting to think you are drinking."

I could argue that a few typos here and there don't confuse the meaning (well, maybe a couple of tweets read ambiguously, if you weren't here in the thick of it) but then I thought of all the providers getting dinged on audits, things like not having the right color paper on an oxygen sat (Kim Brummett's fave example, I think she's only half-kidding).

And let's not forget all the providers disqualified from bidding in round 1 due to a simple typo.

So yes, Liz, maybe accuracy does count for something (even on twitter).

Besides, I only drink while blogging.

Theresa Flaherty